Carolyn Estes is a two-time Class WB champion of the Times/Pepsi Classic, but her most memorable finish may have come last year when she missed the cut for the semifinals.
Estes was knotted in a three-way tie with Wanda Ballinger and Angela Hunter after the qualifying rounds. Ballinger won a roll-off and went on to finish fourth in the class.
"I wasn't really prepared like I should have been," Estes said. "I didn't practice like I should."
Rules have changed for the Classic this year, allowing bowlers unlimited re-entries and giving those in a tight spot like Estes, Ballinger and Hunter a chance to improve their scores and avoid similar situations.
Angie Reed rolled a 661 series last year in Class WB. A 664 would've put her in the semifinals.
Reed said allowing keglers to bowl in more than two squads will make things easier on them mentally.
"You're not as pressured if you know you don't have to bowl well on the first try," Reed said. "There's always another tournament time."
Not everyone will take advantage of the new rules, though. Dave Williams rolled a 719 series but missed the Class SB cut by five pins in 2013.
"Twice is enough," Williams said. "If I can't do it in two, I'll come back next year."
Derek Banks has three professional tour wins and is a member of both the Chicagoland USBC and Black Bowlers Halls of Fame. He says the bowlers with his experience and bowling bag will take advantage of the extra opportunities.
"If I have access to that equipment, in the long run I can beat you," Banks said. "Sooner or later you're going to find the right ball."
Banks missed last year's Class B cut by one pin, posting a 703 series.
Ray Allen's 745 series was a pin short of qualifying for the Class A semifinals last year. He's not convinced the rule change will drive up scores as much as it will drive up the pot.
"Each score only counts once," Allen said. "It may boost the scores, it may not. I know the pay out will be more."
Allen admits he will bowl more than twice, though, if he feels like he needs to.