In the 2017 National Championships, the Central Division acquitted itself admirably. The men’s pairs team of Jim Grzybowski and Leif Andresen finished in a four way tie for first place before losing by one shot in a playoff to Steve Smith and Bill Brault, the eventual champions. Rob Behncke, the men’s singles entry, started off with three straight wins but unfortunately couldn’t maintain his momentum and finished up in the
middle of the pack.
The women’s pairs team of Anna Witt and Rebecca Nguyen came in second place with a strong performance. Rosa Baer the singles entrant finishing in third place. Rosa was handicapped by not having a nearby home green on which to practice, as well as becoming ill early on. All of these ladies are former national champions.
The Central Division probably has the shortest playing season of any of the US divisions, with maybe six months of good bowling weather. Yet it was, and still is, the home of some great bowlers who have excelled nationally and internationally over the years. Playing against these strong bowlers, as well as having to cope with constantly changing conditions in weather and green speed, have worked well so far in producing highly competitive bowlers.
Two guys who recently defected from the Central Division to spend their winters in the south (aka whimps) proudly wore their Central Division green at the US Open. Steve Nelson and John Kirkwood defeated some extremely strong teams before losing the last game on day one to go into the the second flight. On day two they made it all the way to the finals before finishing in second place. Way to go green guys! We all know it’s not easy being green.