Chris Gibbons capped off a terrific day of match play bowling by chasing perfection, finishing with a 297-246 win over Rick Erce in the stepladder final to win the MAST 2021-22 Year-End Championship at Spartan Bowl in McFarland Sunday. Gibbons was pursuing his third perfect game of the day, having shot a pair of 300 games in his first four matches in round-robin play. The title was Gibbons’ eleventh career MAST title and first year-end title.
Gibbons earned $1,000 for the victory, with Erce taking home $800 for second. Jason French (3rd – $650) and Don Benner (4th – $500) rounded out the stepladder finalists. The other match play payouts Sunday were Tony Oliva (5th – $380), Brittany Pollentier (6th – $345), Cody Roedner (7th – $315), Kevin Punzel (8th – $290), Chris Pollentier (9th – $270), Ron Blanchar (10th – $255), Billy Foertsch (11th – $245), and Jeff Richgels (12th – $240). MAST also paid out two cash spots Saturday, going to Jacob Morris (13th – $120) and Kevin Thompson (14th – $110).
There were a flurry of honor counts early in the day Sunday. In addition to the pair of perfect games from Gibbons, there were also 300 games from Oliva, French, Brittany Pollentier, and a near miss from Richgels with a 299, all occurring in the first four rounds of round-robin play.
The tournament’s prize fund was bolstered by contributions from host center Spartan Bowl, who provided a lineage discount totaling $200, and from Mark Newkirk, who donated his MAST Officer’s compensation of $600 from our ten regular-season events back into the prize fund. Special thanks to Spartan Bowl for their generosity and for a great event.
Thirty-two bowlers participated in an eight-game qualifying round Saturday on Spartan’s house pattern, with the top twelve qualifiers advancing to Sunday’s match play rounds. The high scoring pace produced terrific competition throughout the day for the last qualifying spot. During the first six games of qualifying, the gap between 12th and 15th place was less than ten pins all but one of those games (16 pins in game #3), and settled at eleven pins for each of the last two games. Tony Oliva emerged from the pack to claim the twelfth & final qualifying spot at 1,855.
At the top of the leaderboard, Jeff Richgels led qualifying during five of the final six games to claim the top seed in Sunday’s match play at 1,988. Richgels’ terrific set included one of the day’s three honor counts with 830 (268-266-296) in his first three games.
The other qualifiers advancing to Sunday’s match play round were Rick Erce (2nd – 1,965), Don Benner (3rd – 1,921), Kevin Punzel (4th – 1,906), Chris Gibbons (5th – 1,898), Ron Blanchar (6th – 1,892), Cody Roedner (7th – 1,888), Billy Foertsch (8th – 1,885), Jason French (9th – 1,883), Chris Pollentier (10th – 1,869), and Brittany Pollentier (11th – 1,863). Chris Pollentier and Punzel had the biggest moves late; Pollentier closed with 287 to climb from 19th to 10th, and Punzel’s 266 finish moved him up from 11th to 4th.
The other two honor counts Saturday came from Roedner (300 in game #2) and Dan Swenson with 800 (266-280-254) in his first three games.
MAST also recognized the top ten bowlers in our M & J Truck and Auto Points Race Saturday. Chris Pounders won this year’s points title with 1,590 points, earning him $450. The other points payouts Saturday were $310 to Brent Ritchie (2nd – 1,361), $240 to Jay Heinzelman (3rd – 1,335), $205 to Chris Gibbons (4th – 1,241), $175 to Kevin Thompson (5th – 1,210), $150 to Mike Hoffman (6th – 1,133), $130 to Danny Verdecchia (7th – 1,060), $115 to Cody Roedner (8th – 992), $105 to Trevor Habich (9th – 988), and $100 to Jeff Prein (10th – 951).
This concludes the MAST 2021-22 season. MAST extends a huge Thank You to our tour co-sponsors M & J Truck and Auto Repair and Phoenix Pro Shops for their generosity this past season. MAST would also like to thank all of the bowlers who came back out to support us this year in our return following the COVID-19 pandemic. Our schedule for the 2022-23 season will be posted in August.