7/21 – I’m ready to do this again. As I sit in my hotel room just outside of Columbus, it’s time to reflect on a few things before the whirl wind of the next few days. Today was practice day for the US Open. There is a certain surreal feeling to this. Courtney Parenteau is competing on the largest stage she has attempted up to this point. Sure, after a very solid collegiate career, bowling locally in NEBA against a strong field, and bowling tournaments like Queens and Team Trials she is certainly ready for such a step. I’ve watched her mature as a bowler over the past few years and her progress in that area is impressive. I think it’s all that background and the experiences they represent that have her very calm and focused going into the first day of competition tomorrow. To say I’m proud of her would sound trite and probably and understatement. I’ve been there every step of the way helping her along and I know very well the road she has traveled to get her to this point. She has come so far and still has not reached her ceiling in this sport. I’m hopeful and confident she will do well this week and am looking forward to watching her and helping where I can.
So, as I mentioned today was practice day. The tournament is being contested on the 2013 US Open Pattern and consists of three blocks of 8 games each. Each day will be in a different house. Todays practice sessions were 2 hours long with one block in each house on the tournament shot. Courtney’s first block will be tomorrow at 4pm. I’m not sure how long the block will take, I’m guessing in the vicinity of 4 hours.
As we assumed the pattern plays pretty closely in each house, there are no drastic changes. I guess that’s a good thing. We did notice that the pattern played tighter as the day went on. That’s likely not due to the characteristics of each house but, more than likely due to the pattern being applied several times. The memory from the house shot is starting to fade. In speaking with Bob Learn, Jr. today we both recognized this and Bob remarked the pattern will likely play tougher as the week progresses. Courtney and I talked through that a little bit and feel we’re ready to handle that situation. In terms of the practice session, it went well. Courtney was has a look with several balls and knows her current equipment well. Early in the day she was using her C-System Versa Max quite a bit along with her Aura. Her Orange and Blue Misfit looked pretty good too. She got the opportunity to see some of the transition as well and was able to adjust well to it. Once the last block got under way, we noticed the Aura was laboring a little. The Aura Paranormal however, was the right ball. At the end of the session she was back on the Aura and Versa Max.
We did have one mishap, during the first block she reached into her bag to grab a ball and broke the fingernail on her pinky finger. It bled for a while and is pretty sore but, not to the point where it interferes with her ability to roll the ball effectively. She is going to take advantage of the late block tomorrow and get some needed rest. After the long drive Saturday and right into practice starting at 8am this morning, she is exhausted.
Here is a picture of Courtney’s pinky finger showing where her nail broke.