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AMF Mesa - 7/23/17

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Well, yet again we set another record! The continued support from the growing SFT community is pushing the club to further and further heights! We got the most amount entries for a 3 squad standard event! 136 entries in 3 squads is not only a new high, but is also more bowlers then we normally have on the Monday’s of a Major event! Pretty impressive turn out! A big thanks for AMF Mesa for quickly adapting for us and hosting a well ran event. A huge thanks to my wife, better half and absolute trooper Liz who worked her tail off. We normally have 2 check in people during Monday’s of Majors and Liz handled it all by herself with even more entries then a Monday Major. Huge thanks to her!

The players bowled on a very difficult 36ft cheetah oil pattern. I find these shorter patterns that used to be the “easy” sport patterns starting to get a bit interesting. A lot of bowling centers have lane beds that are getting up there in age compared to right when the animal patterns came out. For those that don’t know, one of the biggest contributors to how easy or difficult conditions can be is the lane topography or how flat the lane is. As lane panels age and are used they lose their flatness and when measured with the proper tools start to have a lot more “terrain” to them with hills, valleys etc. Because many centers have older lanes, we are starting to see it more and more often with the “easy” sport patterns like Cheetah, or Boardwalk etc playing much harder. For those that follow the PBA, we saw this same thing just about a month ago, when the best players in the world struggled to average 200 on Cheetah. I think this is another reason why we are seeing urethane bowling balls become popular at the high levels of the sport. They help create some consistency from pair to pair in a bowling center culture that has many centers with pretty used lane panels. However, that is all tournament director theory. Let’s get back to the factual stuff, the results!

The event had 136 entries, 33 cashers, a 1 in 4.1 cash ratio and paid out over $6,000.00 in main and side event prize fund. This was our highest overall payout of any 3 squad tournament EVER! Not only was the main prize fund huge due to the entries, but the players played a lot of brackets and we also had a $500 winner in Momma’s Mystery Score! That is right Todd Wacks all the way from Tucson won $500 with 211! Also congrats to John Jones on being this events Parlay Power player, turning $25 into his $175 quarters final check. Also congrats to Sean Molloy, Josh Molloy, and Rob Sliskovich who all made their first ever SFT AHT quarter finals at this event!

We also want to welcome Ryan Dittmar, Bobby Dittmar, Nate Moser, Kent Thomson, James Roethle, Donald Jones, Will Filips, and Kalen Catozzi to the SFT AHT family! It’s only fitting that even after the events have ran for 5 years now, we set a new record and still have 8 bowlers bowl the event that have never bowled before! Pretty awesome stuff! We hope you all had a good time! Congrats to Kent on winning the parlay and Kalen getting pretty close to advancing in this first event.

The quarter finals were very low scoring. When I looked at the scores that were advancing to the semi-finals, the first thing I thought was “I hope these people haven’t left yet.”. Because the cut ended up being minus, it would be easy for bowlers to just up and leave after bowling poorly. With handicap also being involved, bowling minus normally isn’t so good. However, scoring is relative, and sometimes a score is good and bad. Today, a small minus was pretty good. We had #1 seed Correen Lieber taking on #2 seed Sean Ashley in the A division. In B, we had 16 year old Josh Molloy taking on Jason Tunay and in C Sean Molloy vs Zach Beckett vs  Todd Wacks. All three matches were decided pretty clearly and quickly. In A, Correen was able to stay clean and some open frames cut Sean’s tournament short. In B, Josh Molloy was able to fill enough frames to sneak out Jason Tunay and in C division Zach Beckett showed how hard he has been working on his game with back to back semi-final match appearances and his first title match appearance.

The final match was also decided pretty early, but that wasn’t the interesting part. It was the fact that for the first time EVER we had 2 of the top 3 players NOT in the progressive pot. That combined with how big the payout was due to the big turn out, we had a record high amount of progressive pot money that got paid down to the lower places. Zach got off to the lead pretty quickly and maintained it. Neither Correen or Josh could get anything together to track Zach down and the 17-year-old young man took home his first ever SFT AHT title. 16-year-old Josh came in 2nd and 24 year old Correen in 3rd. You didn’t hear that wrong, the average age in the final match was 19 years old! Nice bowling guys! Since the top 2 players weren’t in progressive, that mean there was a combined $850 that got paid out to others. This ended up making the last cash spot start at $150 and the semi-final spots at $240! Also 3rd place was increased to $500!

Needless to say, it was an incredible event! A lot of records, memories and SFT AHT firsts! We look forward to seeing you all at our next event at Brusnwick Tri-city! See you all there!