With the NDBowling.com Majors season wrapping up, many bowlers headed to Mandan, ND this past weekend for one last shot at a major title. The 29th annual KFYR TV Bowling Classic brought with it the usual mix of excitement and tradition, but this seasons event also provided a couple first time moments.
The action started Saturday at Midway Lanes in Mandan, ND where a full field of 120 bowlers bowled 8 games on a rather difficult pattern. The top 30 bowlers after Saturday’s qualifying round would advance to the match play portion of the tournament on Sunday. Leading the field on Saturday was Eric Kempel. Kempel fired an 8 game total of 1774 (221.75 average) to claim the 42″ TV awarded to the top qualifier. The cut to the top 30 was one of the lowest, if not the lowest, in the 29 year history of the event at 1557 (194.62 average).
Following Saturday’s qualifying round, a banquet was held inside the bar at Midway Lanes to award cash and prizes. At the banquet, the NDBowling.com Challenge prizes were also awarded. Aaron Petrowitz claimed this seasons challenge by scoring only 6 points (3rd at CMA, 3rd at KFYR). For his efforts, Petrowitz received $200 and a new Storm Crux bowling ball donated by The Pro Shop in Mandan.
On Sunday, the top 30 bowlers returned for match play. Bowlers were split up into 3 groups of 10 and would bowl round robin matches within each group. Winners of each match would receive 30 bonus pins. Throughout most of the day on Sunday, the buzz was surrounding the husband and wife combo of Clayton Mohr and Mindie Mohr, who were both comfortably in the top 10 all day long. Following an exciting position round, the final 5 were decided which included Mindie Mohr, the first female to ever qualify for the TV finals at the KFYR TV Bowling Classic.
Final 5 going into the TV Finals:
In match #1, Mindie Mohr matched up against 7-time NDBowling.com Major winner, Michael Schmidt. Mindie put together a key string of strikes in the middle of the match while Schmidt was plagued with carry issues. Mindie Mohr would advance to take on the 2013 KFYR Champion, Matt Smallin, in match #2.
This match remained close throughout and ultimately ended up tied. While both bowlers had numerous chances to win this match, Smallin prevailed in a tenth frame roll-off to advance.
In match #3, Matt Smallin matched up against Brian Kraft. Smallin made a key ball change on the left lane early in this game and was able to put a string of strikes on the board. A key open by Kraft later in the game ultimately determined his fate and Smallin advanced to the Championship Match against Clayton Mohr.
Clayton Mohr entered the finals as the top seed in his 3rd straight major (Mohr did not bowl the NDBowling.com Classic). The championship match remained close as both bowlers exchanged several strikes early. The match was decided in the 9th frame when Mohr got a little firm with a shot on the right lane and received a terrible break leaving the 7-10. Entering the 10th, Smallin would only need a few pins to seal the deal. The win gives Matt his 2nd KFYR TV Bowling Classic title and 3rd NDBowling.com Major title overall.
I would like to thank Jim Mellon and the entire staff at Midway Lanes for hosting another great event.
Congratulations to the 2015 KFYR TV Bowling Classic Champion, Matt Smallin!
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