Monday, February 27, 2012
The Coke Classic Review - Tom Paterson
The tour events bring together most of the very best in the game. Those progressing through the event are tested not just by their opponent but also by the passage of time and the number of games played. Thirty games and 9 hours later Jordon Schuss wins the event, defeating Nick Utley (fellow Surrey bowler). Also both may very well be the youngest of the qualifiers. It is fitting that our top qualifier also wins the most matches making it through to the top 4 on the A draw and winning all his matches on the B side. In total Schuss won 8 matches. Close with 6 match wins is Mathew Turanski of Winnipeg. Utley won 5 matches. The cash flow for the final 4 ended like this; Schuss $4965, Utley $2420, Turanski $1965, Karie Kruetz $1595. Kruetz came close to repeating his 2011 win making it to the 2s, losing to Nick Utley on the A side.
Everyone enjoys producing high scores. The degree of scoring difficulty bowling centers offer is part of the challenge placed in front of all bowlers. Based on the scoring at this year’s coke classic it is fair to say the golden mile lanes are kinder than all others in the province, and probably challenges Callingwood lanes in Edmonton for the distinction of least difficult in western Canada. Over the course of the past 6 years the final qualifying average has been above the 260 mark four of six years. Most notably 2011 and 2012 Q averages were 266 and 268 respectively.
Other quirky facts; the 2012 classic smashed the record for total number of entries (including repeat entries) with 177. Eleven individuals qualified for the first time, this too is a record. Ninety-one entries averaged 250 or better. Twenty-nine of the entries averaged over 260 and did not qualify! Only eleven entries averaged under 220! There was no survey, no request for information, but of the thirty-two qualifiers over a dozen were thirty years of age or younger. Of the qualifiers 5 were Ontarian’s Mike Herbert (290 Q average), Brandon Rogers (278), Mitch Davies (271), and John Degrasia (268). Davies won 4 matches, and Herbert won 2 matches. Three qualifiers were from B.C., Nick Allen(271), Nick Utley (291), and Jordon Schuss (top Q – 299). Saskatchewan won the sweeps for most bowlers qualifying with thirteen. Alberta placed 7 into the top thirty-two and Manitoba bowlers placed 4 into the top thirty-two. Three of the qualifiers took full advantage of each Q shift, entering all three. Who they are will remain secret J. One of Alberta’s hottest bowlers, Mark Johnstone, made it to the 4s before running into Turanski.
Mike Seavers won the consolation (996) also winning the last Q spot, and stretched his winning to the 8’s of the B side. Regina’s Jordan Rachar fresh from YBC finished second in the consolation just 40 pins shy of winning the thirty-second Q spot (951).
Qualifying shift number one was full of statement making. Kevin Clark continued his success in the tournament with a top shift one qualifying 291 average. Saskatoon’s Adam Martin and his simplistic smooth form provided the support for a solid 285 qualifying average. Brad Moens, averaging 284, recaptured the mental and physical skill set that has set him apart from many. Alberta’s teenage bowling phenom Jenn Baker qualified with a 271 average, and made it to the 4s of the B side before losing to eventual champion Schuss.
During the second round of qualifying Saskatoon bowlers Glenn Tarasoff and Julie Bayne qualified in the top 10. The overall leader after all the qualifying was completed was Jordon Schuss of Surrey, BC averaging 299. Had he not rolled 233 in his last game his average for 8 games would have been 310. Saskatoon bowlers qualifying were; Adam Martin (285), Kevin Rak (275), Glenn Tarasoff (273), Julie Bayne (272). Saskatchewan’s best run involved brothers Doug and Kevin Clark, Brad Moens, and Adam Martin all making it to the 8’s of the A or B draw. Notable non qualifiers for 2012 include Crystal Hiibner and Jenn Clark (top 8 finish in 2011), and Cordell Galbecka (champion in 2010).