Thursday, March 25, 2010

Belmonte Goes Ballistic and Barnes From Fizzle to Sizzle

This is a different tournament but matching up well with the center means a lot regardless. In both blocks (Thursday) I started out slow and was feeling more comfortable towards the end but I would never have expected to throw two 300 games, especially with plastic equipment.”
--Jason Belmonte

I had a nice reaction all day and really didn’t change much of anything. For me it played like a track shot from the old lacquer days.”
--Walter Ray Williams Jr.

Jason Belmonte shot 254-300-257 for the last three games of the Round of 64 to seize the lead in the Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship. That's a blistering 811 series with a plastic ball. He also shot a 300 game in the first block. This guy is phenomenal!

If you watched him make the U.S. Open pattern look like your house league shot a few weeks ago until he pulled his hamstring, if you watched him destroy the pins this afternoon with his polyester missile, if you've been watching him on Xtra Frame all season the way I have, you know that this guy is a double-fisted beast on the lanes. I honestly believe that he could be the best player on tour and on earth with a little more experience, if he isn't already there. That's how great Jason Belmonte is. He can score like gangbusters on just about any condition with just about any kind of equipment there is. U.S. Open pattern? Easy as pie! Plastic ball? No problem.

Of course, the ageless wonder, Walter Ray Williams, is not letting him get too far ahead of the pack. He's only 17 pins behind and has been a paragon of relentless consistency today. And for those Chris Barnes detractors, and their numbers have been multiplying exponentially lately, Barnes was under a 200 average after the first block and looked to be impossibly far out of the hunt, but then he did what a player of his superb skill and competitive spirit usually does in that situation and shot 245-246-268-202-225-290 to rise from 60th place after the first block to make the cut in 29th place at the end of the second block. I predict, for all my or anyone else's predictions are worth, that he'll be a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the tournament.

It was undoubtedly my previous post title, "Wayne Garber Sizzles, Chris Barnes Fizzles" that spurred him on, don't you think?

Stay tuned as this exciting tournament continues tomorrow.

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