A field which included five current or former National Champions toed the mat for the Otto Hess tournament. (Otto always claimed everyone spelled his first name backwards, so if I have done the same, sorry ottO). After slogging through a rain drenched morning, the skies cleared and the sun shined on a pair of National Championship qualifiers, Rob Behncke and Jim Grzybowski. They finished in first, beating out veteran Team USA players Bob Schneider and Joe Zinna who finished second. Mark Mathwig, Dat Ngyuen, and Dat’s afternoon substitute Max Cavender came in third. Even with the soaking rain, the greens held their speed nicely. This is a tribute to all the hard work of head greenskeeper Bob Schneider and his crew of assistants.
Unfortunately, one team had to be disqualified for violations of the uniform rules. As you can see, their shirts clearly do not match. Bubbles, the player on the left claims to be Canadian, but he still hasn’t said he’s sorry, so this nationality is highly doubtful, (and there have been rumors that he is overly fixated with kitties). The player on the right says he is a native of the planet earth, but this is also questionable. After all, he admitted that his first name is Weird. The investigation is still in progress. Be on the lookout for these miscreants. They might try to enter a tournament near you.
Jim Grzybowski outlasted veteran Leif Andresen to qualify for the National Championships in the Central Division Singles Playdowns. In the penultimate 21 point game of the playoff, both players were tied at 19 when Jim buried the jack to lie two. Leif’s last bowl went two feet through the head finishing outside Jim’s second shot making Jim the champion. This will be Jim’s first appearance in the National Championships, but certainly not his last.
Jurgen and Rob
Three players from the Central Division traveled to Pittsburg for the Northeast Division Open. The only one to have any success was Rob Behncke. Rob teamed up with well-known Canadian bowler Jurgen Fessler to win the Pairs event. Great job guys, and well done to the NE Division for a great tournament.
Rob & Bob
Bob Schneider and Rob Behncke prevailed in a double elimination tournament to win the 2016 Central Division Pairs playdowns. After a very close contest in game one where they were four shots down with two ends to play and managed to pull out a win, they cruised through the rest of the games undefeated. Carl Landgren and Mark Mathwig finished in second with Jim Gryzbowski and Leif Andresen in third. Anna Witt and Rebecca Nguyen were the women’s champions.
It Was The Best of Times It Was The Worst of Times
Leif looking on in dismay after Bad News Bob has picked the jack cleanly and ended up with three shots for the win.
Two up on the last end and laying three shots in the head with only one enemy bowl to go. Life is good.
Well, lawn bowls is not for the faint of heart.
Brian Schieble & Rob Behncke
Rob Behncke and third year phenom Brian Schieble teamed up to capture the 2016 Central Division Pairs Championship. Giving the winners a strong challenge were the teams of Carl Landgren & Mark Mathwig in second, Bob Schneider & Leif Andresen in third, and Anna Witt & Rebecca Nguyen in fourth.
Tournament participants included Alan and Helen Carmen from Duneden New Zealand. Despite the handicaps of using loaner bowls and playing on a much slower surface than they were used to, they were both very competitive, as you might expect.
The Players (Kiwis on the Right)
Rob & Brian Giving Each Other Pointers
Bob, Rob,& the Potlicker Cup
Despite the stylish hat, Bob Schneider couldn’t deliver on the In N Out burgers. However he and his 2015 US National Championships partner, Rob Behncke, delivered an unprecidented 4th consecutive win in the 2016 Potlicker Cup. The tournament director suggested that instead of engraving their names on the trophy, he could save money by using ditto marks instead. Jim Grzybowski and Leif Andresen finished second in a close and hard fought battle.
Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Skips?
This is a picture of the last end with 14 of 16 bowls delivered. It was taken from the side. The red bowl to the right is directly in front of the jack. In the time honored tradition of lawn bowls, both skips suffered severe verbal abuse after missing the head with their final shots. Over the years, the winners of this tournament have included eight former National Champions. Everyone is welcome to enter, so keep it in mind for next year.
PS: The heads didn’t always look like this. PPS: Usually not a whole lot like this.
While a few division members have been active in gentler climes over the winter, most of us have been polishing our bowls in eager anticipation of warmer weather.
First out of the gate is the Cincinnati Lawnbowling Club Continue reading
Rob, Grant, tournament director Mr. Wong, Aaron, and Matt
Central’s Rob Behncke joined teammates Matt Bauchiero, Grant Shear, and Aaron Zangle to win Gold Continue reading
Steve, Rob, and Ian
Max, Gord, and Jim
The South Central Open is arguably the second most competitive divisional tournament in the USA. It draws top players from Canada as well as the US, and once again, players from the Central Division have have done well. Rob Behncke, on the heels of a victory in the National Championships and of being named to Team USA for China Bowls, finished second in the Championship Flight of the singles. He also teamed up with a couple of very accomplished international veteran the Central Division’s own Steve Nelson and Ian Ho of the SW to finish first in the 4th Flight of the triples. Rob and Steve also finished a very impressive fourth overall in the pairs.
Central members Max and Jim Cavender also competed, teaming up with Canadian veteran Gord Fall in the triples where they finished in second place in the 3rd Flight. Max and Gord again joined up in the pairs to finish first in the 2nd Flight. Max also took first in the 2nd Flight of the singles.