Tuesday, April 24, 2007


There is nothing more nervous than sitting in the players room waiting for your match.The players all look calm but each one of us knows that we are about to play only 2 games and anything can happen.Thoughts of all the bad things that can go wrong start running through your mind..... Your palms start to drip with sweat and your heart races so fast nothing really feels real.You congratulate your mate for winning his/her match or express your sadness for them losing as you walk passed them down the hall, knowing in 5 minutes time its going to be you who is congratulated or consoled.The announcement for your name to make your way down to the lane happens and then BANG!The nerves are gone and it feels like your watching the show rather than staring in it.The match is a blur and really can’t remember much of it, but you know the result.A big fat W next to my name, sweet, but hang on, I have to go through all those pre game feelings again???Each match doesn’t get any easier, you watch each player bowl and see how good they really are and see how high they can score.What happens if I can’t find a line??? I could get beat on World Wide TV by over 100?? Those thoughts come back and the palms get sweaty again.With each round more and more pictures are taking from the crowd, more and more autographs need sighing and you start to feel like a pro golfer I have never realized that bowling does get so much respect from those who love the game!!!!!!!The players room has mixed emotions with every match, some lucky to be alive and they know it, others feel ripped off and want there shot at the title they feel they deserve. but at the end of the day we are all in the same bar, all buying each other drinks all laughing together, that’s what makes bowling better than any sport in the world!How do you beat a pro???Nothing beats playing a PRO. and Chris Barnes is not just any pro. Countless titles as an amateur and then to make a name for yourself on tour and win what he has won, respect from the players just oozes out of him.Before my match with Chris he walked up to me and said " No matter what happens on this lane tonight between us, let me just say that I think you are amazing and if I lose, I would want it to be to no other"WOW, the guy is bloody cool!Not only is he one of the greatest players in the world, but a great guy too. Beating him just got even harder!The match is over so quickly and all I can remember is after I threw the winning shot I fell to the approach exhausted. He took every ounce of energy out. He shook my hand, let in and said you will be one of the best ever......WOW how and what do you reply with that other than.......Hmmm cheers mate. That match is something ill never forget, not because I won, but because it taught me that things can happen to you if you want them to happen.The final match........What were the odds??? If someone had of told me I would shoot 524 in the final and my opponent was not going to spare, would I take the score???I would take it in a heart beat....Paul said the same thing too after!566-524!!!!!!!!The most fun I have ever had bowling, the crowd were so energetic and every shot felt like the roof was coming off.I can’t tell you what I did, or why I struck 23/24, what I can tell you though every shot I threw, I threw it like it would be my last.The 2nd 300 on TV in my career and it will be the luckiest 300 you have ever seen!!!I won’t give too much away, but I know you will love the 11th when you see it!!! I DID!The 12th though..... As soon as I let it go I screamed ITS GOOD and before the ball hit the 45ft down the lane I yelled WHOO HOOOOOO....I knew it off the hands!!!!!!!The crowd went wild and Paul, like the gentleman he is was the first guy to shake my hand and congratulate me.The 2nd game is a little bit of a blur, I remember leaving the 4-9 and that’s it! Funny how sometimes you remember the bad shots more prominently!!!!!I am the 2007 World Masters Champ..... and im proud of it. My bowling idol (the Frawls) told me to go one better than him and I didn’t want to let him down!Messages from my family and friends came in as soon as the last shot was thrown and some of the things said nearly brought a tear to my eye. To have the support from a country that is a million miles away makes this Aussie boy proud to say he is Australian.Calling Kimberly (my FiancĂ©) mum and dad and my sister was just as exciting as winning. Screaming down the phone line that you are the winner will never get boring!!This years Masters was the most exciting one I have ever been too, not because I won, but because each match had a script you couldn’t write better if you tried!!Bowling is alive and well, sometimes you just need to have a closer look!Jason Belmonte

No comments: