With the Proprietors Cup less than a month away, I thought it would great to talk about a local satellite tournament I attended in Appleton, WI this past weekend. The tournament was hosted by Erik Gialdella, at Super Bowl Lanes, yes I said “Super Bowl”. It was my first time to the Super Bowl and hopefully, not my last. Erik was an excellent host for the event, and I enjoyed every minute of the experience.
The tournament had a unique structure, which I believe rewarded not only great bowling, but more importantly the most versatile bowler. The qualifying for the tournament had two very challenging oil patterns, “Highway to Hell”, and “Route 66” oil patterns. The Highway to Hell oil pattern was a challenging 40 foot oil pattern, that was very flat, where as the Route 66 pattern was 45 foot oil pattern that was a little more forgiving. We bowled three games on each pattern. After each game we moved down a set of lanes, in order to ensure all bowlers got to bowl on the same lanes, and some conditions. Another thing I really liked about the tournament was that the tournament director, made you draw a number when you got there in order to find out who you were bowling with, and what order you bowled. I thought this was very unique, as guys couldn’t really breakdown a pattern, because each player played to their own strengths, and couldn’t rely on others to help them build a shot.
After the six games of qualifying the top 8 seeds had to battle it out on the lanes in a grueling two game series match play. Another great feature of this tournament was how the top seeds got rewarded for bowling great, opposed to the guys who just made the cut. The number one seed of the tournament got to choose any one of the seven remaining players to bowl against, and got to choose the pattern and lanes he bowled on. Then the second seed chose and so forth. I really thought this was a unique twist to the tournament as it truly rewarded the top seeds for bowling good. Only one of the matches was played on the Route 66 oil pattern in first round match play, after that all of the top seeds chose to bowl on the Highway to Hell pattern, which really highlighted hitting your mark and making your spares.
Even though I missed the cut by 15 pins, I still stayed until the end, and I am glad I did. I got to witness some extremely great bowling and continue to learn from some great local talent. The title match literally came down to the last frame and was exciting to watch. A Motiv Staffer Ken Kempf ended up winning the tournament, and really showed the importance of making spares, and not getting frustrated when your ball hits the pocket and doesn’t strike. I was one of the first to congratulate Ken on that day, and only wish him the best in the upcoming Proprietor’s Cup.
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