TAT Summer Classic! $25k 1st! SFT Group Discounts & Benefits! 6/30-7/7

Bowlero Gilbert - 6/23/2024


We would be at Bowlero Gilbert this weekend for another 3-squad tournament. This would mark the first time we have been at this center in almost 6 years. We would see a great turnout with 136 total entries (101 qualifying with 35 parlays), with 35 cashers and a cash ratio of 1 in 3.88, paying out over $8,400 in main and side event prize funds. The players bowled on the 35ft PBA Cheetah (2023 version) which would see some lower scores on the fresh but would see bowlers adapt and scores would increase throughout the day. The difference between the old Cheetah pattern and the newer version was the amount of oil volume on the lane. The 2023 version would have a lot of oil and bowlers had to play straighter up the ditch to start, but once the lanes started to transition, we would see scores explode. Bowlers had to average about 10-15 pins per game in order to advance. Pair to pair the lanes played a bit different so the key was to capitalize on the games when the lanes were higher scoring.

We would have a few new bowlers at this event. We would like to give a warm welcome to Keith Duty, Philip Miller, Travis Johnson, Arnulfo Lowe, Jennifer Vincent, Dan Yort, and Rick Little. We hope you all enjoyed your experience and look forward to seeing you at a future tournament. Congrats to Dylan Taylor, Lee Fitzgerald, and Jericho Gaydos on being this weekend’s Parlay Power Players! All three bowlers made it to the quarterfinals off their $30.00 economy parlay investment. Also, congrats Danielle Hurley, Kevin Robertson, Stephanie Sell, and Lee Fitzgerald who all made it to their first Quarterfinals or their first Quarterfinals in quite a while. Congrats to Terri Hamilton on winning Momma’s Mystery Pot, with a score of 156, for $500.00! Your winner of the free plastic ball raffle, with an option to upgrade to any Track high-performance ball for $95.00, was Joseph Aguilar!

We would have 27 bowlers that would advance to the Quarterfinals from the qualifying squads. With our 1 in 3 cut ratio, from the Quarterfinals to the Semi-Finals, we would cut to the Top 3 in each Division. Since this was a 3-squad tournament we would re-oil before the Quarterfinals. With the re-oil we would see scores come back down as the pattern played more in line with the first squad of the day. Bowlers that were able to carry the pocket seemed to have an advantage but also picking up spares would be key as it would come down to the final few frames to see who would advance to semi-final round.

The A Division would see Kyle Ponzo (+95) emerge as the #1 seed and he would have to face off against Dylan Taylor (+56) and Carlos Vejar (+52). The B Division #1 seed would be Michael Arce (+83) and he would take on Chase Rohlik (+77) and Kevin Robertson (+76). The C Division would have #1 overall seed Joshua Chandler (+152) up against Parlay Power Player Lee Fitzgerald (+56) and Kevin Dollar (+17).

The A Division Semi-Final match would see Kyle Ponzo start off with the front 6 as he looked to coast to a win, but a split in the seventh frame gave Dylan and Carlos a chance to get back into the match. Dylan was on a four-bagger going in the seventh as well, but wouldn’t be able to take advantage as he would miss a spare conversion. Carlos would struggle with the pair for most of the match and would finish with a score of 178. Kyle would get back on track as he would he would continue to strike and he would go on and eliminate Dylan with a score of 250 to 224.

The B Division Semi-Finals would see Kevin Robertson catch fire as he would start the match with the front 7. Michael Arce and Chase Rohlik would try their best to keep up but Kevin would not give them the chance. Chase would finish up the third place with a score of 201, while Michael Arce would try to make a comeback and would finish up with a score of 220. It would not be enough as Kevin would completely dominate the match and finish with a huge score of 293 (257 scratch) to advance to the Finals.

The C Division would be a much closer match than the other Division Semi-Finals. Joshua Chandler would start off the match with a quick lead but would run into trouble in the fourth frame. Lee would make up some ground as she would continue to make her spares. Kevin Dollar would also stay close through the first half of the match but would see some transition just over midway through the match. Joshua Chandler would get back on track from his open in the fourth with a three-bagger but would open again in the eighth frame. Unfortunately, Lee would see the same bit of transition as Kevin as they both could not string enough strikes to keep up with Joshua. Kevin would finish up the match with a score of 191 for third place. Lee would finish out the match with a score of 209, but it wasn’t enough as Joshua would punch out in the ninth and tenth frames to win the match with a score of 254.

