For the past 3 years, NDBowling.com has covered events all over the region. While our travels have taken us to Canada, Minnesota, South Dakota and all over North Dakota, we have yet to cover an event in the Sioux Falls area. This past weekend, we traveled to Eastway Bowl in Sioux Falls, SD for the 4th annual Great Plains Scratch Classic.
With NDBowlTV there to provide wall to wall coverage of the event, 78 bowlers entered for a shot at the $1200 top prize. The format was simple yet unique. All bowlers would bowl 7 games of qualifying. The top 16 bowlers would advance to the bracket portion of the tournament. The top qualifier would earn a spot in the eliminator finals and the 2nd qualifier would earn a first round bye in the bracket. All other qualifiers would start in the first round of the bracket where they would be matched up with another bowler based on qualifying finish. Each bowler would bowl 2 games and the high pin total would advance. After the first 2 match play rounds, there would be 4 bowlers left for the semifinal eliminator. All 4 bowlers would bowl 2 games and the low score would finish in 5th place while the other 3 would join the top qualifier for the eliminator finals. In the eliminator finals, all bowlers would bowl one game with the low score each game becoming eliminated from the event until a champion was determined.
The lane pattern of choice was a 40 foot 2.14-1 ratio sport compliant condition using 29.06 ml of fire oil. The pattern proved to be a pretty tough test for all bowlers but did allow for multiple angles to attack.
In the qualifying round, Andy Mills used a 300 game and a 791 series games 5-7 to vault himself into top qualifying spot which earned him an automatic berth to the eliminator finals. Qualifying in second was Joe fleming who would earn a first round bye in the bracket. The cut to the top 16 was +37 or a 205.28 average.
Once the dust settled, the final 4 bowlers remaining for the eliminator finals were Nick Heilman, Adam Peters, Mike Kruse Jr, along with top qualifier Andy Mills. The finals were intriguing as two members of Nicholas J’s Pro Shop joined two members of Kruse’s Pro Shop in an all Brunswick final. While the first game of the finals felt more like it should have been a doubles match, all 4 bowlers bowled 1 game on the fresh tournament condition. Struggling to find any momentum early in the game, Andy Mills was the low man out and would finish in 4th place.
In game 2, Nick Heilman looked to prevent an all Kruse’s Pro Shop final. Powered by a 231 game, Heilman earned a spot in the finals by virtue of an Adam Peters 225 game. Mike Kruse Jr had an opportunity to tie Peters at 225, but failed to strike out in the 10th frame. Kruse Jr finished in 3rd place.
In the championship match, Nick Heilman used an early 4 bagger and avoided costly opens to outlast Adam Peters 219-196 to take home his first Great Plains Scratch Classic Title. Adam Peters would finish in second place. Complete results are posted at the bottom of the page.
You can watch the Great Plains Scratch Classic in its entirety in the NDBowlTV archives by clicking HERE.
I would like to thank Jeremy Thomas and his staff at Eastway Bowl for allowing NDBowlTV to cover this event. They went out of their way to ensure that everything ran smoothly for NDBowlTV and all bowlers participating in the event. I would also like to thank Joe Fleming for helping get NDBowlTV involved with the tournament.
Congratulations to Nick Heilman, the 2015 Great Plains Scratch Classic champion!