Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What he’s doing is like dropping a champagne glass from an extension ladder onto asphalt without breaking it."
--David Ozio describing Walter Ray Williams' awe-inspiring performance at the 1992 U.S. Open

As a follow-up to my previous article about the U.S. Open, I want to call your attention to Jason Thomas' account of his own experience bowling in this great tournament as a college freshman in 1992. He had been, along with his friend and arch rival Robert Smith, one of the best junior bowlers in Southern California, had entered the adult bowling world like a house afire, doing very well in scratch tournaments and taking first place in a U.S. Open qualifier in San Diego that gave him a free entry into the big one in Canandaigua, New York, and, with feverish visions of a stellar career on the PBA Tou dancing in his head, this was his mentality as he began the tournament:

"When I arrived in New York, I was pumped up to bowl. I didn’t just want to bowl with Walter Ray and company, I wanted to kick their butts and make the show! In the practice session, I was sure I had a chance."

Well, you can guess what happened once things got started. I urge you to read this very entertaining story about just how challenging the U.S. Open is and how great bowlers like Walter Ray Williams, who ended up leading the field at one point by over 500 pins, are to conquer these supremely difficult conditions.

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