Our event this weekend was at Glenfair Lanes, and we had another great turnout for our Early Bird 2-squad tournament. We had 142 total entries (97 qualifying & 45 economy parlays) for only 2 squads! We would see 36 prize winners and a 1 in 3.94 cash ratio, paying out over $8,600 in main and side event prize funds. The players bowled on the 44ft Kegel Titanium oil pattern that was very high scoring. The pattern did have a slight out of bounds, so if you got it too far towards the gutter early, but it wouldn’t come back. We would see a lot of higher scores than usual but going from pair to pair there were some big differences and once the oil pattern started to break down in the later squads, then scores started to increase. It would take about +70 to qualify for the quarterfinals with bowlers needing to bowl 20-25 pins over their average per game to advance.
We would have a lot of new bowlers join us this weekend. We want to welcome Jeffry Buttery, CJ Bustos, Rachael Berg, Luciano Bernal, Andrew Bencomo, Shandor Collins, Aaron Esanbock, Vincent Escobar, Raul Flores, Tyler Higbee, Kaitlyn Hammer, Chris Lellos, Doug Schaefer, Harold Unger, Michael Unger, Ross Volgarino, and Payton Workman to the SFT AHT family! We hope you all had a good time in your first SFT AHT event. Congrats to Shandor Collins, Kaitlyn Hammer, Chris Lellos, Ross Volgarino and Payton Workman for making the quarterfinals in their very first event! Also, congrats to Phil Stephens, Jeff Kraus, James de la Cruz, and Donnell Martin for making their first quarterfinals or their first in quite a while! We would see not one, not two but three Economy Parlay Power players this weekend in Nicholas Tejada, Donnell Martin, and Chris Lellos, who all advanced to the Quarterfinals off their $30 Economy Parlay entry! Also, congrats to Michael Killgore who would win Momma’s Mystery Pot for $350.00! with a score of 161. Your winner of the drawing for the free plastic ball, with the option to upgrade to any high-performance Track ball for $85.00, was Mathew Wykoff!
Since this event was only 2 squads there would be no re-oil before the quarterfinals. This resulted in higher scores as the volume used on the oil pattern held up enough give bowlers a variety of options of attacking the pair. We would see some tight scores and it would all come down to the third and final game of the quarterfinals to determine who would move on to the Semi-Final round. We would have 27 quarterfinalists and with our 1 in 3 cut ratio, from the quarterfinals to the semi-final round, we would cut to the Top 3 in all three Divisions.
The A Division #1 seed would be Johnny Smith (+148) and he would have to take on Carter O’Neal (+119) and Aaron Yamamoto (+99). The B Division would see newcomer Chris Lellos (+117) as the #1 seed, and he would face off with Nick Tejada (+112) and Payton Workman (+87). The C Division would have Parlay Power Player Donnell Martin (+171) as the top seed, and he would be match against Audie Atkins (+79) and Kyle Zimmer (+74).
The A Division semi-final match would start off with Johnny Smith continuing his hot streak to get out to an early lead. Carter and Aaron would string some strikes together, but Carter would have an untimely open in the fifth frame. Johnny would lose a bit of moment towards the end of the match but would finish with a score of 250. Aaron could not take advantage as he would finish with a score of 218. Carter would have a chance to win if he could punch out in the tenth or a double and nine to tie to force a ninth-tenth frame roll off. Carter’s ball would look good off his hand and crush the pocket and leave a single pin. Carter would fill out the frame with a spare and finish second in the Division with a score of 231.
The B Division semi-finals would not be that close as Chris Lellos would stay hot. Nick would struggle with the pair as fatigue set in and finish the match in third place with a score of 142. Payton would have a chance towards the end of the match, but Chris would get a couple of big strikes to seal the win, 245 to 234.
The C Division semi-finals would also be a close match as Audie and Kyle would take it all the way to the tenth frame. Donnell would struggle on the pair to get his ball to read the lane correctly and would finish in third place with a score of 167. Audie would split in the ninth frame and tenth frames to finish with a score of 205. This would leave the door open for Kyle, as he would pick a couple of key spares late in the match and finish with a score of 221 to punch his ticket to the Finals.
Going into the Finals we would see Johnny Smith and Chris Lellos looking to win their first AHT SFT title. Kyle Zimmer would be making his second appearance in the Finals and looking at taking home his second title. Johnny would be the #1 seed as he had been on fire all day long while. It seemed like all three bowlers had an equal chance to win as they had all matched up well with the pattern all day.
The Finals would start off with Johnny leading off with a couple strikes while Kyle would chop a spare in the first and then spare in the second frame. Chris would start off a bit slow as he would mark in the first and second frames and try to get himself lined up. Kyle would mark in the third and strike in the fourth frame as he would try to stay in the match. Johnny would go nine-spare and strike in the third and fourth frames as he would try to make up the handicap difference he was giving to Chris and Kyle. Chris would continue to stay clean and mark in the third and fourth frames. Johnny would go on to spare in the fifth frame and Chris would do the same. Kyle would chop the bucket minus one (2-4-5) to finish out the fifth frame.
Midway through the match and it looked like all three bowlers were close together. Johnny would start it off with a strike in the sixth to keep a slight lead. Chris would match Johnny by also throwing a strike in the sixth frame. Kyle would start to struggle as he could not get his ball to read, shape correctly as the lanes began to transition. Kyle would open in the sixth frame to fall behind Johnny and Chris. Johnny would try to keep some pressure on Chris as he would strike in the seventh frame. Chris would follow up with a Brooklyn strike, in the seventh, as he would jump a few boards left on the left lane. Kyle’s seventh frame would see him leave the dreaded pocket 7-10 split as his ball would hit the pocket light. Johnny would continue to strike in the eighth frame as Chris would leave stone 8-pin, which he would pick up. Kyle would strike in the eight and ninth frames to have an outside chance of winning or at least moving up to second place. It looked like it would come down to the tenth frame as Johnny and Chris would strike in the ninth frame.
The tenth would see Johnny up first as he would throw a good shot, but it would hit a bit high leaving the 4-7. Johnny would pick up the spare and leave a four-pin on the fill shot to finish at 249. Kyle would split in the tenth to finish at 190. Chris would get up needing all three in the tenth to win the match. Chris’ shot would look good off his hand but would leave a mixer 7-pin. Chris would pick up the spare and get eight on his fill ball to finish at 230. This would give Johnny Smith the win for his first AHT SFT title and $1,300.00! Congrats to Chris Lellos for 2nd place and $800.00. Also, congrats to Kyle Zimmer on 3rd place and $500.00!
Thank you to everyone that came out this weekend. A big thank you to Jason Lucero and the staff at Glenfair Lanes for hosting us this weekend. Also, it was great to have Tawna McDonald back to see all you. We hope to see you all on Sunday, February 19th at AMF McRay for another 2-squad standard event. Hope you all have a good week and good luck to those of you going to Las Vegas for the True Amateur Tournament (TAT)!
FINALS - Johnny Smith vs. Chris Lellos vs. Kyle Zimmer