Bowlero Mesa - 8/29/21


Our event this weekend was at Bowlero Mesa and even we had a pretty good turnout.  We had 116 total entries (78 qualifying and 38 economy parlay), with 28 cashers a 1 in 4.14 cash ratio, paying out over $7,200.00 in main and side event prizes! The players bowled on the 38ft Atlanta pattern that proved to be very difficult. The cut scores were all very low being around +20, which means the players just needed to bowl near their average for series to advance. The pattern did allow for players to play a variety of angles though and the key for the day was minimizing mistakes and making spares!

For the first time, in a long while, we didn’t have any new members for this tournament.   While we didn’t have any new members this weekend, we did have one Parlay Power Player in Chris Strehl!  Chris made it to the quarterfinals off his $25 Economy Parlay entry.  It just shows you how difficult the oil pattern was this weekend.  We want to congratulate Ernie Mendoza, Thayne Hahn and Johnny Smith for making their first quarterfinals or their first quarterfinals in quite a while.  Also, congrats to Chuck Lucas as he would win Momma’s Mystery Pot, with a 186 game, for $500.00!!!  Your winner of the free plastic ball raffle, with an option to upgrade to any Track high performance ball for $85.00, was Jason Lowery.

The quarterfinals were bowled on the fresh oil pattern.  We had 21 quarterfinalists, with each Division having 7 bowlers.  The cut ratio from the quarterfinals to the semi-finals is 1 in 3, so that meant we would cut to the Top 2 bowlers in each Division.  After the re-oil, the pattern played truer and you could tell with some of the lower quarterfinal scores.  It looked like it would come down to the final game in each division to see who would advance to the semi-final round.

Your leader in the A Division would be Johnny Smith (+3) and he would take on Ernie Mendoza (-14).  The B Division would be led by Aaron Bell (+50) and he would be matched against Brian Richardson (+31).  Finally, in the C Division we would see Bruce Ferguson (+40) emerge as your #1 seed and he would have to square off with Robert Smith, Jr. (+17).

The A Division Semi-Final would go back and forth with Ernie taking a small lead early.  Johnny would stay clean for most of the match to keep things close.  It would come down to the ninth and tenth frames.  Johnny would spare in the ninth while Ernie would flat ten and miss his spare.  Ernie would finish first getting a spare and strike to finish at 196.  This would put pressure on Johnny to double in the tenth to win.  Johnny would get up and crush the pocket on his first shot.  Johnny’s second shot in the tenth would hit a little light, but get enough of a mix for the double.  Johnny would finish up with enough count to finish at 199 and get himself into the Finals.

The B Division Semi-Final would see Aaron Bell jump out to an early lead by getting strikes in his first four frames.  Brian would try to catch up and would go on to finish at 224 to put pressure on Aaron to mark and fill in the tenth.  Aaron would get up in the tenth needing a mark and good count.  Aaron’s first shot would go a bit long leaving himself the bucket (3-5-6-9).  Aaron would pick up his spare and then get good count on his fill to win the match with a score of 232.

The C Division Semi-Final would be a grinder as Bruce Ferguson and Robert Smith, Jr. would struggle with the pair.  Bruce would take an early lead by making his spares and getting a few timely strikes.  Robert would try and keep up by making a few key spares.  Bruce would struggle with the transition halfway through the match and would finish at 169.  Robert would finish up with a couple of strikes to win the match with a score of 191.

Going into the Finals we would see both Johnny Smith and Aaron Bell looking at winning their first title.  Johnny would be making his first appearance in the Finals while Aaron Bell was making his second appearance and looking to capitalize on the opportunity.  Robert Smith, Jr., was looking at winning his 2nd title and also eying the first-place prize of $1,200.00!

The Finals would start off with all three bowlers trying to get a feel for the lanes.  The oil pattern had been tough all day and we would see Robert Smith, Jr., use a different game plan.  Robert would use his spare ball straight down the 5 board for most of the match.  This would allow him to play straighter while Aaron and Johnny were trying to hook the lanes without much success.  Robert was able to get some strikes and make his spares to cruise his way to the finish line with a score of 207.  This would give him the win for his 2nd AHT SFT title and the $1,200.00 first place prize.  It would come down to the tenth frame to see who would come in second place as both Johnny and Aaron would battle it out.  The difference between 2nd place ($600.00) and 3rd place ($400.00) was $200.00.  Johnny would finish out the tenth first getting a mark and good count to finish at 163.  Aaron would get up, needing a double and good count, to finish the tenth.  His first ball would crush the pocket and his next shot would get enough of a mix to strike.  He would then get a bit outside, with his ball breaking late, to washout, but it would be just enough for 2nd place by 1-pin!!  Congrats to everyone that made the quarterfinals!

Thank you to everyone that came out this weekend.  It was strange to not have any new members this weekend, but we were glad to see all our current members continue to support our events!  We will see you all next weekend as we kick off our 3-Day Labor Day Major at Bowlero Via Linda on Saturday!  Have a great week!

FINAL MATCH - Johhny Smith vs. Aaron Bell vs. Robert Smith, Jr.