AMF McRay - 3/24/2024


This weekend we would be at AMF McRay for an early bird 2-squad event. This would be the last one of the 2024 Winter Quarterly Circuit (January to March) and we would have several bowlers vying for the top spot. Even with the earlier squad times we would see another good turnout with 118 total entries (85 qualifying and 33 economy parlays), 32 cashers and a 1 in 3.68 cash ratio, paying out over $6,800.00 in main and side event prize funds. The bowlers bowled on the 41ft PBA Bear oil pattern that had some lower scores compared to last few tournaments. The pattern allowed players to play from any angle, but the key was trying to make high quality shots and pick up your spares. The cut scores stayed around +30 for most of the day with bowlers only need to get 5-10 pins above their average each game to advance.

We want to send a warm welcome to Mike Olson, Dave Olson, Kyle Avery, Rusty Wilkins, Joe Sitts, Bryan Herrmann, Kasey Burns, Michael Lemos, and Joshua Darrow who all came out for their first tournament this weekend! We hope you had a great time, and we look forward seeing you at our future events! Congrats to Joshua Darrow for making the quarterfinals in his first event! Also, congrats to Justin Golden, Edward Lee, Karissa Tafoya, and Chase Rohlik on being our Parlay Power Players this weekend. All four bowlers were able to turn their $30.00 economy parlay entry into a quarterfinals check. Also, congrats to Justin Golden, Megan Carlson, Lenny Grom, Karissa Tafoya, and Kevin Todd for making the quarterfinals for their first time or first time in a while. We would see Terry Bandel win Momma’s Mystery Pot for $120.00 pot with a score of 199. Your winner of the free plastic ball raffle, with an option to upgrade to any Track high-performance ball for $95.00, was Joshua Darrow!

Since this event was only 2 squads there would be no re-oil before the quarterfinals. This resulted in some lower scores with the standings being very tight as bowlers needed to bowl at least their average with one or two good games to make the cut. We had 25 quarterfinalists and with our 1 in 3 cut ratio, from the quarterfinals to the semi-final round, we would cut to the Top 2 bowlers in the A and B Divisions, while we would cut to the Top 3 in the C Division.

The A Division would see Brian Waugh (+83) emerge as the #1 seed and he would have to face off against Sergio Hilburn (+79). The B Division would have Justin Boom (+63) as the #1 seed, and he would take on Brandon Bailey (+22). The C Division #1 seed was Kaylene Almy (+80), and she would meet #2 seed Darwin Hicks (+70) and #3 seed Karissa Tafoya (+63).

The A Division semi-final match would go back and forth between Brian and Sergio. Sergio would kick off the match with a string of strikes as he would get an early lead on Brian. Brian would put together his own string of strikes to make up the difference. It would all come down to the tenth frame as Brian would be up first. Brian’s first shot in the tenth would look great and crush the pocket only to leave a mixer 7-pin. Brian would pick up the spare and get nine on his fill ball to finish with a score of 226. This would force Sergio to get a mark and get good count to win. Sergio’s first ball would go a bit high and he would get nine. Sergio would pick up his spare and on his fill ball he would lead it out just a bit too much and would see it sail just past the head pin but get just enough count to win the match with a score of 227.

The B Division semi-final would have SFT rookie Justin Boom making the semis in his second event. He would take on SFT veteran Brandon Bailey. Justin would start off with a mark and a double to take a lead early. Brandon would stay clean through the first few frames but would open in the fifth frame. Just would start to struggle with the lanes allowing Brandon a chance to catch up as he would double in the sixth and seventh frames. Brandon would continue to stay clean and would go on to win the match, 209 to 192.

The C Division semi-final match would see a close match. Darwin would open with a double to take an early lead as Karissa and Kaylene would try to get lined up on the pair. Darwin’s early lead would shrink with a couple of open frames in the fourth and fifth frames. As Karissa would stay clean and catch back up to him. Kaylene would try to keep up be would not be able over-come the transition that she was seeing on the pair. Kaylene would strike in the sixth and eighth frames to try to get back into the match but it wouldn’t be enough as she would finish up in third place with a score of 196. It would come down to the tenth frame between Darwin and Karissa as Karissa would leave the “baby split” (3-10) in the tenth. She wouldn’t be able to convert the spare and would finish with a score of 222. Darwin would be up next coming off strikes in the eighth and ninth frames. So, he would need to strike and good count to advance. Darwin would double in the tenth and get eight on his fill ball to finish with a score of 238 to advance.

Going into the Finals we would see Sergio Hilburn and Darwin Hicks looking to take home their first AHT SFT title along with the $1,200.00 first place prize. Sergio was making his very first Finals and looked to break out for his very first win. Darwin had made the Finals before with his highest place being 2nd place. Darwin made the Finals after using his SFT Exemption, which he had earned by coming in 2nd place in the 2023 SFT Match Play Invitational, so he was determined to not let this opportunity go to waste. Qualifying exemptions are earned throughout the season by either being in the Top 3 of the season points race or by finishing in the Top 2 of the Year End Match Play Invitational. Brandon Bailey was looking to take home his third SFT title as he had just recently won his first SFT Major (Labor Day) here in this very bowling center.

The Finals would see Darwin and Sergio start off struggling to find a line on the pair as Brandon would mark and end up throwing a four bagger to take the lead which he would never give up. Brandon would go on to win the match, with a score of 247, to take home his third SFT AHT title and $1,200.00! Second place wouldn’t be determined until the tenth frame as Sergio and Darwin would go back and forth with each other throughout the match. Sergio would finish up first as he would 7-pin in the tenth, which he would not convert to finish with a score of 179. Darwin would get up in the tenth needing a mark and good count to move into second place. Darwin’s first ball in the tenth would crush the pocket for a strike. His second shot would miss the head pin but was enough count, to get by Sergio, for a score of 183. Congrats to Darwin Hicks on second place for $750.00. Also, congrats to Sergio Hilburn on third place for $350.00!

Thank you to everyone that came out this weekend and supported our tournament. Thanks to Rebecca Deane and the staff at AMF McRay for having us out this weekend and providing us with great customer service. Also, thanks to Michael Dragon and Hokey Begay for helping out this weekend to keep these tournaments going for you all.

We will be back for a 3-squad standard tournament on Sunday, April 7th, at Bowlero Mesa, to kick off the 2024 Spring Quarterly Circuit!

We hope you all have a happy and safe Easter weekend!


AMF McRay Finals - Sergio Hilburn vs. Brandon Bailey vs. Darwin Hicks