Some personal opinions, comments and observations of the 2007 USBC Masters



    By Joe Lyou a.k.a Tenpin Slants

    2007BowlExpoJoeLyou.jpgSean Rash deserved to win the Masters, being the top seed for the TV stepladder finals. The personable 25-year-old Wichita State graduate, who now owns four Denny's Professional Bowlers Assn. titles, recorded his first major triumph, good for $100,000. Amazingly, Rash is still undefeated (7-0) in televised matches. The tall (6-1), handsome right-hander is exciting to watch. He has all the tools to be one of the PBA's most popular stars. And yes, ladies, he's a bachelor.

    Walter Ray Williams Jr., who is already rich, is a lot richer now, thanks to that Denny's TV commercial. Walter Ray collects a residual every time the commercial is played…and it was shown no less than 10 times during the Masters.

    TV analyst Randy Pedersen also collects residuals, for he does the voice-over at the end of the commercial: "Oh, he left it open. Tough break! He won't let that happen again." No, Walter Ray did not miss a 10 pin. While eating breakfast—at Denny's, of course—he dropped a forkful of scrambled eggs.

    When bowlers and bowling fans are trying to decide where to go out for a good meal, they would be smart to head for the nearest Denny's, the PBA Tour's biggest sponsor. And no, Denny's did not pay me for this plug.

    I didn't care for Walter Ray's new lightened hair color and his Fuller Brush moustache. Reminds me of Groucho Marx. In the Denny's commercial, Walter Ray's hair is much darker and his moustache is trimmer.

    Steve Jaros, the Masters runner-up, looks a little naked without his customary moustache. I thought the 45-year-old right-hander, who started with games of 279 and 290, was going to blow out Sean Rash in the title match. But Rash came through when it counted, going off the sheet with seven straight strikes and putting the hammer on his young opponent. Final score: 268-245.

    It was great to see Carolyn Dorin-Ballard doing the sideline interviews on TV, rather than a non-bowler. CDB did a fine job, and why shouldn't she? Carolyn majored in communications when she was a star bowler at West Texas State University.

    Rob Stone, who replaced Dave Ryan as ESPN's bowling announcer, showed his lack of tenpin knowledge by making a few boo-boo's. Once, he referred to the headpin as the "one pin." Stone's natural enthusiasm is a plus, however, for he sounded as if he actually enjoys announcing the PBA TV finals.

    Personally, I prefer the Hall of Fame duo of Nelson (Bo) Burton and Marshall Holman, who did a whale of a job announcing the recent U.S. Women's Open. They work great together.

    The USBC should be commended for going through the trouble and expense of staging the Masters championship round at Miller Park, "Home of the Milwaukee Brewers," but… The estimated throng of 5,000—I hesitate to use the word "crowd"—looked lost in the vast stadium. It only emphasized the difference in the drawing power of baseball compared to bowling.

    I thought it was nice to have Denny's PBA Tour back on the tube for the 2007-2008 season. But it will be even nicer to watch the fairer sex in action in the four PBA Women's Series tournaments. Perhaps, some day, the series will blossom into a full-fledged PWBA (Professional Women's Bowling Assn.) Tour again.