The cut for the 6-game preliminary round in the Southside Pop Whitten Tour in May was 866. One of the amazing stories relating to the 'cut score' is that one of the loyal supporters of the Pop Whitten event, Ralph Adkinson, rolled an impressive 893 block total. What's special about this, you might ask? I'm glad you asked...
Adkinson lives in Florida, and has been residing there for the past few years now. There are no duckpins in Florida, but Ralph loves the duckpin game and the PWPT tour, and when his work schedule allows it, he'll make the trip up to the Maryland area to bowl. Given the fact that Adkinson only bowls duckpins when he travels to a Pop Whitten event, it's especially amazing that his game remains sharp enough to make cuts. And this wasn't the first time he's accomplished this. In the summer of 2010, Ralph made the cut at White Oak and went 3-2 in his division as part of a 3-way tie for the division lead, but a mammoth effort of 829 from Richie Schmidt took top honors on that day for a berth on the stepladder. One month prior, Ralph also traveled to participate in the PWPT stop at Pinland and narrowly missed the cut by 3 pins. Given the fact that Pinland, White Oak, and Southside were the only 3 events in which Adkinson competed during this current PWPT bowling year, his success rate is phenomenal.
Adkinson says that in preparation for a PWPT event, he'll come up a day early, meeting one of his friends from the tour, Julio Feliciano, and they'll typically bowl 2 games of practice at AMF College Park. Ralph says that Julio usually 'smokes' him during these 2 games, but afterward at the PWPT event, his game seems to kick into high gear. Perhaps Adkinson is just a 'natural' at the game of duckpins, or maybe it's an extreme case of muscle memory. Several years ago when Ralph was living in the Maryland area, he was extremely active in the duckpin game. During one stretch in his bowling career, Ralph bowled at least one sanctioned league/tournament set in an incredible 75 consecutive calendar days! This included subbing duties and tournament appearances in addition to his regular league schedule. When asked to reflect on this astounding streak, Adkinson, who is not one to ride on his own coattails, had only this reply: "Back then, I thought I was bowling a lot of games—about 650 in that season, but that was nothing compared to Eddie Darling. When I found out that Eddie rolled over 1,100 games that same year, it blew my mind! It was unbelievable!!"
But not only does Ralph make cuts, he's also an impact player. In the recent event at Southside, Adkinson won his match in the 5th game of divisional play, 174-173 over one of Hagerstown's best bowlers, Andy Huffman. The victory by Ralph kept Andy, who had the highest pinfall total of anyone on Sunday (800), out of the stepladder finals.
It's a pretty safe bet that if Ralph Adkinson were still living in the Maryland area, where he could enter more than just a few of the PWPT stops, he'd have quite a few more championships under his belt.
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