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Bowling News USA - August 17, 2014 Matt Gasn cruises in stepladder, defeats top seed Jonathan Schalow to win Open title


DUBUQUE, Iowa — Matt Gasn grabbed the lead early in Sunday’s 12 games of semifinals at the 2014 GIBA Open, extended it to more than 200 pins and then held on until the last game, when he fell to third as Jonathan Schalow and Brad Miller surged by him.

By that time, those three players and several others in the 43-player field were lofting the left gutter cap, some to an extreme degree and none more so than Schalow, who was nearly Brian Valenta-esque as he surged to the lead.

As one of the top college players in the country and a power player, Gasn is used to lofting the cap and very good at it. But late in Sunday’s semis, he had torn open the base of his thumb and even patched up, it was noticeably impacting his shotmaking with the force used in lofting the cap.

But the lanes were freshly oiled for the 5-man stepladder finals on lanes 13-14 at Cherry Lanes in the Diamond Jo Casino complex and that ended the cap lofting.

And after Shea Bittenbender downed Brunswick staffer Dave Beres 234-203 in the opening match, Gasn went back to the scoring machine he was early on Sunday on the difficult pattern designed by Cherry Lanes manager Bob Hochrein, defeating Bittenbender 229-179, Miller 227-170 and Brunswick staffer Schalow 253-166.

All three of those losing bowlers made better shots than their scores indicated, but some bad breaks — notably a sixth frame 4-7-9 by Bittenbender between strikes — and some touchy ball reaction doomed them to low scores.

Miller, for example, had a pair of 2-10s, a 2-8-10,  a 4-pin and one strike on lane 14, while Schalow had a pair of 2-10s on 13 with different balls.

Gasn, meanwhile, used a rough surface Roto Grip RUMBLE (sorry for wrongly stating that it was a HY-ROAD SOLID on the webcast) the first game and then switched to a shiny HY-ROAD — the 40th! he has drilled, he said — for the last two games, which is what he said he’d done off fresh oil earlier.

Other than Beres, who was playing up about 10-board, the players moved in from about 15-board at the arrows to about 20 at the arrows in the stepladder, with Schalow saying after he struck out in the 10th frame that he had moved even deeper and got a better reaction and should have been there at the start of the title game.

Gasn talked about lofting, his thumb, the stepladder finals, the balls he used and the tournament in general Sunday night on The Bowlers Show. Listen to the interview here.

First was $2,500, second $1,700, third $1,400, fourth $1,100 and fifth $900, down to $200 for 42nd and 43rd as the tournament paid out well above the total entry fees thanks to the sponsorship of Cherry Lanes and the Diamond Jo Casino, Coors Light and Storm Products. Greater Iowa Bowling Association operator Joe Engelkes also donated more than half of the bracket proceeds to fund $150 checks to three seniors and two women....[read more]

To see complete finals standings and pictures for Open go to:  11thframecomopen

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August, 2014