Hammer's Bill O'Neill is off to a powerful start this year. Not only did he score record-breaking medals in the Pan-American Confederation competition in Puerto Rico this fall, he earned a third place finish in the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Motor City Open.
The 2005-2006 PBA Rookie of the Year competed against some of the best bowlers on tour, and feels fortunate to be able to compete against them.
“I've been on tour for a few years now and bowling these guys is nothing new to me anymore,” said O'Neill. “They don't scare me the way they used to.”
Held at Thunderbowl in Detroit, MI, the tournament presented a fairly flat pattern with light oil volumes, about four feet longer than most house patterns. The oil ratio was about 2:1, compared to a typical 8:1 house shot. To play defensively, bowlers had to move left fast, and the friction on the lanes was incredible.
His first year on the Hammer team, O'Neill was glad to have the Hot Sauce Pearl in his hands for the first game of the show.
“I was able to move pretty far left, and the Hot Sauce Pearl gave me the most hook to the right without hooking early,” explained O'Neill. “Unfortunately, the second game the lanes got pretty dry and it was hard to stay ahead of the lane changes.”
“Bill's a great competitor, and he's going to have a great future as a winner,” stated Jeff Ussery, Hammer brand manager. “We're glad he's acknowledged that Hammer is the ball that's going to get him there.”
“I plan on dedicating most of November to practicing,” added O'Neill. “I bowled well in Puerto Rico at the PABCON, and then traveled throughout Europe doing clinics and getting some tournament competition in as well. I'm going to keep my game sharp for the World Championships in December.”
Based in Hopkinsville, Kent., Ebonite International is a privately-owned company that currently services bowling centers, distributors and retail outlets both domestically and internationally. The company's consumer product brands include Ebonite, Hammer, Robby's, Columbia 300, Track and Powerhouse™. Its commercial product brand is Ebonite Bowling Center Direct.