I'll start at the end
Phone call between tournament vice director Grant Summers and Russell Leonard, my pairs partner
" Russ. Hi, this is Grant. So, this is what I have to offer you."
Russ and I played in the first day of the pairs tournament today. We performed valiantly, made shots we barely dream of and still ended up losing 3 of our 4 games and were nearly sure we would not be joining the 90 % that make it through to the second day of competition. Crushing. I mean, who wants to be left out in the cold while the others are cavorting around the space heater? After a random draw we played some of the real bowls mucky mucks and in two of the three losses we were inches away from paradise before having our hearts removed and thrown down on the sizzling hot Arizona concrete that surrounds the two greens at the Lakeview Lawn Bowls Club., Sun City AZ.
The first blow came against Jack Behling and his lead Bill. We jumped off to a startling 6 to 0 lead after 2 ends and were pinching ourselves…. apparently to the detriment of our next 4 ends where we gave up a rapid 9 points and were mumbling fish stories to ourselves about the one that got away. Then, thanks to a number of clutch shots, especially by the suddenly unconscious Russ Leonard we were within one shot with one end to go and holding two shots for the win. Well, 20 minutes and two burnt ends later we were once again on the precipice of victory before Mr. Behling delivered the final kill shot and we threw up the white flag.
The second blow came against a pair of Aussies, John and Peter (I can't recall their last names). We went into the last end down 5 and I pulled out a hail Mary on the last bowl of the end for the burn and a chance to try for the five that would shock the world… our world anyway. Again Big Russ went 'bowl-istic' and put his four lead bowls – I'm not kidding – within in on foot and just behind the jack in tight little basket like arc. Their lead wasn't rolling chopped liver either and snugged one right up against Russ's 4 which I tried twice to chip out. Then… well, it's too much to describe succinctly so I'll cut to my last bowl.
Somehow their skip John had lightly snicked the jack, but only slightly from from the clutches of Russes four and now had the shot resting just behind the jack and just a half a foot behind its former resting place ( a game of eeeeinches!). So now even though they had the shot my chances were better, the shot was there to be made. We were holding five seconds now and I had one last bowl to rest the shot bowl and really put the clamps on their skip, who had one last bowl in his pocket, to respond and avoid total crest fall… I made the shot. Ecstasy. Super unreal jackalicious comeback at the tips of our fingers, when their skip, cool as a popsicle, rolled his final bowl one inch in front of the jack and closed the door on our faces.
Jeff, on the other hand, won all of his 12 games against nothing but world ranked Australians.
Back to me.
And the phone call….
This is the offer (see top of page):
At 8:30 tomorrow morning Russ and I can play in a ONE END PLAYOFF to determine who gets to continue into the second day and vie for the coveted championship of the first consolation division of the lower half of the second tier of the 6th flight!!!!!
As you can imagine we won't be getting much sleep tonight going over and over the trajectories of our 8 bowls glistening in the morning dew and making their ways to the promise of a truly new tomorrow.
Janice Bell played in the women's singles over at Johnson LBC and won her final match to advance to tomorrow's playoffs.
Jeff Covell and Andy Klubberud upset Floridian George Tucker in their final match and will also play tomorrow. Rodger Greenand Lyle Schuetzle, Doug Bradley and Richard Krueger all rallied late to advance as well. Rodger's team revenged their triples loss against the "pink shirts" and won out over Krueger and Bradley in pairs. Richard Broad escaped this reporter's net so I have nothing concrete to report about his play today. If I had to guess I'd say he will surely be on the greens tomorrow and likely is in one of the top flights given lead's reputation… and his own prowess of course.
I wish I could communicate more than this 1% of the stories pouring from all the people down here from the northwest but, short of staying up all night and sapping the precious bodily fluids that I will surely need to call upon to prevail in tomorrow's GIANT ONE END PLAYOFF I must terminate this entry and say farewell.
May your road be true,