Yeah on tough oily shots like that it is really hard to play in the middle of the lane. Those guys who play outside have a big advantage, because as they breakdown the lanes along the 5 board, they can start to move in and let their ball hook off the dry boards they created.
Learning to play straight up 5 could definitely benefit you a lot if you keep bowling tournaments like that.
At least you had fun though! How expensive was it to enter the tournament?