Typhoon nothing new to PBA’s Pedersen
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Pro bowler Randy Pedersen would have preferred to be on the lanes, or the golf course, than where he found himself on Friday, stuck indoors at Kadena thanks to Typhoon Man-yi.
Still, for the Clermont, Fla., native, such storms are old hat, having survived Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and other storms during his 45 years.
“Being from Florida, this was just like home to me,” Pedersen said on Saturday, just before the start of Kadena’s annual pro-am tournament at Emery Lanes.
The 26-year Professional Bowlers Association veteran arrived Wednesday with fellow PBAer Sean Rush in tow. Hoping to hit the links a few times — Pedersen’s other passion — while on island, the two brought their golf clubs as well as their lane equipment.
But Man-yi threw a pitching wedge into those plans, and the two were forced to stay indoors on Thursday and Friday.
“We had planned on playing golf for three or four days,” Pedersen said. “I have this golf game on my computer, so we played that for about 16 hours.”
Two major differences, Pedersen said, separate Japan typhoons and Florida hurricanes.
“In Florida, we board up the windows and we always lose power,” he said. “Here, we just watched the stuff blowing, watch the rain change direction and we never lost power.”
Was he ever nervous during Man-yi, which pounded Okinawa with 105-mph winds Friday morning?
“At the height of the storm, water came through the windows, the windows started rattling, the door down the hall started banging; I was a little nervous then,” he said.
Rush, on the other hand, experienced such weather for the first time. A 24-year-old, two-year PBA veteran, Rush hails from Wichita, Kan., and said he’s never even seen a tornado.
“I’ve been lucky,” said Rush. “I’ve never seen anything like that (Man-yi).”
The two went for a drive around the island looking for an open driving range earlier Saturday ... and they found one demolished by the storm.
“Two-thirds of the framing that hold up the nets was torn apart and down. And a car was crushed underneath it,” Pedersen said.
Despite all that, Pedersen and Rush each said they were glad to make the trip to Okinawa.
Besides the pro-am tournament, the two conducted a clinic for children on Sunday. Their visit ends Monday with a clinic for adults, scheduled from 5-9 p.m. at Emery Lanes.