North Hill Bowl in Minot, ND will play host to the 13th Annual Morris Anderson Memorial Shootout this weekend. Most bowlers are fresh off a trip North to Winnipeg where a rather strong field bowlers were forced to make solid shots to compete. The conditions at the CMA Memorial Shootout will be no different. With a 2.19 to 1 ratio oil pattern, the talented field of USBC Eagle winners, past Team USA members, and Hall of Famers will be put to the test. Here are some of the story lines heading into the seasons second Major.
Will there be a repeat winner?
The Morris Anderson Memorial Shootout has been held every year since 2003. For the past 12 years, the Shootout has produced 12 different winners. This may seem normal to many, but the other 3 NDBowling.com Majors have seen a repeat winner within the first 8 years. The Morris Anderson Memorial Shootout generally draws the most entries of the 4 Major Championships due to the hefty $5000 top prize. The high amount of entries is probably the leading cause for the lack of repeat winners. We will see if any of our past champions can put together another quality tournament and take home the Shootout title for the second time.
Will the cut be + or -?
The Shootout has always been known to keep the cut line around even. The last 3 seasons have produced cut lines of +10, +11, and -10. This season will feature an oil pattern with a 2.19-1 ratio. This pattern will require premium shot making and solid spare shooting to score well. The pattern many have come to know as “program 30” was used in a couple tournaments earlier this season and produced very low scores. Those low scores may have also been a product of the quality of bowlers. The two test tournaments were of the handicap variety. So taking into account the way the lanes will break down with more and better skilled bowlers may swing the scores a little higher. I do not anticipate scores being very high, but it will all depend on how the lanes break down games 4-5-6.
5 in a row for Minnesota?
Minnesota bowlers have had their way with the Shootout the last 4 years. Victories by Scott Pohl in 2012, Matt McNiel in 2013, Dave Langer in 2014, and Clayton Mohr last season have kept the title in the state of Minnesota. The last North Dakota bowler to win the Shootout was Matt Smallin in 2011. NDBowling.com Majors record holder Michael Schmidt will look to take home the Major title that he has come so close to winning. A win by Schmidt would not only be the first for Canada, but it will also give him wins in 3 separate Majors (missing only the KFYR) and 8 Majors overall.
The Morris Anderson Memorial Shootout is one of my favorite tournaments each year. We get to crown a champion in the Can-Am Challenge while covering the first leg of the NDBowling.com Challenge between the CMA and the KFYR. This tournament produces one of the most stacked fields that you will ever see in North Dakota and the show on NDBowlTV this Sunday is bound to be an instant classic.
Tournament will begin on Saturday at 11 Am. All bowlers will bowl 8 games of qualifying with the top 36 advancing to the match play round on Sunday.
If you have never bowled this event, I highly recommend doing so. Jeff Kragh and his staff do a great job running the event and the quality of bowlers attending make it a challenge worth experiencing.
Tune in Sunday for coverage of the stepladder finals on NDBowlTV. Start time will be around 130-3 depending on the pace of the match play round. Please follow NDBowling.com on Twitter (@NDBowling) for showtime updates.