Our event this weekend was at Mesa East Bowl for a 2-squad standard event. We had a pretty good turnout considering other tournaments going on in the Valley! We had 78 total entries (48 qualifying and 28 economy parlays) with a cash ratio of 1 in 3.61 and paying out over $3,900 in main and side event prize funds. The bowlers played on a very difficult 37ft Kegel Radium oil pattern, that is a bit short and flat, which saw some pretty low-cut scores. The average cut to make it to the quarterfinals was about even, which meant that you just had to get close to your average to move on. While the bowling center has the characteristic of creating some hook and some high scores, the pins however, really fly and it's very easy to have too much entry angle and leave a lot of single pin spares. So, picking up the spares would be key this weekend!
We had some new bowlers join us for their first event and we want to welcome John Hoover, Kaylene Almy, Jay Armstrong, Jay Judowski, Eric Matthews, Gunnar Hahn, Paityn Gaines and Jake Walden who all bowled their first event! We hope you all had a good time and look forward to seeing you at our next event. Congrats to our Parlay Power Players this weekend in Brandon JohnsonKroman and Gunnar Hahn! Gunnar even made it all the way to Finals, but more on that down below. We’d like to say congrats to Jake Walden, Gunnar Hahn, Jay Judowski, Thayne Hahn, Justin Golden and Nicole Smyth for making either their first quarterfinals or their first quarterfinals in quite a while! Also, congrats to Ken W. Davis, who would win Momma’s Mystery Pot with a score of 189 for $175.00! Your winner of the free plastic ball, with an option to upgrade to any Track high-performance bowling ball for $85.00, was Kevin Convirs!
Since this event was only 2 squads, there was no re-oil before the quarterfinals. This resulted in some very low scores with the standings being very tight as bowlers needed to bowl at least one really good game to make the cut. With our 1 in 3 cut ratio, from the quarterfinals to the semi-final round, we would cut to the top bowler in the A and B Divisions while the C Division would cut to the top two bowlers. Your leader in the A Division would be Carlos Vejar (+55) and the B Division would see Jake Walden (+13) hold off Brandon JohnsonKroman (+8) to be seeded directly into the Finals. Before the Finals we would need to see who would meet them there. The C Division #1 seed would be red-hot Eddie Wilcox (+129) and he would take on parlay power player Gunnar Hahn (+90).
The C Division semi-final would go back and forth with both bowlers coming out on fire! The handicap difference between the two bowlers was only one pin, so it almost a scratch match with Gunnar giving Eddie the one-pin advantage. Gunnar would take a quick lead as he would start off with a 3-bagger and Eddie would try to keep pace. Gunnar would open in the fourth while Eddie would double in the fifth and sixth frames to get back into the match. In the seventh frame both bowlers would leave an open frame, so it would come down to the final couple of frames to see who would make it to the Finals. Eddie would spare in the eighth and set himself up in the ninth with a strike. Gunnar would double in the eighth and ninth to put pressure on Eddie to strike out in the tenth. Eddie would miss his mark in the tenth to washout and would not pick up the spare. Gunnar would get the first strike to seal up the win defeating Eddie, 240 to 217.
Going into the Finals we would see Carlos Vejar looking to win his fourth AHT SFT title. Both Gunnar Hahn and Jake Walden were making their very first appearance in the Finals with both bowlers bowling their first event! Gunnar was your Parlay Power Player looking at taking full advantage of his $25.00 economy parlay entry. Jake was also looking to win and it’s amazing because he had told me that he just started bowling less than six months ago! Jake was not in the progressive pot. Just to let you all know the Progressive Pot is paid out 100% to all the bowlers that bought into it and made it to the quarterfinals. With first place projected to be about $700.00, then if Jake won the tournament the $350.00 progressive pot portion of the prize winnings would be redistributed to the all the other quarterfinalists. So, you know who everyone was rooting for that was watching the match.
The Finals would start off with all three bowlers struggling to get lined up on the pair. It looked like the transition was showing up from all the previous play throughout the day. Jake would open in the first frame while Carlos and Gunnar would spare. Gunnar would open in the third while Carlos continued to stay clean and make up some of the handicap difference. Jake would try to catch back up, but would open in the fifth and sixth to dig himself back into a small hole. Gunnar would keep pace with Carlos, but would also open in the seventh to give Carlos a small lead. Carlos would split in the eighth leaving the 4-6-7 and he was unable to convert. Jake would also open by chopping the 1-2-5-8. So going into the ninth and tenth, it was anyone’s game to win. Gunnar would get 7-spare while both Jake and Carlos would strike to set up their tenth frames.
In the tenth frame Carlos would get up first and his ball would go a bit high, but swish enough pins to carry for a strike. Gunnar would be next needing to match Carlos and his ball would crush the pocket. Carlos’ second ball in the tenth would crossover for a Brooklyn strike while Gunnar’s shot would crossover as well, but would leave the 3-6-10. Gunnar would chop the 3-pin to finish at 201 while Carlos would get nine on his fill ball to finish at 219. Jake would need all three in the tenth to finish in 2nd place, but his ball would hit light leaving the 2-7, which he would pick up and he would get eight on the fill to finish at 177. This would give Carlos his fourth AHT SFT title and $725.00!!! Gunnar would finish in 2nd place and Jake would finish up in 3rd place. Congrats to both Gunnar and Jake for getting so far in their very first event.
Thank you to everyone that came out this weekend to support the event. We hope to see you all next Sunday at Bowlero Mesa for our standard 3-squad event! Hope you all have a great week!!!
FINALS - Carlos Vejar vs. Jake Walden vs. Gunnar Hahn