As many of you know, BowlsUSA’s National Championships take place next week in Sun City, FL. Representatives from each of the seven divisions face one another in a true Champion of Champions tournament to determine the finest in our sport.
But did you know just how grand Berkeley’s presence will be during this prestigious event? As a result of having won the PIMD Playdowns earlier this year, Annie Brillhart (Women’s Singles), JIm Corr (Men’s Singles), and dual-member Frankie Napoli (Men’s Pairs) will be carrying the BLBC banner throughout the week.
This is a big deal! Put it in the following perspective: There are only four separate categories in the Nationals and we have members in THREE of them. Not convinced? How about this then: PIMD is sending six players from among its eleven clubs and HALF of them have lockers on Acton Street. Our Club has every reason to be proud.
Annie, JIm, and Frankie, as you pack for your flights to Florida this Saturday and prepare for your first game on Wednesday morning, know there’s a huge team pulling for you back home. Best of luck from everyone at BLBC!
And, more from our Facebook page on 10/31/2023 … Ann Brillhart and Jim Corr are headed to Nationals! We hope you bring us back a couple of trophies.
An unseasonably gray and chilly Saturday saw 14 players compete for the 2023 4-Bowl Singles title on a fast-running green. And the markers and small band of spectators saw some fine bowling and closely contested matches.
The format provided for a preliminary round of three matches played to first to 15 points, followed by the top two players from that stage battling it out in a first to 18 points Final.
At the end of the set of three matches, Jim Corr emerged in first place after defeating Bernie Chan, Daniel Gorelick (the latter in a down-to-the wire 15-14 victory) and Hugo Deaux. Meanwhile, Robin Hoey was also on 3 wins—over Jim Audas, Luis Zapata, and Phil Grattan—but had to await the outcome of the match between Ian Cameron and Bernie Chan. Ian went into that game with two wins (beating Annie Brillhart and Bing Burns along the way). A win by any margin would give Ian the advantage over Rob based on differential, but it turned out to be a nail biter. He and Bernie went toe-to-toe until tying at 14 each. With Bernie holding three shots, Ian snuck in with his last bowl to take the point and the game, edging Rob out of the Final by the margin of that one point.
The matchup for the Championship game was a repeat of the 2018 4-Bowl Singles Final in which Ian (then still a novice) had defeated Jim by a solitary point. He looked like handily repeating that win by jumping into a 13-5 lead. But after a short “bathroom break,” Jim returned to the field and bit by bit fought his way back into the match. Whether it was the break that broke the momentum, or his tactic of playing longer jacks than had been seen hitherto, or the “curse of 13” falling on Ian, Jim did not concede another point and worked his way steadily to an 18-13 victory.
Thanks go out to all those who assisted, especially our wonderful greeenskeeping team, the markers who gave up a part of their Saturday to keep the games flowing nicely, and to Sarah Allday and the hospitality crew for providing vittles.
Our Wednesday evening Summer League came to an end last night after 7 weeks of keen competition. You will recall (or not!) that the format was 12-end Pairs games with separate round robin sections for Skips and Leads—i.e., each Skip played once against each other Skip and each Lead once against each other Lead. Unfortunately, the parameters did not allow us to arrange that each Lead played with or against each Skip only once, so there was some doubling or tripling of those combinations. That said, it was a fun event and a nice way to pass a summer evening. And in the end, as shown in the attachment, the winners were:
Skips—Cris Benton in 1st Place (with an impeccable 7 wins out of 7), Glenn Nunez 2nd Place, and Mo Shooer 3rd Place (just edging out Hugo Deaux). On the Leads’ side, Lennon Hamilton took 1st Place, aided by a victory against Cindy Moss on the final evening, who emerged 2nd, with Judy Hillyer coming up 3rd, by almost the narrowest possible margin ever. She and Gordon Beveridge were tied on win/loss points, tied on differential (points scored minus points ceded), and Judy won through the ratio of points scored to points ceded—a mere 2/1000th of a point!
