Fingernail Tension

by Bob Johnson 0

Fingernails were bitten almost down to the bone for many watching the four games of stage 2 of the 2012 Brunswick Italia Challenge final, the meeting of the top ten qualifiers playing with those fortunate enough to qualify from the four games of stage

Chris Loschetter


Odds were in favor of leading qualifier Stuart Williams of England but he failed to continue his run of big games so is no longer taking part in the proceedings. Neither is another fancied kegler from Sweden, Martin Larsen, although his Pergamon team-mate, left-hander Peter Ljung bowled well to make the cut.

Three American pro bowlers, Chris Loschetter, Ryan Ciminelli and Sean Rash took the 1-2-3 positions when the heat of battle had dissipated and Dominic Barrett of England, three-time Bowler of the Year slotted neatly into fourth. Last night's wunderkid, Ronnie Russell, the defending champion, took fifth spot.

So with five of the ten spots filled, who of the remaining group would be good enough to compete for the 2012 title?
'Twas a fair tussle to get into those five spots and eventually a quintet from four countries made the grade, headed by Sweden's leftie Peter Ljung, just ahead of another southpaw, Paul Moor. Places seven to ten went to Daniel Vezis, Erik Marrone and Petteri Salonen, England, Italy and Finland respectively.

Chris Loschetter, last year's finalist, was certainly pleased with today's performance. "I've struggled pretty badly over the past couple of days," he told us. "I had trouble sleeping last night, so I used that time to think about my new strategy today and so far it seems to be doing what I want. Today I used a lot more loft and tried to play a bit straighter. I'm not playing down and in but around 10-11-12. I've been having trouble getting carry, so I decided to stay right today.

"I was using a really strong ball. It seemed the other guys were having more trouble with carry-down but because I was lofting the ball I didn't see that quite as badly.

"I stayed with the same ball. I was lucky enough in the first squad this morning to experiment a little bit and I realized that moving left was not going to be the answer so this time I was firm with my commitment to stay with the same ball and it held up pretty well. It was the Brunswick doube X Nexus, the red one."

Our leading group of ten will take to the lanes at 15:30, CT, for a nine-game round robin. There will not be a stepladder final this year. Pins from the four games of stage 2 will be carried forward and 20 points will be added for a win and a further ten points for games over 250.


1. Loschetter, Chris USA M 258 258 227 256 0 999 R
2. Ciminelli, Ryan USA M 200 279 255 206 0 940 L
3. Rash, Sean USA M 269 224 190 254 0 937 R
4. Barrett, Dominic ENG M 268 209 228 226 0 931 R
5. Russell, Ronnie USA M 222 205 278 215 0 920 R
6. Ljung, Peter SWE M 264 203 201 217 0 885 L
7. Moor, Paul ENG M 193 258 186 247 0 884 L
8. Vezis, Daniel ENG M 211 233 199 232 0 875 L
9. Marrone, Erik ITA M 247 234 183 186 0 850 L
10. Salonen, Petteri FIN M 259 205 190 194 0 848 R
11. Zucchinelli, Enzo ITA M 183 205 233 212 0 833 R
12. Loos, Michael AUT M 190 201 226 211 0 828 R
13. Stott Jnr, Paul IRL M 216 216 222 169 0 823 R
14. Pirozzi, Massimo ITA M 205 203 195 214 0 817 R
15. Valenta, Brian USA M 223 207 193 191 0 814 R
16. Williams, Stuart ENG M 211 160 222 213 0 806 R
17. Olsson, Mattias SWE M 214 203 194 190 0 801 L
18. Berges, Mathieu SUI M 224 226 171 174 0 795 R
19. Suslov, Andrey RUS M 235 200 185 169 0 789 R
20. Wetterberg, Mattias SWE M 209 180 177 222 0 788 R
21. Larsen, Martin SWE M 186 181 177 197 0 741 R
22. Ponti, Francesco ITA M 171 179 188 202 0 740 R
23. Andersson, Kim SWE M 194 225 139 156 0 714 R
24. Maddaloni, Domenico ITA M 195 169 134 167 0 665 R


Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

BJI Subscribe Now