By Michael Cousins
Today, I want to go back to last week’s US Open and talk a little more about the parity within the event.
All week during qualifying, all I heard was “you have to loft it 15 feet,” or “you have to throw it 20mph,” and, my personal favorite: “this completely favors the two-handers.”
Well, now that the tournament is over and we’ve seen the top 24, the stepladder finals, and the winner, all of these baseless assumptions seem a tad outrageous, no?
The top 24 had everything. Bowlers of all styles. Righties that hook it, righties that throw it straight, lefties that hook it, lefties that throw it straight, two-handers, and everything in between.
And the stepladder was no different. Three lefties with totally different games, a right hander that typically throws it relatively straight nowadays, and a right hander than can get in and hook it with the best of them.
If we’re going to continually ridicule and bash Chad Murphy and the USBC every time they do something “wrong,” I think it’s only right to acknowledge when they do something right.
And there’s no doubt that the US Open was done right.
I still understand the other side’s argument against the double burn. It is a very controversial topic amongst those who bowled, but despite that, look at the top 24. Look at the variety within it.
The 24 best bowlers from that week made the top 24. The 5 best bowlers of the week made the stepladder. And none of that was because of the double burn squad.
It was because the USBC put out a pattern that rewarded shot making and spare shooting. It allowed for a variety of angles; it allowed for a variety of styles.
I commend what the USBC and Mr. Murphy did this year. And I’m looking forward to see what’s in store next year.
Personally, I’d like to see a few more invites, as there were a lot of great bowlers that weren’t able to compete this week. I’d like to see the double burn squad go away, and not because I think it’s “unfair,” but, rather, just because I’d like to see the excuse eliminated.
I have no idea if these will happen. Nor do I know if the USBC even wants them to happen. These are just my opinion. What are yours? In the comments below, tell us what changes you’d like to see made to next year’s US Open.