Gibbons Denies Thompson’s Title Defense
The third annual MBA Masters, held on February 5, 2011, attracted a record field of 51 bowlers. The event entry fee was decreased to $40, from $55, and the payout ratio was increased to 1:3 from 1:4. Thanks to the hard work of MBA Hall of Famer, Director, and Promotions Committee Chair Bob Holzbauer, the prize fund for the event was the highest ever – in excess of $3500.
The Phoenix Pro Shop Dell laptop sales generated $1290, our other tournament sponsors added another $1500.
The tournament was contested on USBC Blue Pattern #3 on the synthetic overlay lanes at Schwoegler Entertainment Center. Entrants bowled six games of qualifying. The top five scorers were seeded into a stepladder final, and the top 17 were paid on the spot – with 17th place receiving $80 – double the entry fee.
The condition started out very playable and it started to look like it would be a shootout when the first cut was posted. Mike Hoffman led with a 278. There was a four way tie for fourth at +46 and a cut to cash mark of +19. Still, less than half (24) the field was able to generate a game of 200 or higher.
The scores tempered slightly after two games though 26 bowlers moved to the plus column; fifth place was +74 and 17th was +29. Chris Pounders took control with a 279 follow-up to a 258 start.
After the third game, more bowlers seemed to become comfortable with the shot and the onset of the transition. 31 competitors were now plus, the cut to stepladder was +111 and the cut to cash +52. Jay Heinzelman led with 754.
Four games in, and defending champion Kevin Thompson led with 987 on the strength of three 260+ scores in games 1, 3, and 4. Fifth place was +128 and another five bowlers were within 20 of that mark. The cut to cash fell to +43 and 30 bowlers were even or better.
Through five games, Thompson continued to dominate with yet another 260+ game. Fifth place was now +155 and the cut to cash swelled to +63. 33 bowlers were now plus.
Thompson ran away from the field with a fifth 260+ in game six. Eric Pederson edged Rick Thomas by a pin to take the fifth stepladder spot at +206, and Chris Jackson claimed the last to cash envelope at +49.
By the end of qualifying, 29 bowlers were even or better and three more were within a pin or two. The Blue 3 condition on the surface at Schowegler’s was worlds different than Blue 1 on the old wood at Bowling Green last year – yet six of the top eight bowler names were the same both years – a testament to the skill of our areas top performers.
Congratulations to tournament champion Chris Gibbons for the victory. Gibbons won $716 and earns passes the to Hall of Fame and Bowler Recognition Dinner and the Dinner with the Champions.
Match 1: #5 Pederson def. #4 Richgels 245 – 191
Match 2: #5 Pederson def. #3 McDowell 255 – 248
Match 3: #2 Gibbons def. #5 Pederson 299- 181
Match 4: #2 Gibbons def. #1 Thompson 236 – 206