This weekend was our very final event of the 2020 season. We had our Match Play Invitational at Mesa East Bowl. The top 24 bowlers in total season points, except the Player of the Year, 2nd and 3rd place bowlers were invited to bowl this event. These bowlers were all trying to win an event exemption for the upcoming 2021 season. The winner of this event would win 2 exemptions and 2nd place would get 1 exemption for the upcoming season.
We would take check in and like in previous years we would go down the season points list trying to fill our brackets. The #24 seed would be Derek Pacheco, who had just recently started to bowl our events, and he would get in after being at #250 on the season points list. So just remember that if you are not in the top 24 then you still have a chance at bowling the event. Your top 4 seeded bowlers would receive a three round bye, while your next #5-8 seeded bowlers would get a two round bye. This would be advantageous as it would allow you to get further in the bracket without bowling as many games.
We would see a few bowlers that would lose their first match by upset with the lower seed bowlers winning their match. Since this tournament is a double elimination format, then the bowlers would still have a chance to make the Finals, but it would be a real uphill climb. A couple of the lower seeded bowlers would try to make a run in the Winner’s bracket, but would run into some trouble as the day went on. A couple of bowlers in the Loser’s bracket would make good runs as well. We would see both Willy Vuong and Robb Mansfield lose their first match, but make their way through the Loser’s bracket to make it into the money.
On the Winner’s side of the bracket we would see Edward Lee go on a huge run by winning all his matches. Edward would go on to clear out the Winner’s bracket by defeating Eddie Thompson to send him down to await the Loser’s bracket winner. Eddie would go on to face Willy Vuong and their match would go back and forth with Eddie getting enough to win the Loser’s bracket and set up a rematch with Edward Lee in the Championship match. With this being a double elimination tournament, Eddie would have to defeat Edward Lee twice in a row to win the event. This was Eddie’s 2nd Match Play Invitational Championship in a row as he had made the match in last year’s tournament, but would eventually lose to Dylan Taylor. Eddie was hoping to get some redemption from last year’s event. Ed and Eddie’s match would be a grind fest with both bowlers struggling most of the match. A few unfortunate splits for Eddie would torpedo his chances at pushing Ed to a 2nd game as he would lose to Ed, 200 to 168. This would give Edward Lee the win and 2 event exemptions for next year.
I just want to say thank you to everyone that has come to support our events this season. I know with the COVID-19 pandemic it has been a rough year, but it’s been great seeing the turnout the last few months and I hope that it continues in 2021. Happy holiday and we hope to see you next season!!!
Match Play Invitational Championship - Edward Lee vs. Eddie Thompson