Arguably the greatest bowler of all time, Walter Ray Williams Jr. knows what it is like being at the top. He has won a total of 45 times while on the PBA tour, and he had the chance to add to his record number of wins this past Sunday in Reno, Nevada. Walter Ray entered the National Bowling Stadium Championship as the top seed in the televised finals, only having to defeat Patrick Allen in order to get his illustrious 46th title.
Right from the start of the match, Walter Ray found himself trailing Allen, struck on his first three balls to open up the finals. After sparing in the 3rd and 4th frames, Walter Ray faced an 11 pin deficit, as well as a red hot opponent. Allen had defeated three of the hottest bowlers on tour in order to reach the finals, and he knew that he would have to step up his game to hold off the greatest of all time.
Throughout the match, Walter Ray could not carry on the left lane, which had the longest oil pattern used on the PBA tour on it, the Shark. He was forced to settle with spares, as he struck on the right lane, which had the Cheetah pattern on it. The Cheetah was the shortest pattern that the pros face, and it benefited Walter Ray tremendously since he has trouble hooking the ball, which is necessary to combat the Shark pattern.
After doubling in the 8th and 9th frames, Walter Ray closed the gap on Allen, bringing up the possibility of both bowlers striking out for 236. In his first shot in the 10th frame, Allen went high, leaving a 4 pin. After converting the spare and finishing with a strike, all he could do was sit and watch to see if Walter Ray could take the title from him. It was necessary for Walter Ray to get the first strike in the 10th frame, and you better believe he got it. Striking on his second ball would give him the victory, and a 9-spare would result in a tie. As soon as the ball left his hand it looked good. Then, the unthinkable happened. Possibly the greatest bowler of all time got one of the worst breaks in bowling: the 8-10 split. A solid pocket hit, which in most cases would have left only a 10 pin or an 8 pin, happened to leave both. The audience was astonished, as were the announcers, at what just happened. Walter Ray had the title in his grasp, but a bad break caused him to fall short, 225-223. This instance will go down in history as being one of the worst breaks on a bowling telecast ever, next to Randy Peterson’s stone 8 pin in his last ball in the 10th frame. To avoid such incidents, it is advisable to use the top 4 bowling ball cleaners.