McNiel Captures First Shootout Title

The 10th Annual Morris Anderson Memorial Shootout was held in Minot, ND this weekend. 126 Bowlers entered the event dispite terrible weather conditions due to Winter Storm Gandolf. The bowling started on Saturday at North Hill Bowl where all entrants would bowl 8 games. After the qualifying round, the top 36 bowlers would advance to Sundays second round for a shot at the $5000 top prize. The Shootout also marked the final leg of the Can-Am Challenge and the first leg in the NDBowling.com Challenge.

NDBowling.com Owner Daren Seney with Can-Am Champion Mike Schmidt

The tournament pattern of choice was Kegels’ Autobahn. This pattern proved to be challenging on both sides of the lane and the scores remained relatively low. The challenging oil pattern forced many bowlers out of their comfort zone and put an emphasis on shot making in order to string strikes together. Leading the way on Saturday was Dave Langer. Langer shot 1815 (226.87 ave) en route to the top qualifying position for the second consecutive year. For his efforts, Langer will receive a paid entry into next years Shootout. Langer would be joined by 35 other qualifyers advancing to Sundays second round. The cut line on Saturday was -10.

Once the qualifying round was completed, scores were tallied to determine the Can-Am Challenge champion. Winning by a comfortable margin was Mike Schmidt. Schmidt qualified 1st in Winnipeg last weekend and 5th at the Shootout to tally only 6 points and claim the $250 top prize. Congratulations Mike! Current Standings for the NDBowling.com Challenge will be posted under the “NDBowling.com Challenge” tab.

On Sunday, the 36 qualifyers would be split into 3, 12 man groups. Each group would bowl round robin matches with the winners receiving 30 bonus pins. After the 12 games of match play, the top 5 bowlers would advance to the televised stepladder final. The lane conditions played slightly different on Sunday, and the bowlers who made proper adjustments would end up on top. Following the 12 games of match play, qualifying leader Dave Langer lead all bowlers and claimed the #1 seed for the TV Show. Langer would be joined by Matt McNiel, Daron Hansen, Matt Meyer, and Andy Mills.

Matt McNiel – 2013 Morris Anderson Memorial Shootout Champion

In the opening match, Meyer put a few strikes together and capitalized on a couple opens by Mills to advance rather easily 234-161. Meyer advanced to the quarterfinals vs former shootout champion Daron Hansen. This match remained relatively close as both bowlers struggled to carry. Meyer stepped up after a costly open by Hansen and doubled to put the match away 214-192. Looking comfortable, Meyer advanced to the semifinals against 2012 Shootout runner-up, Matt McNiel. This match remained close the entire way, and both bowlers entered the 9th frame with 4 consectutive strikes and a 4 pin advantage for McNiel. Following a 9/ by Meyer in the 9th, McNiel closed the door with emotionally charged strikes in the 9th and 10th frames to advance 245-242. The win gave McNiel a spot in the title match for the second consecutive year. In the title match, Langer struggled finding a decent look on the left lane. McNiel put a few strikes together to win it 234-182. With the victory, McNiel claims his first Morris Anderson Memorial Shootout title and the top prize of $5000. McNiel also becomes the 10th different winner in the 10 year history of the event. The TV show will air Friday February 8th at 7 PM on Midco Sports Network.

Thank you to all bowlers who braved the elements to enter the tournament this weekend. Thank you to Jeff Kragh, Rory Selk, and the entire staff at North Hill Bowl for putting together another great tournament. Final results will be posted under the “results” tab within the next week.

The tournament schedule will take a week off before the annual Bowling Classic in Fargo and Grand Forks. NDBowling.com will be in Fargo to provide live updates from the event. Please visit our upcoming events tab for all tournament listings. Congratulations to this years Shootout Champion, Matt McNiel, and thank you for visiting NDBowling.com!

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