Mental strength helps champ to tenpin career high

Kolora tenpin bowler Scott Dennis and Warrnambool’s Trish Beasley celebrate.

Kolora tenpin bowler Scott Dennis and Warrnambool’s Trish Beasley celebrate.

KOLORA tenpin bowler Scott Dennis says improving his mental strength was behind the biggest achievement of his career.

Dennis is the new Warrnambool Tenpin Bowling Association open masters’ tournament champion after eclipsing nine rivals at the Timor Street lanes.

The 39-year-old, who bowled as a junior and rediscovered the sport in 2000, finished with a score of 2276 from 10 games on Sunday. He edged out four-time defending champion David Altmann, who finished with 2262. Shane Griffiths was third with 2148.

Bowlers’ scores are made up of their pinfall over the day plus 20 bonus points every time they beat an opponent. Dennis knocked over fewer pins than Altmann and Griffiths but won nine of his 10 games, earning him 180 bonus points.

He was 35 points behind Altmann heading into his 10th game — a positional play-off between the two — and rose into top spot by winning 202 to 173.

“It’s a big deal for me because I think it’s a hard tournament to win,” he said. “There are some real quality bowlers in Warrnambool at the moment at the top end. It’s something special and something I’ll hold on to.”

Dennis said the commitment had helped improve his mental strength. “Now I’m more based on the process and the shot at hand,” he said. “There were four games where I was behind halfway through the game and not looking likely for a win,” he said. “And I started to string strikes together which put pressure on the opponent. They could see me coming.”

Dennis was one of two pin rattlers celebrating open masters’ tournament success. 

Warrnambool’s Trish Beasley took the women’s honours. Beasley finished with 1970 points, ahead of Tennille Scott, 1918, and Rebecca Dixon, 1845. She trailed Scott by 11 leading into their position play-off but took the overall honours courtesy of winning 212-169.

The success marked back-to-back titles for 54-year-old Beasley, a 30-year veteran of the sport who also won four in a row between 2007 and 2010.

Beasley said she “bowled garbage” early in the tournament before finding her rhythm the longer the day went on. “It took me to game eight to get a 200, which is not normal. My average is 180 and I finished with 179, so I bowled under my average.”

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