Thanks to all the participants and those who participated as subs when needed due to absences. And to Cathy Dinnean for arranging snacks and drinks to round of the final week.
As most of you know, this past Saturday saw our club host the annual Tunnel Challenge with our good friends – and worthy opponents – from Rossmoor LBC. Long-standing travel plans prevented BLBC’s Tournament Director from coordinating the event, but Jim confidently handed the reins to Cindy, who (if I do say so myself) acquitted herself admirably. Thanks to a crew of capable volunteers on all fronts, everything went off without a hitch.
Six teams of three bowlers from each club faced off in two 14 end matches. After a couple of routs and a couple of nail-biters, Berkeley’s squad found itself up 5-1 when the morning’s dust settled. A leisurely lunch preceded another set of games in the afternoon. The home team wasn’t about to squander its commanding lead and wound up repeating the morning’s result to handily secure victory. Once the engravers have etched “2023 BERKELEY” on the plaque, you’ll see it proudly displayed on our clubhouse walls for the first of what we hope will be many consecutive years.
Check out the pictures of everyone surrounding Aika holding the trophy and yours truly making sure Rossmoor’s President doesn’t abscond with it!
“… and Annie makes two!” BLBC Pres. Glenn Nunez to BLBCers on 7/10/2023:
We’ve all known that Annie Brillhart has made a business of taking care OF the green, but she’s also quite capable of taking care of business ON the green as well.
Yesterday, Annie carried BLBC’s flag to San Francisco for the PIMD Women’s Singles Playdowns to determine its representative for the 2023 U.S. National Championships. It was a one-day, round-robin, winner-take-all event and Annie’sfirst game was, as they say, “a real nail biter.” She quickly found herself down 7-0 to the eventual runner-up before rallying to an even position a dozen points in. From there the two women traded winning shots until they came to the ultimate end tied 17-17. That’s where Annie, in her own words, “snuck one on the jack” and then waited nervously to see if it would hold for the victory. It did. A couple of observers remarked that it was among the best games they’d ever witnessed. Annie then handily won her final two matches, emerging as the day’s only undefeated competitor and punching her ticket to Florida.
With Jim Corr’s matching honors from last month’s Men’s Playdowns, BLBC can now proudly lay claim to having BOTH of our division’s singles participants in this fall’s prestigious event in Florida. Annie and Jim are superb bowlers and we’re extremely pleased for – and proud of – both of them!
Congratulations, Annie. You’ve put in the work over the years, so you’ve earned this reward. Best of luck in Sun City!
“Jim Corr is going to Florida!” BLBC Pres. Glenn Nunez to BLBCers on 6/11/2023:
I just got word from my inside sources at Rossmoor that our very own Jim Corr has won the Men’s Singles section of the PIMD Playdowns and will be representing our division at this year’s U.S. National Championships in Sun City, Florida from October 29th to November 4th. Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club could not be any prouder!
This event started last weekend, as fourteen entrants were whittled down to the six who would come back yesterday to begin a two-day, five-match round robin. Jim took care of business Saturday, winning all three of his 21 point matches. He dropped his first match this morning, but came back to win his second with a few points to spare. A nail-biting wait followed as he watched the remaining two bowlers battle to a 19-19 deadlock before everything fell the right way on their final end, guaranteeing that our hero would be the only competitor to wind up four and one over the two days. Jim had booked his ticket!
Those of you who have watched Jim over the past several years know this is no fluke. Even after all his experience, he continues to practice and work hard on the physical aspects of his game. On the equally important mental side, he’s always thinking about the nuances of each situation he finds himself facing, weighing the pros and cons of every shot selection. His even temper serves him well, as he never gets overconfident while simultaneously never beating himself up should things go awry. If you’re looking for someone to emulate on the green, here’s your man.
Jim, we’re all extremely happy for you. Best of luck in Florida.