HAMMOND | It's not usual for a score from the opening squad of the opening day of a tournament to qualify for the semifinals a month later, but three bowlers have a shot.
Skip Kobli, Tony Tanet and Ed Janiga each posted impressive scores in the first group of bowlers for the Times/Pepsi Classic at Olympia Lanes Saturday.
Kobli, a senior bowler with a 225 average, notched a 713 series. He said he owes a lot his success to his new Track 916 ball.
"I've been working with (the new ball) and it's got a great, nice even arc to the pocket," Kobli said. "I figured I'd try because there would be a lot of oil."
Kobli struck eight in a row in his second game after a split en route to a 263. He said he'll monitor the scores in Class SA to see if he needs to try a second time to tally a qualifying score. The Highland resident has made the semifinals in the past, but never match play.
"I've been bowling really well," he said. "This is the first time I've ever come on the first day. Obviously, I did okay."
Class B bowler Janiga just wants to have the household bragging rights back. His wife, Diana, was a finalist last year.
"I won't have to listen her anymore (if I qualify)," Janiga said. "I've heard about it all year, so that was a little more incentive."
Janiga bowled a 761 series after handicap, including a prehandicap 289 game in his last game.
"The nervous energy goes up and down," Janiga said. "I just tried to stay relax and let go of the ball like I wanted to."
Tony Tanet had the top Class A score in the first squad with 720. The Hammond native tore his meniscus in 2008 and wants a chance to again be the bowler he was when he took sixth in Class B in 1993.
"Where I have to play, other people can't and where other people play, I can't. You've got to find your area," Tanet said.
Tanet said he tweaked his leg at some point during the day and had to remain more erect while bowling. He doesn't expect his score to be good enough to qualify and hopes to get a day off his job as a steel worker to return.
"Bowling's the only thing I really love in the world," Tanet said. "I'll show up and bowl if I can't stand up."