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Bowling News USA - December 22, 2011 Sean Swanson & Casey Murphy Win Holiday Doubles 2011

Sean Swanson has had arguably more success at the Holiday Doubles tournament at Red Bird Lanes in Cahokia, Illinois than any other bowler in the history of the tournament. Swanson has won 2 out of the last 3 years with his partner Sean Quinn from Mississippi, but this year Swanson was forced to find a new teammate. Quinn is taking a break from bowling at the moment, so the Sean & Sean show currently does not exist and their future is unknown.

Casey Murphy (2011 Bowler's Journal Champion) was selected by Swanson to replace Quinn in this year's edition of the tournament. This year's event filled to a maximum number of teams totaling 72 which is incredible considering the economy and overall drop in tournament play throughout the country. This event may have reached 100 entries if the venue could hold it.

Two admirable decisions made by tournament director Jerry Anderson were the cause of filling the tournament. Jerry decided this year to take less money for lineage and give more back to the bowlers which allowed for an advertised top prize of $5,000 instead of $3,000 in years past. Also Jerry approached my company about promoting this year's event and we were happy to do so considering the rich history of this event. It was a tournament we felt very strong about promoting as our own. gave the event a new look with a revised flyer, 25 hours of live streaming coverage, additional staff in jerseys provided by Gemini, networking through social media, and an overall upscale bowling look and feel. One of the best things brings to the audience at home is updated scoring posted online along with a very interactive chat platform which keeps viewers guessing what might be said next. This weekend we had tremendous participation in the chat with a handful of guests logged in the entire tournament. Over 100 watched the last position round game on our Ustream channel late Sunday afternoon. I personally want to thank all of the commentators that signed up to sit in the booth with me during this event.

Upon our arrival, Jerry had a few surprises for us as well. He had a very large Holiday Doubles cake made which was a huge hit with the bowlers and their families. He also rented two nice sofas so the tournament staff could enjoy breaks throughout the very busy weekend. Combine that with all of the hard work he has put into Red Bird Lanes with fresh paint and new flat screen monitors, he has certainly established a top tier venue for tournaments and leagues.

The talent pool doesn't even begin with Murphy and Swanson, as this tournament attracts some very well known professionals. Pete Weber, and Jeff Carter can be seen every year, but this year other pros including Parker Bohn III, Mike Wolfe, Tom Hess, Jason Queen, Brian Valenta and the midwest's best of the best amateur bowlers rounded out a field that rivals a PBA National Tour stop.

The scoring pace of the tournament really showed what top bowlers can do on a house pattern. It took +653 (236 avg per person) for 9 games to make the top 16 cut for Sunday's match play. Tom Hess and Jeff Carter led at +879 (248 avg per person) including team scores as low as 391 and as high as 578.

Sunday's format included 15 games of round robin match play awarding 30 bonus pins for each victory with the 16th game being a position round. Going into the last game, Swanson and Murphy had a 98 pin lead over Choat & Purkey with the rest of the field far enough back to where winning the game and bowling a respectable score would solidify Swanson's third Holiday Doubles title and Murphy's first. Swanson and Murphy bowled 452 while Choat and Purkey struggled with only posting a 402. Bittenbender and Valenta posted a huge number with 532 which moved them up to 2nd place dropping Choat and Purkey to 3rd.



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