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Like fine wine: Tom Adcock leads qualifying at 2021 GIBA 11thFrame.com Open

JEFF RICHGELS | Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2021 11:30 pm
Like fine wine: Tom Adcock leads qualifying at 2021 GIBA 11thFrame.com Open
Tom Adcock. Photo by Jeff Richgels.

Tom Adcock is less than a year from being a super senior, but has been doing some of the best bowling of his stellar career in recent weeks.

In the PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Open in Anderson, Indiana earlier this month, the 59-year-old right-hander led qualifying by an astounding 248 pins and eventually earned the top seed before losing to Parker Bohn III in the title match.

On Saturday at Cherry Lanes in Dubuque, Iowa, Adcock totaled 1,401 for six games (233.5 average) to lead qualifying at the 2021 Greater Iowa Bowling Association 11thFrame.com Open, topping numerous high-level players less than half his age.

Here is a Facebook live video I did with Adcock after his big block on B squad.


Mike Kicmal was second at 1,398, Cameron Crowe third with 1,393, Dave Dentlinger fourth at 1,373, and Brady Stearns fifth at 1,361. 

The top 48 advanced to Sunday’s 12-game “Flanagan format” semifinals, with the top five then advancing to a stepladder finals. 

Austin Aude, Steve Taylor and Mark Stenger finished tied for 47th, 48th and 49th at 1,213, a pin ahead of Alex Denton.

Stenger had gone home to Peoria, Illinois after his qualifying round and Aude and Taylor negotiated a split of their winnings with Stenger in return for Stenger not returning for a 1-game roll-off Sunday morning to decide the final two spots in Sunday’s semifinals.

There also were four extra cash spots for a 1-in-3 cashing ratio, and Rich Blake got the final cash spot at 1,202, two pins ahead of Jim Schroeder.

Crowe, the powerful 2-handed lefty who won the Junior Gold U20 title last month, led A squad firing games of 264, 286, 213, 238, 208 and 184 on the difficult, high volume lane pattern, which is 43 feet with 37.01 mL of oil, and main ratios for the zones of 18-18 and 3-7 boards of 1.46-1 on the left side and 1.67-1 on the right side.

I crossed with Crowe, 2019 11thFrame.com Open champion Nate Stubler (teammates at St. Ambrose University), and Tom Hess, and thoroughly enjoyed watching their display of power and shotmaking as all three advanced to Sunday.

I interviewed Crowe after the squad was over and here is the Facebook live video.

Crowe’s early performance brought out worries over left-handed dominance of the event, but he ended up being the only lefty in the top 13 and only six were among the top 49.

The top 49 included 19 players from B squad and 15 each from A and C squad.

Full results are attached to the bottom of this story as a PDF and in this GIBA Google docs page.

Sunday’s innovative format that comes from the fertile mind of Flanagan features 12 games of bowling starting at 9 a.m. with bonus pins based on score from highest to lowest. For example, if 48 advance to Sunday in each game the highest scorer will get 48 bonus pins, the second-highest scorer 47 pins, so on down to 1 bonus pin for the lowest score each game. Whatever number of finalists there are, that number of bonus pins will go to the high scorer down to 1 pin for the lowest score each game.

Yes, it’s not head-to-head; instead, it’s all-against-one. The idea is to reward the consistently solid bowler and not the one who may bowl the right people at the right time. And everyone who makes the cut gets to bowl all of Sunday's games.

I started with three strikes and rolled 216 the first game, but as soon as the lanes started transitioning I was trapped between a 2-8-10 reaction when I edged in and gave it away a little and a 3-6-10 reaction when I stayed up the lane. At 59, I no longer have the speed or revs to handle this sort of pattern once young power players transition it and I think it’s time to retire from such events for good.

I followed the 216 start with 166, 173 and 158 trying everything I could to find something that wasn’t a split or difficult spare when I missed the pocket. My last two games were 166 and 178 trying various things for just 1,057.

I was physically as fine as a person can be at 59. I’m just a has-been who has no business competing with young players who are as good as the likes of Crowe and Stubler and young seniors like Hess.

The tournament again was sponsored by the Dubuque Regional Sports CommissionDiamond JoStorm Bowling ProductsLogo Infusionand 11thFrame.com.