This weekend we kicked off the 2023 season with our first event this weekend at Bowlero Mesa. We had a huge turnout with 174 total entries (134 qualifying entries and 40 economy parlays entries). It was great to see everyone come out and support our event as we were making our return from the shortened 2022 season. We had 46 cashers, a 1 in 3.6 cash ratio and paid out over $11,000.00 in main event and side event prize funds. The players bowled on the 48ft PBA Shark oil pattern that plays a bit differently as it is a long pattern in length but doesn’t have a lot of volume in the middle. This creates a bit of an odd transition as the lanes start to “dry out” in the front and middle parts of the lane which forces bowlers to move left (for righties) quickly. However, with most patterns you can still get the ball out towards to outside part of the lane and hook it back but with this pattern if you get it too far outside too early it would hit the out of bounds and not come back. This would result in some lower scores with bowlers only needing to get a few pins over their average each game to get to around +40 to +30 to advance to the quarterfinals.
We had a lot of new bowlers join us this weekend and we want to give a warm welcome to Dantaveous White, Travis Ross, Michael Druszcz, Kenneth Brockman, Brittney Bennett, Holly Bennett, Cameron Coleman, Wesley Cunningham, Kevin Duong, Romeo Fermil, Ryan Fougler, Shane Gomez, Ivan Hays, Mitchell Hays, Lan Macy, Andrew Merrell, Scott Perkins, Sheila Perkins, Spencer Peterson, and David Wylie, who all bowled in their first event this weekend. We hope you all had a good time and look forward to seeing you at our next event. Also, congrats to Michael Druszcz, Holly Bennett, Romeo Fermil, Ryan Fougler and Mitchell Hays for making to the quarterfinals in their very first event! Also, congrats to Garret Strehl, Ryan Fougler and Holly Bennett for being this weekend’s Parlay Power Players. They were all able to qualify for the quarterfinals with a $30 parlay investment and Ryan even made it to the Finals! Congrats to Ryan Fougler who won Momma’s Mystery Pot, with a score of 141, for $500.00! Also, congrats to Wendy Orth for also winning Momma’s Mystery Pot, with a score of 180, for $305.00! Your winner of the free plastic ball raffle, with an option to upgrade to any Track high-performance ball for $85.00, was Kevin Dollar.
We would have a huge squad of quarterfinals with 36 bowlers advancing from the qualifying squads. With our 1 in 3 cut ratio from the quarterfinals to the semi-finals, we would cut to the Top 4 bowlers in all three Divisions after 3 games. The quarterfinals would be bowled on the fresh oil pattern and the scores showed as we would see scores more in line with the 1st squad of the tournament. Picking up spares was the 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 newcomer Ryan Fougler (+52) emerge as the #1 seed and he would have to face off against #4 seed Eddie Wilcox (-6). The other A Division semi-final match would be #2 seed Robert Klawitter (+41) versus #3 seed Ben Perry (+2). The first match would see Ryan Fougler shoot a huge game to eliminate Eddie Wilcox, 284 to 237. The next match would see Robert Klawitter defeat Ben Perry, 224 to 188. This would set up a the second-round semi-final match of Ryan Fougler vs Robert Klawitter.
The B Division had 2022 SFT Rookie of the Year Neiko McCullough (+62) as the #1 seed, and he would take on Jake Walden (+28). The other B Division semi-final match would have #2 seed Josh Perry against #3 seed Jason Medling (+28). The first match would be a nail biter as it would all come down to the tenth frame as Jake Walden would knock out Neiko McCullough, 203 to 200. The second match would have Jason Medling defeating Josh Perry, 226 to 194. This would set up the next B Division semi-final of Jason Medling vs. Jake Walden.
The C Division would have red hot James Strang (+95) as the #1 seed, and he would be up against #4 seed Joseph Quihuis (+62). The other B Division semi-final match would see #2 seed Holly Bennett (+94) against #3 seed Jadeyn Mabry (+64). The first match would see James Strang eliminate Joseph Quihuis, 222 to 210. The next match would see Jadeyn Mabry defeat Holly Bennett, 257 to 194. This would set up the second-round C Division semi-finals of James Strang vs. Jadeyn Mabry.
The 2nd round of the A Division semi-finals would end in a tie with both Ryan Fougler and Robert Klawitter scoring 202. This would lead us to have a ninth-tenth frame roll off with the winner advancing to the Finals to face the other Division winners. The rules to the roll-off would see each bowler’s handicap divided by 5, with the decimal playing in the event of another tie. Ryan would get 3.8 pins of handicap and Robert would receive 4.2 pins. Ryan would start the ninth frame with a huge strike to put some pressure on Robert. Robert’s first ball in the ninth frame would hit a bit light leaving the 4-pin, which he would pick up. Robert would get up in the tenth frame and hit a bit high leaving the 6-10. Robert would miss the spare to finish at 35.2. Ryan would get up and strike and mark in the tenth to seal up the win and finish at 53.8 to advance.
The 2nd round of the B Division semi-finals would see Jason Medling continue to grind away as he would go on to defeat Jake Walden, 221 to 205. The 2nd round of the C Division would see James Strang struggle with lane transition as Jadeyn would do just enough to get by him to win the match, 208 to 194.
Going into the Finals we would see all three bowlers making it to the Finals for their very first time. Jason Medling and Jadeyn Mabry had been bowling well but it looked like the favorite to win would have to be Ryan Fougler. Ryan had been bowling well all day and was looking to add the $1,450.00 first place prize to go along with his Momma’s Mystery Pot winnings!
The Finals would start out with Ryan choosing to start the match. Ryan and Jason would struggle to get lined up on the pair as Jadeyn would jump out to a quick lead with a double and nine-spare. Jadeyn would open in the fifth and seventh frames to give Jason and Ryan a chance to get back into the match. Ryan would open in the eighth frame as he would chop the 6-10. Jason would also open in the eighth missing a 4-pin to give Jadeyn a chance to close out the match. Jadeyn would double in the eighth and ninth frames and it looked like it was over going into the tenth frame.
Ryan would double in the tenth frame and get 8 pins on his fill ball to finish at 196. Jadeyn would open in the tenth as she would not convert the baby split (3-10) to finish up with a score of 215. Jason would have a chance to win the match as he would need to strike and get a mark to tie. Jason’s first ball in the tenth would crush the pocket for the first strike. The next ball Jason would miss a bit inside and the ball would go through the nose leaving the 4-6-10 split. Jason would need to pick up two pins to tie the match and he would hook at the 6-10 spare attempt, but it would go a bit right and chop the ten pin to finish at 214. This would give Jadeyn her first AHT SFT title and $1,456 into her USBC Smart account! Congrats to Jason Medling on 2nd place for $806.00, and congrats to Ryan Fougler on third place for $506.00!
Thank you to everyone that came out this weekend to bowl our event! We can’t stress enough how much we missed you all and it was good to see everyone this past weekend. Also, a huge thank you to Hokey Begay, Tyler Andersen, and Michael Dragon for stepping in for Tawna this weekend. We could not have run the event without their help. Big thank you to Jodi Bach and the Bowler Mesa staff for hosting us and providing great service.
We’ll see you all a few weeks for our next 3-Squad Standard tournament on January 29th at Bowlero Kyrene!
FINALS - Ryan Fougler vs. Jason Medling vs. Jadeyn Mabry