Fort Myers, Florida – Tom Hess knows it and so does everybody else. He’s bowling really good right now and he also happens to like the 40-foot Amleto Monacelli oil pattern.

The Iowa native shot 235, 205, 250, 164, 245, 233, 206 and 258 for 1,796, an average of 224.50, on day one of qualifying at the 2023 PBA50 Fort Myers Lightning Strikes Lanes Classic.

After what he describes as enduring a “huge rollercoaster” during three rounds of qualifying at last week’s the PBA50 The Villages Classic, he appreciates the lower scoring pace as he climbed into the top spot on the leaderboard.

“You have got to make a quality shot and that lends to me normally bowling good,” he said. “I was able to stay patient.”

Any bowler’s patience could have easily been tested after posting a 160 game during an eight-game block, but being that Hess was on the B-squad, he already knew the scores ahead of him and he was confident he would bounce back. He did, but there is one part of his game right now he admits has to get better.

“I need to improve on my spare shooting,” he said. “I missed two more 10-pins; that makes six missed 10-pins in the last two tournaments. That is more than I have missed in my career on this tour.”

Hess is just seven pins ahead of James Campbell and 13 pins ahead of Paul Koehler. Ryan Shafer was the A-squad leader with 1,765 followed by Chris Barnes at 1,760.

Just as Hess posted a lower score in Game 4, so too did Shafer with a 176. Shafer admits he missed the transition. He was able to get back on track after watching what Mark Sullivan was doing on the lanes. He decided to move back on the approach and then lofting came into play.

“I got fooled on this pattern at the World Series of Bowling, playing them wrong for eight games,” Shafer said. “I came in with a new game plan. It worked for the first 10 minutes of practice. Eventually it was closer to what I had envisioned. It just took a little bit to get there.”

The final day of qualifying will begin at 8 a.m. ET Tuesday with B-squad followed by the A-squad at 2:30 p.m. After 16 games of qualifying are complete, the top 40 players will move into the advancers round on Wednesday. All pins will carry forward.

You can watch all of the action on BowlTV.

Top 10 PBA50 Fort Myers Lightning Strikes Lanes Classic standings

  1. Tom Hess, 1,796 (+196)
  2. James Campbell, 1,789 (+189)
  3. Paul Koehler, 1,783 (+183)
  4. Ryan Shafer, 1,765 (+165)
  5. Chris Barnes, 1,760 (+160)
  6. Dino Castillo, 1,751 (+151)
  7. Bryan Goebel, 1,745 (+145)
  8. Pete Weber, 1,740 (+140)
  9. Stephen Pavlinko, 1,737 (+137)
  10. Ron Hurt, 1,736 (+136)

Full standings – PBA50 Lightning Strikes Lanes Classic

For Press Inquiries

[email protected]