Any fear that a tweak of last year’s lane pattern for this year’s Greater Iowa Bowling Association 11thFrame.com Open might mean the conditions would be too soft was allayed by the results of Friday night’s sweeper.
Clayton Mohr took the $400 first prize by topping the 42-player field with 1,153 for five games.
Fellow Minnesota player Brady Stearns was second with 1,126, followed by Brody Green at 1,071, Steve Taylor 1,058, and Austin Aude 1,052.
Steve Coan got the last check in 13th with 978, two pins better than Andrew Willems.
Full results are attached to the bottom of this story as PDFs.
The tournament lane pattern again is based on the 2015 U.S. Open pattern designed by USBC lane pattern consultant Nick Hoagland.
The plan had been to have Hoagland design us a new pattern based on that pattern, as I earned Hoagland’s services by making a donation to the Make-A-Wish charity tied to the Hoosier Classic college tourney H2M Management runs in Indianapolis. However, we have decided to push off using Hoagland's new design until 2022 because Cherry Lanes director Bob Hochrein felt he didn't have enough time to thoroughly test the pattern before the tournament.
Instead, Hochrein slightly tweaked the pattern used in 2020 and both the 2020 and 2021 patterns are attached to the bottom of this story as PDFs.
While some 11thFrame.com Opens have featured left-handed dominance, the high lefty in 2020 was Rich Blake in 12th, as right-hander Jerry Marrs won.
The 2020 pattern was 43.5 feet with 37.38 mL of oil and main ratios for the zones of 18-18 and 3-7 boards of 1.43-1 on the left side and 1.7-1 on the right side.
The 2021 pattern is a tad shorter and lighter at 43 feet and 37.01 mL, with main ratios for the zones of 18-18 and 3-7 boards of 1.46-1 on the left side and 1.67-1 on the right side.
The pattern is attached to the bottom of this story as a PDF.
Our goals always include not losing control of the lane (no excessive lofting) with 12 games on Sunday, as much equity as possible between left-handers and right-handers (the hardest thing to achieve in bowling), and a tough pattern with a relatively low scoring pace, though we gladly would accept a slightly higher scoring pace than preferred if it meant satisfying the first two things.
I missed cashing in the sweeper by 20 pins at 958 with a ridiculous 138 in the fourth game.
The players who had success attacked the pattern with balls with rough surface somewhere right of 10-board.
I played outside 5-board using a Storm PRO-MOTION, INCITE and Roto Grip UFO, roughed with either a 360-grit Arbalon pad or 500-grit CTD pad, which are about the same in what they do to a ball.
On all but our fourth pair I had some level of hook from outside and just needed to keep my speed slow and roll it cleanly.
Our fourth pair had hang on the outside for whatever reason and I left a variety of light and high splits (2-8-10 and light pocket 8-10, 3-4-6-7 and 3-10), a whiffed 10-pin, and a missed bucket.
If I hit six pairs in Saturdays qualifying that are like the other four pairs I hit Friday I could definitely make the cut, which I imagine will be somewhere from slightly below even to slightly above even.
I think the scores would be higher if all right-handers played outside 5-board in a conscious effort to break down the outside, as a group might do at the USBC Open Championships.
One wild card is that lane 6 is broken down and Cherry Lanes was sent the wrong part to get it working again, so lanes 3-4 in the VIP area will be used. The other option was to put five bowlers on some pairs ever squad but that would have us bowling until maybe 11 p.m., which is far worse.
Lane 5 is notorious for hooking an arrow or more than the rest of Cherry’s main 26 lanes, so using 3-4 should not be a big deal. I went in with Hochrein after the sweeper and rolled a few shots on 3-4 and it was very close to the rest of the house so I see no issues from using the pair.