JEFF RICHGELS | Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 8:00 pm
Note: This story originally posted Aug. 14, 2018.
The first of this season’s two Greater Iowa Bowling Association Fusion Realtors/Community First National Bank Opens is set for Sept. 14-16 at Maple Lanes Lanes in Waterloo, Iowa, GIBA Administrator Joe Engelkes announced.
The popular tournament that pays out thousands more in prize money than it takes in in entry fees annually draws a full field of 180 bowlers, or close to it, at Maple Lanes. In the slightly larger Cadillac XBC in February the field can be 204 players. Fran and Rich Eighme and Fusion Realtors owner Zach Beschorner own both centers.
So players should get their $160 entry fee to Engelkes with their squad request as soon as possible. Any paid entry not receiving a spot will be refunded in full. No checks will be cashed until two weeks prior to the tournament date.
Mail entries to Engelkes at 1805 Quail Ridge Road, Waterloo, IA 50613. He can be reached at email@example.com or 319-260-1356 or 319-269-6909.
Update: As of Wednesday, Sept. 12, Engelkes reported that there were a few spots still open on A and B squads, with more on C. Squad listings are posted here.
"As we have done in the past, if the tournament does not fill, we will allow re-entries on B and/or C squads," he said. "Re-entries are not something I normally would allow, but since a significant amount of our added prize money comes from the Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau and they focus mainly on the number of entries, we need to do whatever it takes to keep that funding in place for the future."
Engelkes said the tournament again will have more than $5,000 in sponsorship. In addition to the two title sponsors, support also comes from the Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ebonite International, Budweiser/Bud Light, Logo Infusion, Fran’s Pro Shop, and King Pin Bar & Grill. Logo Infusion is offering 20 percent off for those using the code GIBA2018.
There will be a practice session from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14 for a cost of $10, with that $10 including a free raffle ticket for prizes. Ebonite has donated a bowling ball certificate for the raffle, and Cadillac is donating the lineage so the entire $10 will go back into the tournament to help pay for the webcast.
Update: On Friday, Sept. 14, Engelkes posted the lane pattern at the practice session and sent it to me for this story. It is added to the bottom of this story. The asymmetrical pattern is 43 feet with 29.79 mL of oil, and the left-side ratios are 2.19-1 middle-outside track, 1.47-1 middle-middle track, and 1-17 middle-inside track. The right-side ratios are 1.98-1 middle-outside track, 1.34-1 middle-middle track, and 1.04-1 middle-inside track.
The pattern will be posted at and put down for the practice session and when I get that info, I will add it to this story.
There will be three qualifying squads — A at 9 a.m., B at 1:45 p.m. and C at 6:30 p.m. — of seven games on Saturday, Sept. 15.
The top 60 (based on 180 entries) advance to a 6-game semifinals at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16. Pins carry over and the top 10 after 12 games make the modified stepladder finals.
The finals feature a 10-man modified stepladder with the top four making the stepladder and the remaining six bowling bracket matches to determine the final spot. Seeds 5 and 6 get a bye before facing the winners of matches between seeds 7-10 and 8-9.
Anyone who has bowled one of the Fusion Realtors Opens the past few years knows what awesome events they are. To those who haven’t: you are missing a well-run tournament with a strong field and format, challenging condition and great payout.
With 180 entries, there will be 60 cashers, first through fifth will be $3,000, $2,200, $1,600, $1,300 and $1,100, 9th and 10th will be $650, and last cash will be $220.
There also is a guaranteed 1 in 3 cashing ratio for seniors and women. For example, if there are 15 senior entries and three cash in the regular prize fund, two more spots will be paid so there are five total cash spots. The minimum payout will be $150.
And there will be pots and brackets, with half of the bracket proceeds going back into the prize fund.
Past Fusion winners were Nick Pate in February 2018, Chris Pierson in September 2017, Vince Biondo in February 2017, Casey Murphy in September 2016, Dave Beres in February 2016, Steve Keeler in September 2015, Matt Smith in January 2015, Tom Hess in September 2014, Casey Murphy in February 2014, Jason Poli in September 2013, Nick Heilman in February 2013, Derek Sapp in September 2012, and Matt McNiel in September 2011.