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Bowling Senior Tour - Champions Q&A Part 3 continues presenting Editorial articles by featuring interviews with Senior Pro Tour Champions recently competing at the South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas in the 2013 USBC Senior Masters Tournament.

While in Las Vegas recently to cover the Senior USBC Masters Tournament, I had a chance to catch up with four select PBA Champions and ask each the same three questions separate from one another. This article is the 3rd in a three Part Series where the four Champion Bowlers are asked a question separately, the same question, with all four responses appearing below.

Although it was very tempting to only interview the most select “Star Players” on the tour for these interviews such as eventual Senior Masters Champion, Pete Weber. I thought perhaps asking other select players with well-rounded bowling careers might serve us best in getting thoughtful and insightful answers to these questions which might lead readers to some very useful information.

The four Champions selected were Ron Winger, Barry Asher, John Petraglia, and Randy Pedersen.

Ron Winger, 5 time PBA Senior Tour Champion, was chosen because of his 50 plus years as a competitive professional bowler and because he is likely the most productive Senior Player over the age 70 today.

Barry Asher, a 10 time PBA Tour Titleist and PBA Hall of Fame Player, was selected because he was regarded as one of the best pure players the game has known and because he is active in the industry today as a proprietor of a full-service Pro Shop in Fountain Valley, California.

John Petraglia, a PBA Hall of Fame Player, was selected because of his impressive longevity and he has been a former multiple-time President of the PBA, has 14 career PBA National Titles plus several Senior Tour titles to his credit, has won the Triple Crown of Bowling, and is the only man in history to win PBA Titles in six decades.

Randy Pedersen was chosen because he has insight into the game from two perspectives, as a PBA Hall of Fame Player and a Champion on the Senior Tour in addition to being the TV Analyst for ESPN on PBA Tour Telecasts.

All four players were asked the same three questions as previously indicated. The 3rd question I asked each player is as follows:

“When is it time to change bowling balls during a tournament and not rely only on a release, speed, loft, and angle changes?”

Here are the four responses to this question:

Winger - “When you lose the ability to hit the pocket, you must change bowling balls. Changing bowling balls can also be a carry adjustment so long as the ball reaction does not cause you to lose the pocket. Hitting the pocket is first and foremost.”

Asher - “When you lose the pocket and lose carry, it is time to change bowling balls. It is as simple as that. You cannot out-bowl a bad ball reaction.”

Petraglia - “Do not wait too long to change bowling balls when you lose the ability to hit the pocket or get the desired ball reaction you want. Don’t die a slow death, so to speak - change balls quickly when needed.”

Pedersen - “When your ball reaction is all over the place and you lose good carry when you do hit the pocket, change bowling balls.”

These four Champions all refer to changing bowling balls as quickly as needed when you no longer hit the pocket consistently. When the lanes change and the oil carry down the lane and breaks down on the front end, you typically will need a ball change. Our Champions all state that changing bowling balls when you lose the pocket and lose good pin carry must occur or you will no longer be able to overcome the lane condition.

One thing the Champions know is that it is not necessary to bring eight bowling balls to the starting lanes but rather narrow the number of balls to perhaps three or four, including a ball to shoot spares with, when preparing for the first game in competition.

By practicing on the tournament lanes, the players can reduce the number of bowling ball options to a doable number and then focus on bowling well and playing the lanes intelligently.

John Petraglia commented to me separately on a separate topic that he feels Bowling is the best sport on the planet for the same reason some people knock the sport - fairness to everyone. A physically small person at perhaps 5’2” can bowl as well as a strong person at 6’2”, male or female. Anyone can win in a one game match.

Judging from the collective responses these fine players gave us to three questions posed in this series, we learn that they tend to reduce their reasoning to simple, short, and direct points and think the same way in competition.

The Champions do not want a million thoughts to clutter their minds during competition. They all believe in preparation and in relying on the keys which made them successful.

We can all learn from these Champions. It is a simple matter of and developing our skills to maximize our potential, use what we learn, and trust what we know, in competition.

Hopefully you have enjoyed this article series and it serves you well?

Thank you.

Rich Carrubba

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