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Brady Stearns leads qualifying as plus 29 makes cut, plus 15 cashes at 2023 GIBA 11thFrame.com Open

JEFF RICHGELS | Posted: Saturday, August 19, 2023 11:00 pm
Brady Stearns leads qualifying as plus 29 makes cut, plus 15 cashes at 2023 GIBA 11thFrame.com Open
Brady Stearns. Photo from Facebook.

Brady Stearns led Saturday’s qualifying with 1,448 for six games as 1,229 made the cut and 1,215 cashed at the 2023 GIBA 11thFrame.com Open at Cherry Lanes inside the Diamond Jo Casino building in Dubuque, Iowa.

The 156 players bowled six games with the top 48 advancing to Sunday’s competition and four additional players cashing.

David Krol was second with 1,423, followed by Roger Harford at 1,413, Zach Andresen 1,385, Cameron Foster 1,381, Ryan Powers 1,373, Tim Behrendt 1,364, Kyle Krol 1,352, Quincy Bruce 1,348, and Chris Wiley 1,333.

Kody Sapp was 48th at 1,229, three pins ahead of Matt Tomsu.

Stephen Habel got the last check in 52nd at 1,215, a pin ahead of Seth Tegtmeier.

Sunday’s innovative format that comes from the fertile mind of Mike 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.

The top five after 18 games with bonus pins make the stepladder finals, which will be contested on fresh oil and air via Facebook live at the Greater Iowa Bowling Association Facebook page. It should start around 3:45 p.m. to a little later.

The entry fee is $160, and first through fifth is $2,800, $2,300, $1,800, $1,400 and $1,100. Seniors and women each are guaranteed a 1-in-3 cashing ratio paying at least $160 per check. For example, if 15 seniors enter and two cash in the regular prize list there would be three separate senior checks so five cash.

All results are at this page. Full qualifying results are here and also attached to this story as a PDF.

And the Flanagan format results are in this Google document that will be updated each game on Sunday.

Stearns and Krol were among the players who used urethane up the outside, which seemed to be the most prevalent strategy for those who had success on Saturday on the lane pattern we also used for the tournament last year.

Nick Hoagland, who designs patterns for USBC, offered Cherry Lanes director Bob Hochrein his expertise in crafting a shorter pattern than the pattern we used for several years prior to 2022 that was a modification of the 2015 U.S. Open pattern designed by Hoagland for USBC.

I earned Hoagland’s services by making a donation to the Make-A-Wish charity tied to the huge Hoosier Classic college tourney H2M Management runs in Indianapolis. (That was an offer he made to anyone.)

The pattern is 37 feet with 24.63 mL of Connect oil and pattern ratios by volume of 1.11-1 on the left and 1.66-1 on the right. 

Here is what Hoagland said about the pattern before last year's tournament: "I was glad to help the tournament out as Jeff was kind enough to make a donation to Make-A-Wish to help the Columbia 300 Hoosier Classic Bowling Tournament to grant wishes! Jeff, Bob and Joe wanted something different, and shorter, and it is a challenge! The pattern should play out for everyone and I do expect urethane to be in play. I think that the pattern will hold up for 12 games due to the fact that everyone’s ball will be outside of the first arrow at the breakpoint; thus saving the track and middle parts of the lane for later in the block.”

Here is an interview with Stearns, who led B squad, and here is an interview with Krol, who led C squad.

Harford, who led A squad, used an old Storm IQ Tour and fired the ball up the outside, though he didn’t consider his ball speed abnormally high for himself. Here is an interview with Harford.

There were some players who enjoyed success hooking reactive resin, but others only found it after making the switch to urethane up the outside. One example was Zack Denton who was about 80 under after three games curving reactive, switched to urethane up the edge and rebounded to 1,260.

At least five left-handers made the top 52, and there may have been more as I don’t know every name in the top 52.

The top lefties were Ryan Julian, a native of New Zealand who bowls for Mount Mercy, with 1,329 for 11th, 2-time 11thFrame.com Open champion and 4-time GIBA major champion Nate Stubler with 1,322 for 13th, and Cameron Crowe with 1,289 for was 17th despite arriving late and missing practice.

Crowe said he was about 20 minutes out of his house in the Chicago area when he reached for his backpack and realized he had left it at home. He had to return and get it because it contained his bowling shoes.

Crowe arrived just as competition was starting and raced in to start competition without practice.

No worries when you are young, strong and talented.

The 11thFrame.com Open generally has been feast or famine for lefties, but I had one left-hander say this was the most equitable 11thFrame.com Open he has seen.

That’s a bit puzzling since it was the same pattern that last year mostly saw lefties struggling. However, the high heat and humidity this weekend in Dubuque seemed to have the lanes hooking more.

The challenge is finding something that holds up on the right side for the 12 games on Sunday without having players ending up lofting the left guttercap as happened in 2014. That generally means a pattern that plays from the outside, but it’s very hard to use such a pattern without having lefties dominate. Compensating for that domination can easily shut them out.

We also aim for a challenging pattern with a relatively low scoring pace, which adds to the challenge of crafting the pattern.

I’ll say again something I’ve written and said numerous times: the margin between lefty dominance and shutout, and excessive softness and brutality is smaller now than it ever has been in bowling history. Equity between sides and styles and a middle ground in scoring has never been harder for a lane pattern designer to find.

The one thing I promise is transparency in what we put out and the reasoning that goes into it — I would not allow my name and brand to be part of any tournament that didn’t offer transparency.

The top women were Brittany Smith with 1,198 for 62nd and Alexis Runk with 1,192 for 65th. I believe there were enough women’s entries for both to cash in that category.

There also may be a couple of additional senior checks.

GIBA administrator Joe Engelkes said there is more than $4,000 in added money from GIBA sponsor Ebonite and returning sponsors the Dubuque Regional Sports CommissionDiamond Jo CasinoCherry LanesIAMBowling, and 11thFrame.com

Darin Bloomquist edged Lucas Hersrud and Brady Stearns to win the 2023 GIBA 11thFrame.com Open Sweeper on Friday night, as I detailed in this story.

My preview of the 2023 GIBA 11thFrame.com Open is here.

PBA Tour player Nick Pate won the 2022 11thFrame.com Open.

Matt McNiel won in 2012Matt Gasn in 2014McNiel again in 2015Jay Watts in 2016Adam Morse in 2017Andy Mills in 2018Nate Stubler in 2019Jerry Marrs in 2020, and Stubler again in 2021. (No tournament was held in 2013.)