Hammer's Onyx Vibe was the real rock star of the PBA Shark Championship, televised yesterday on ESPN, but Mike Fagan and Kelly Kulick both agree that the Vibe was the best choice for the day.
“With the older lane surface, it was hard to get the ball to retain energy,” said Fagan. “The Onyx Vibe was the cleanest ball through the front and the strongest down the lane.”
“It allowed me to control the pocket,” Kulick agreed.
The Shark pattern, particularly on the older lane surfaces they faced, requires a great deal of accuracy and consistency. Because of the way the oil lays on the lane, it is difficult to find a solid line to the pocket. Creating a path to the pocket can only be done with ball choice, ball roll and ball speed ” leaving it up to the bowler to get it right.
Both bowlers agreed that the Vibe was best on the fresh oil surfaces, and Fagan even used two different Onyx Vibes.
“I had to go to a different Onyx Vibe in the title match because the surface tore all the polish off the original one,” explained Fagan. “There were a couple more games, and time under the lights, so I knew I would need fresh polish and a weaker pin.”
Fagan eventually lost in his match against Jack Jurek, in a one-ball sudden-death shootout, but is gaining comfort competing on television.
“I know that I can win when I get there,” said Fagan. “I have been working on facets of my game that need work and I've also been on a workout regimen that includes a lot of cardio, leg strengthening, and core exercises. Mentally I feel confident I am just going to work hard and the results will come.”
Kulick won in the final against Carolyn Dorin-Ballard. Her plan is to continue competing in the few PBA Women's Series events left, and to also continue working at her game.
“With the future of ladies professional bowling undecided,” said Kulick, “I will teach clinics and educate those willing to learn more about the game of bowling.”
Regardless, both bowlers are obviously going to remain competitive, and at the top of their game.
“Hammer Bowling is proud to be a part of Kelly and Mike's success,” said Jeff Ussery, Hammer Brand Manager. “We hope they continue to choose the right Hammer balls to be successful.”
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.