Another sunny day in Sun City… go figure.
Wednesday morning in the kitchen was a little chirpier as we readied for our final two day events: the women- pairs, the men-singles. We bid Andy a fond farewell after his brief but triumphant run with Jeff in pairs, did our little hokey cheer in the living room, and headed out into a dewless, warming Arizona morning.
We (men) showed up at the Lakeview green with the other 48 singles players and drew for assignment to greens. Doug , Russ, and I were given our walking papers and headed down the road to the Fairway Bowling Club. The others – Rodger, Jeff, Richard B. and Richard K., – stayed to bowl at the two greens there at Lakeview.
When I got to Fairway I immediately scanned the other arrivals, wondering what sort of draw I’d be in for. Their were a few studs, one a former World Champ in pairs, another a two or three time US singles Champ but on the whole it looked like most of the big guns had remained at Lakeview. As is turned out my draw was a fairly welcoming one and I managed to win all 4 of my games.
The biggest challenge of the day for me was in the third game, against that Lion from the Northwest, Doug Bradley. Doug and I have met a handful of times in tournaments and games in Seattle and he has had my number, no doubt about it, though he’s far too humble to ever mention that ( HAHA!). Today I finally changed that but it was (fittingly) a real struggle, neck and neck to the wire when I got hot and overtook him in the final ends to win 14 to 13 (all singles games go to 14 points).
As the day rolled on Doug lost two other games but won his final one against Abe Kaplan from South Africa (now lives in Florida). I had the honor of marking that match. Marking a match for Doug is special because no one knows marking like DB. Where to stand, when to move, what to say and not say: these are all concerns of a good marker. With some discrete coaching from Doug I performed the job proudly and did my best to keep things rolling. I say this because Doug’s opponent Abe, while being a total gentleman is also a very methodical and (I’ll just say it) slow bowler. His previous game had taken nearly 3 hours. With each bowl camps on the mat and strikes a pose as he concentrates like nobody’s business. It really looks like he’s willing each bowl to bend to his relentless command and it pays off more often than not.
There were only a few of us left to watch that last game but it was a doozy as Doug slowly gathered steam, pulled into a 13-13 tie and loaded them in in the final end to end the long day happily. Russ’s day was a long one too and he didn’t manage to win but had some good matches and a chance, in his final game, to bowl against Keith Roney of Canada, who was, in his prime, certainly one of the better bowlers in the world… a really nice, straight forward, humble guy, short in stature, simple clean swing, signiature baseball cap and soul patch under his lip.
As for the other fellas I was not on hand to witness their games but this is the news: Jeff went 2 and 2.
He had a couple remarkable comebacks, one of which he won and he dished out a 14 to 1 shellacking in his final game. Richard Broad drew some giants and only managed one victory. Richard Krueger won two and I believe Rodger Green won two, edging out victories against a couple of veterans – Frank Souza and George Tucker. In the match with Geroge Tucker he was down 11 zip after 5 ends and came back and won 14-12. The game against Frank was another barn burner, finishing 18-14. Rodger’s last game with a local bowler was a marathon of 29 ends lasting a little over 2 hours, but the Sun City-ite finally wore him down. Guess it was the heat.
Today we all continue. I will be in the championship flight and Jeff and Richard K in the 3rd or 4th flight. The others will also continue at Oakmont bowling Club in the 5th and 6th flights.
The women had a very good day too. Janice and Glorianne won two of their four games as did Pam and Debbie.
Go figure . . . NW drew NW and our homegirls had a tight match against one another, with Glorianne and Janice edging out the win. Glorianne and Janice also had a tight match with Dee McSparran and Linda Vandenburg (South Africa). They took an early lead, 8 – 2 in the 6th end, when Dee took the mat and drew to the jack every end to win the game 10 – 8. Pam and Debbie lost to Jackie Tucker and Mary Ann Beath and won two games to delightful teams from Canada and Sun City.
The tournament draws to a close today. One more day of bowling after the week of a thousand rolls. May our aims be true. Wish us luck.