Going into the Finals we would see all three bowlers looking to take home the $1,300.00 first place prize. The favorite going into the Finals had to be Kyle Ponzo as he has been on a tear recently. He is the 2023 SFT Rookie of the Year and he had just won our Memorial Day Major last month and also just made the Finals in the TAT Desert Southwest Regional out in Cabazon, California. Kyle made the Quarterfinals, using an exemption which he received as part of being runner-up in our 2023 SFT Player of the Year points race. He would face a difficult task, as he has been bowling so well for the last few months, that he was receiving zero handicap throughout the day. Standing in Kyle’s way was Kevin Robertson and Joshua Chandler. Kevin was looking to take home his first title as he had just recently moved back to the Valley from Minnesota and has been working on his game, which he was seeing the results pay off today. Joshua Chandler was looking to take home his 2nd AHT SFT title and was making his comeback as he had been sidelined for the last few months due to medical issues and a car accident. It’s amazing that he was even bowling as his back was fractured in the accident and he had been rehabbing over the past few months. The last time he made the Finals, at Let it Roll Bowl, was when he was coming off a torn Achille’s last August and he ended up winning his first title, so he was hoping to repeat that feat today.

The match would start off with Kevin striking on left lane. Kyle would start off with an 8 count on the right lane, which he would spare. Joshua would also strike on the left lane. Kyle would strike on the left lane as Kevin would chop the 2-8 for an open frame. Joshua would see his ball take off on the right lane as he would go “Brooklyn” but leave the 9-pin, which he would spare. Kevin would get a strike on the left lane, which looked to be the better of the pair while Kyle would double up with a strike on the right lane. Joshua would also strike on the “good” lane as well. Fourth frame would see Kevin move a bit right as he looked to get his ball to pick up earlier, but it would go high through the nose to leave the 4-pin standing. Unfortunately, Kevin would not convert the spare. Kyle would go on to strike for a three-bagger as he looked to make up the handicap difference that he was spotting Kevin and Joshua. Joshua’s fourth frame would see him strike for a double as he looked to stay in the lead. Fifth frame would see Kevin miss just a bit right and leave the 3-6, which he was spare. Kyle looked to continue his string of strikes, but his ball had other plans as he would leave the “Bucket” (2-4-5-8), which he would pick up. Joshua would take a commanding lead as he would strike in the fifth for three in a row.

Midway through the match and it looked like Joshua Chandler might runaway with it. Sixth frame would see Kevin mark as Kyle would get back on track with a strike. Joshua would continue to roll as he would get another strike for a four-bagger. Kevin and Kyle would strike in the seventh frame as Joshua would see his ball hit a bit late to leave a 2-pin, which he would spare. Eighth frame would see Kevin chop the 2-8 for an open frame. Kyle would strike for three in a row to try to stay in the match. Joshua would miss to the left and leave the 5-9, which he would he would spare. Ninth frame would see Kevin strike. Kyle would need a strike to have a chance to win, but would see his ball check up early and leave the 3-pin, which he would spare. Joshua would only need to fill out the ninth and tenth frames to seal up the match and he would do just that with a strike. Kevin would finish up the tenth with a score of 199 for third place. Kyle would finish up the tenth with a spare and strike for 234. Joshua would close out the match with strike and spare to win his 2nd AHT SFT title for $1,300.00, with a huge score of 280. Congrats to Kyle Ponzo on second place for $700.00. Also, congrats to Kevin Robertson on third place for $450.00.

Thank you to everyone that came out today to bowl our tournament. I can’t thank you all enough as with the bigger turnout we will be returning very soon to Bowlero Gilbert for another 3-squad tournament. Huge thank you to Jodi Bach and the staff at Bowlero Gilbert for all the hard work and great customer service they provided. Thank you to Tawna McDonald and Michael Dragon for all their help to keep these events going.

We will be back this coming Sunday, June 30th at AMF McRay for a 2-squad tournament as we close out the 2024 Spring Quarterly Circuit (April 2024 – June 2024). Have great week and hopefully we will see you on Sunday!


Bowlero Gilbert Finals - Kyle Ponzo vs. Kevin Robertson vs. Joshua Chandler