Bill Sweet wasn’t in the mood on Monday when he headed for his weekly bowling date in the Cameron Compression League at Broadway Sports Center.
“It was just one of those days,” Sweet said, in describing his feeling before what turned out to be the highlight night of his 40 or so years in the sport.
“It was awesome,” Sweet said. “I threw six strikes in practice. Then I stopped. OK. That’s enough.”
He started off with an unimpressive eight-pin spare, then he was off to the races to a personal best 795 series.
Sweet followed that opening spare with 10 strikes in a row, then left a 7-pin on the last for a 287 game, two pins under his personal high.
He came back with a 253 game, then struck out for 255 to outdistance another league bowler, Roger Penn, who had a 770 that night.
There have been many league series better than Sweet’s 795 this season, but this one stood out because it was 74 pins better than his previous best, a 721. It averaged out to 265 a game for a bowler who has been around the 200-average mark for the last 10 years and, except for a 289 game, never threatened to bowl an honor score.
Also, Sweet is strictly a one-league, one night a week bowler – about as pure an amateur as you can be.
Sweet, 58, has bowled in the Cameron Compression and its predecessor Cooper Turbo, an eight-team, three-bowler league, for about 15 years. He also serves as league secretary and treasurer. Sweet has worked for 32 years at Cameron, where he is a field service supervisor for the East Coast.
For a while on Monday, Sweet felt as much in command as the best PBA Tour pros.
A right-hander, Sweet says he tries “to drop it down and make it come in just like the pros do.”
“Last Monday, everything was perfect, right in the pocket,” he said. “It was just set it down and that sucker would go right in there. There were some good shots. Everything into the pits.”
Sweet credits improvement in his game in recent years to two factors.
About eight years ago he decided to throw out his trusty old ball and invest in some of the new equipment available. He bought a polyurethane ball. Then upon the advice of Dave Williamson, he acquired a plastic ball to shoot spares.
“Also, I went to a lighter ball, a 15-pound ball, so as not to wear my shoulder and my arm out. What a difference that makes. You’ve got more control.”
It’s paid off. Sweet went into this week averaging 207 and his 795 probably brought it up a pin or two.
As for his big night, he says:
“It was fun. I had a good time, but I wish I had that 800.”
Zachowicz second at NY Masters
Alan Felmlee of Warren, Pa., defeated Matt Zachowicz of Buffalo, 388-343, in the final match to win the New York State Masters Championship at Doug Kent’s Rose Bowl Lanes in Newark last Saturday. Felmlee, a 23-year-old right-hander, bowled 190 and 198 in the two-game finals to earn the $2,000 and a paid entry to next year’s USBC Masters. Zachowicz bowled 173 and 170 on the challenging WTBA Atlanta oil pattern and collected $1,000.
Zachowicz (who qualified with a 985 score) advanced with wins over teenager Chad Mee of Hamburg, 418-340, Charlie Millard of Waverly, 432-380, and Brad Fournier of Malone, 408-387.
“I started bowling better in my 40s, so I’m a late bloomer,” said Zachowicz, 56, a tool designer. “I’ve worked hard at it to become a good spare shooter and can grind it out. It feels good to be able to compete. Knowing that I can compete, that’s the goal.”
Jurek, Ciminelli out of T of C
Jack Jurek of Lackawanna and Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga both cashed but neither made the top 24 to qualify for match play in the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions this week in Indianapolis.
Jurek finished 41st with a 5,201 total for 24 games of qualifying and earned $1,800. Ciminelli, the runner-up to Sean Rash last year, was 47th with 5,064 for $1,500.
Jurek finished strong with an 1,856 in his final block but a 162 game in the second round hurt him.
Ciminelli started with a 1,838 in his first block but struggled at times in the second with games of 167 and 178.
Two-hander Osku Palermaa of Finland led the qualifying by averaging 244.88. His low game was a 207.
Junior Gold qualifier set
The Bowling Proprietors of WNY and the Greater Buffalo USBC Association Youth Committee will hold a Junior Gold qualifier at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 7, at Transit Lanes, prior to the Pepsi League. There will be one male and one female winner that will qualify for the nationals.
It’s a three-game, scratch, one entry only, qualifier. All participants must be members of a certified GBUSBC Association league for the 2012-13 season. Entry is $20 and must be submitted and paid in full prior to the beginning of the squad. Bowlers must have or purchase a Junior Gold membership ($30) to participate.