Update: As of Aug. 28, Joe Engelkes says he has 177 entries, just 15 shy of full.
He said in an email that "If you wish to request a specific squad, those assignments will be made based on the date I receive entry fees as well as distance traveled and/or work conflicts. I will do my best to accommodate your squad requests, but as we fill up with entries it will be impossible to guarantee first choices. The plan is to have equal numbers on both squads or as close as possible.
"I know there are a lot of skeptics who don’t think it is possible to draw 192 bowlers to a scratch tournament with the current state of bowling, however, I choose to believe it is possible. It is amazing to me what can be accomplished when we get so much support from bowlers across the Midwest in recruiting additional bowlers. Help me out by talking this major event up with your fellow bowlers."
Engelkes said the lane pattern for the tournament is being designed with Kegel, that it will be a "Sport" compliant pattern, and that the tournament will be Sport certified. More information will be released on the pattern when it's available, he said.
"We are also attempting to come up with a second lane machine to speed up the redressing process between squads," he said. "If that happens, we may be able to move the second squad up a little. I will keep everyone informed on that situation as well. My plans are to publish my list of reservations next week so everyone can double check to make sure they are on my list."
The Fusions Realtors Open is two months away and the field already is nearly half full, according to Greater Iowa Bowing Association operator Joe Engelkes.
The Sept. 14-16 tournament at Cadillac Lanes in Waterloo, Iowa, is up to more than $12,000 in added money, Engelkes said, which helps explain why the maximum 192-man field might fill. Last year's event filled at 128 entries at smaller Maple Lanes in Waterloo.
For full details on the tournament, go to my blog here. It includes links to information about the tournament and last year's event, which was won by Matt McNiel.
"We have not made a final decision yet on the pattern to be used, but I am leaning toward using a Kegel pattern and certifying the tournament as Sport," Engelkes said in an email.
Squad requests will be filled based on when entries are received, he said.
Engelkes also announced that the tournament has secured a block of 50 rooms at $79.99 per night at the Isle of Capri Casino, which is about a 5-minute drive from Cadillac. I've stayed there several times and it's a beautiful facility. The room are only being held until Aug. 1 at that rate. The code to use is GC91412.
I've also found it fairly easy in the past to Priceline rooms at good prices in Waterloo, and not far from Cadillac.
Mike Flanagan and his crack crew from Insidebowling.com will be webcasting the competition live.
Another Fusion Realtors Open is scheduled for Feb. 22-24, 2013 at Maple Lanes in Waterloo.