Submitted by Joe Engelkes
In a wild finish to a very low-scoring tournament, Mike Peters found a way to get it done by shooting 256 in the final game of the 10-bowler round-robin match play finals. Peters rallied from third place to get past both Bryan Tippett and Shannon Buchan for a 16-pin victory.
The 63 bowlers who participated were challenged by the U.S. Open pattern used for this tournament. Only four bowlers averaged 200 for the eight qualifying games, with Duane Kilts leading with a 1,668 total. The finals proved to be even more difficult with only Tippett averaging more than 200 for the 10 matches. Tippett found an outside line to the pocket early on in the finals to work his way up the standings. After the first five games in the finals, Tippett held a lead of just over 100 pins. As the lanes transitioned, he suffered a major blow to his lead, shooting a 157 the sixth game to see most of his lead evaporate.
From there it was a dog fight with less than 100 pins separating the top seven spots through the next three games. Buchan started to make his move as did Peters, Kilts, and Jacob Bedard from further down the standings. Buchan eventually found his way to the lead going into the final position round match.
The final matches took several twists and turns as Buchan started with a double, split the third frame, and then came back with another double. Tippett started slowly, but stayed clean with spares early before finding a turkey going into the 10th frame. He had a chance to lock up the title in that 10th frame if he struck out, but a stubborn 10 pin on a great shot put him on the bench with a 212 game. Buchan got up for his 10th frame needing a double to win his match against Tippett, and as it turned out he also needed that double to stay ahead of Peters. Buchan threw a decent shot, but it finished a bit high, leaving a four pin.
Meanwhile, Peters was throwing strikes on the pair beside Tippett and Buchan. Starting with the first four strikes followed by a couple of spares, Peters then struck in the seventh and eighth frames. He then put the pressure on both Tippett and Buchan by striking in the ninth and on the first ball in the 10th as well. As Buchan stepped on the approach for the 10th frame, the crowd knew Peters would be the winner if Buchan didn’t get a double. What a comeback it was, as some some clutch bowling helped Peters to the title.
One testament to how difficult the pattern played was that it only took an average of 187 to make the last cash spot in 18th place. Spares were not easy, but they were critical to success. Peters’s win paid a total of $500 plus a paid entry to the U.S. Open. In addition, there was a nice carryover in the "bet you win" pot, as Peters took home another $530.00 for winning that as well. The complete results can be viewed at www.giba-bowling.com.
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