April fool’s day proved to be no joke as Stacey Jones topped the field as Redbird Lanes and insidebowling.com teamed up to present the inaugural “Old School Open.” Another “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks,” motto was tested in full force as there were at least three other events taking place this weekend; not to mention the 90 degree summer like weather in the Lou as well. As we started with a field close to a hopeful 60+ bowlers, some last minute “texters,” and the aforementioned events above; resulted in a final field of 35 players, shoe’d up, scuffed up, and ready to bowl.
I was not part of the test crew for this events pattern, but from talking with my IB team, it seemed like the shorter pattern we initially came up with was a little too soft for this unique event. The problem from there, was the longer pattern was a little too hard? So the “in between” pattern was selected. This pattern forced all playing styles to the extreme outside part of the lane which proved to be pretty high scoring for some. Not that we want anyone to “struggle” or bowl bad at our events, but they still seemed a little too easy for what we were aiming for. What we all noticed though, was as the day went on, the pattern seemed to get tougher which proved to be more of what we were looking for as it took +133 to make the semi’s after 5 games. Sure, that’s a little over a 225 average, but when were are seeing 6 – 8 baggers the first game we didn’t want this event to be pegged as a score-fest so to see the scores plateau a little after 5 games, gave us all a content feeling on the scoring pace.
Early hook, and little direction down-lane helped trim the field down to 7, and it was time for the horses to start jockeying for position. The goal from here was to try to make it to the step ladder finals.
McKendree University's Derek Kindig, and Stacey Jones from St. Louis, were up for the challenge during the semis as they qualified 1, 2, respectively. Also, exciting enough, the 3rd and final spot came down to the 10th frame of the 3rd game of the semi’s as Robert Hammond doubled in the 10th to shut out Lindenwood University's Danny Spink who got “urethaned” by an 8 – 10 earlier in the 3rd game (on a good shot according to him..ha!). From there, Hammond took on his crossing partner of all 8 games for the day with Stacey Jones defeating Hammond 225 to 204. The championship match came down to the 10th also with Kindig having a chance to double in the 10th to win, but an unfortunate split on his first ball gave Jones the title 232 to 200.
On top of the always popular bracket action during an IB event, bowlers could also enter a 20 dollar winner take-all mulligan super side-pot which threw out your lowest of the 5 games and netted Hammond 480 dollars. Big congrats also go out to Don Griffin for winning a Brunswick Nexxus for claiming the title of “best dressed” for the event. A super spiked mullet , foo Manchu mustache, and light blue pants played the part to perfection. Another big thanks go out to all that participated in dressing the part as well; the sumo, and southern BPAA travel league attire (just to name a few), made the event that much more nostalgic.
Congrats again to all the cashers in this year’s event, and Stacey Jones for taking home the title (and trophy). Big thanks go out to all that support the IB network and we look forward to seeing everyone at our next event!
The Insidebowling.com Open Tournament guaranteeing $5,000 for first is April 28th and 29th. You can register here.