Wow! What a weekend! Another major, another major champion and another SFT AHT record! We beat our old record by over 20 entries! 277 total entries throughout the 3 days, with 183 qualifying entries and 94 economy parlays. The players bowled on a very interesting 42ft Patriot pattern that at times had low scores and at times had high scores. It was pretty clear though, that the players that had the best ball reaction were players that could get in and slow hook it a bit. Whether it was lefties or righties, the highest scores came from that kind of approach as a general rule. The average cut scores for the weekend was around +60 which is medium by most standards.
We had a lot of new bowlers again join us for their first event. Welcome Gary Somerville, Ryan Lee, Jacob Murphy, Kevin Davis, Terry Bandel, Scott Vidra, Sean Nimox, Jennifer Smith, Tyler Morgan, Tabitha Arment and Dan Friedline on being our newest members to join the SFT AHT family! We hope you all had a good time in your first event with us and we look forward to seeing you at the next event. Congrats to Terry Bandel and Tyler Morgan for being the only new bowlers to make it to the quarterfinals in their first tournament with us.
The quarterfinals were low scoring with the cuts to the first semi-final round taking around +50 on average. The A Division had the top 6 players advancing to the semi-final round. The #1 seed was Jim Montgomery (+71), #2 seed Sean Ashley (+67), #3 seed John Conaway (+62), #4 seed Jeremy Opp (+50), #5 seed Chris Allen (+50) and we would have a tie for #6 seed as Stephen Bennett and Mike Barcus would both finish at +49. This would result in a 9th and 10th frame roll off to determine who would make it into the semi-final round as the #6 seed. Stephen would get up and throw a couple of clutch shots to narrowly defeat Mike to advance as the #6 seed. So it would be Jim, Jeremy and Stephen on one pair, and Sean, John and Chris on the other with the top player advancing off each pair to the Divisional Final match. On the first pair Jim Montgomery was off the races and he never looked back as he bowled a huge 260+ game with handicap and on the other pair it was the same story with Chris Allen bowling lights out with a 260 game with handicap. Jim and Chris would move on to the A Division Finals. The scoring pace was a little lower on this pair, and the match was very close, but a double late in the match allowed Chris to get the win, 216 to 213, and he would be the A Division Champion.
The B Division cut to the top 5 players which were #1 seed Bryton Bobbitt (+119), #2 Ron McDonald (+112), #3 Michael Dragon (+99), #4 DJ Kniefel (+85), and #5 Eric Schade (+58). It would be Bryton Bobbitt vs Michael Dragon on one pair and Ron McDonald, DJ Kneifel and Eric Schade on the other pair, with the top bowler advancing to the B Division Finals. These matches were very close with all 5 players being in the hunt all the way up to the final frames. It ended in dramatic fashion with Michael Dragon finishing the match last and needing a mark to move on. He missed outside with a bit too much ball speed and left a wash out. He needed to convert and was unable to do so which allowed Bryton Bobbitt to sneak around him, 214 to 209, and into the B Division Finals match. In the other match, the top finisher was the young, upcoming superstar in DJ Kneifel who would lead the pair with a score of 224. DJ and Bryton had a good back and forth match, but a couple of missed makeable spares by Bryton allowed DJ to get out into the lead, winning the match 213 to 195, and taking home the B Division Title.
The C Division would also cut to the top 6 bowlers, which were #1 seed Tyler Morgan (+120), #2 Ron Riley (+90), #3 Luke Sullivan (+70), #4 Sam Hsu (+62), #5 Robert Smith Jr. (+56) and #6 Thomas Darnell (+45). This meant the first pair would be a match between Tyler, Sam and Thomas. The other pair would see at match with Ron, Luke and Robert Smith Jr. The first pair would be a back and forth match with Tyler eventually take a big lead in the middle of the game and winning convincingly with a huge 274 game. The other match had a very close finish with Robert Smith Jr. needing a mark to win his match, but a missed makeable spare would allow Luke Sullivan to win the match, 209 to 206 to 204, and advance to the C Division Finals. It would be Luke Sullivan vs Tyler Morgan in the C Division Finals and the Tyler Morgan show would continue with Tyler bowling a huge game again, 262 to 229, to become the C Division Champion.
The final match is a bit different at our Major events, and at this Major we use a step ladder format. The seeding is based on the quarterfinals score of each finalist. This would mean that Tyler Morgan would be the #1 seed, DJ Kniefel the #2 seed and Chris Allen the #3 seed. The first stepladder match would be between DJ and Chris. It would be another great one as they would go back and forth for quite a bit with DJ taking the lead but then missing a spare to let Chris back in the match. Chris struck out in the 10th frame to put pressure on DJ and force him to strike to win the match. DJ threw a great shot but rang a 7-pin giving Chris the win and the opportunity to bowl Tyler for title! The final match was another good one as Tyler got a string going early and got an early lead, so he didn’t need a mark in the 10th to win, but he did end up opening and only won the match by 4 pins, 240 to 236. Tyler would make a lot of friends though, as he wasn’t in the progressive pot so the extra $800.00, he didn’t win from that went back down to everyone below him. Congrats to Tyler on his first AHT SFT Title and $800.00 prize. Also, congrats to Chris Allen for 2nd place and DJ Kniefel for 3rd place.
Thanks to everyone for the support in making this such a great event! We can’t believe the fields keep getting bigger and bigger every year. It’s all because of your continued support and bringing friends with you to each event! Hope to see everyone next Sunday at AMF McRay and have a great week!
Stepladder Finals Championship Match