Keith Watson won his first Greater Iowa Bowling Association title and the $1,000 top prize over the weekend by topping a field of 65 bowlers in the annual Big Gun Shootout at Totem Bowl in Marshalltown, Iowa. The tournament was contested on a ‘house’ pattern and featured a 12-game sweeper format. After starting slowly with a 195 first game, Watson found the right formula to average 244 for the 12-game block. He was amazingly consistent after that slow start with his low game being 212 and a high game of 279. Watson’s victory came against a stellar field including many past champions from not only GIBA events, but PBA regional winners as well as defending USBC Masters champion, Tom Hess.
Following Watson in the standings were a couple of young bowlers from the Waterloo, Iowa area. Jacob Bedard and Troy Fuller were both extremely consistent in finishing second and third respectively. Bedard’s low game was a 205 as he averaged 241, and Fuller’s low was 227 as he averaged 239. The remaining bowlers in the top 10 were Scott Rains in fourth, Joe Roseman fifth, Scott Wohlwend sixth, Brett Lobdell seventh, Richard Kidd eighth, Derek Sapp ninth, and Jeff Rausch 10th. The tournament paid 19 places with a total prize fund of $6,840.
The final game of the tournament was not without drama as Watson shot 240 in game 11 to take a 21-pin lead over Bedard, with Fuller another four pins behind. Bedard and Fuller both got off to good starts in the last game while Watson had a couple of spares between his first two strikes. Bedard and Fuller were bowling on the same pair together and were finishing up a few frames ahead of Watson. Bedard finished his 10th frame before Fuller, and after striking on the first shot, Bedard went high and ended up shooting 247 in the final game.
Bedard’s first strike in the tenth shut out Fuller from going around him, but two strikes in the tenth would have given Troy a 246 game. Watson was bowling three pairs away, and after those two early spares, he started striking in the fifth frame. Knowing he needed to keep striking in order to shoot at least the 227 game he needed to win, Watson made a number of clutch shots as he struck out from the 5th frame to shoot a final game of 259 and locked up the victory.
The full field averaged 212 for this tournament with Joe Roseman bowling the event’s lone 300 game en route to his fifth-place finish.
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The next GIBA event will be November 13th at May City Bowl in Cedar Rapids, IA. The Iowa Open will feature the U.S. Open pattern, so the scoring level will be on a much lower level for that tournament. Information concerning that tournament and all other events on the GIBA schedule can be found at www.giba-bowling.com. You can find results from the Big Gun tournament as well as all of our other tournaments at that site as well.
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