We come to the final few events of the 2023 SNWT season with the Idaho Masters at Meridian Lanes in Meridian Idaho. Absent a few names as some other events are taking place the same weekend, but opportunity for some to grab some last minute points. With a longer format, there's little time to regroup as bowlers will only bowl once. 6 games on a long pattern followed by 6 on a short and a cut to top 16. Let's take a look at my top 10 heading into this weekend.
10. Josh Groves - Josh has been having a tremendous year making both of the first 2 brackets on the CB TOUR. Whatever Josh has figured out in his game, it has helped him bowl consistently and put up some impressive scores. This test will be difficult though on a lane surface that hooks a million with patterns that are very tight, Josh is gonna need his A game. Look out for Josh to make another great performance on the SNWT.
9. Riley Woodard - Riley is coming off a solid finish at the CKSO where he was eliminated by Darren Tang after finishing 6th in the cashers round. Riley has also won in this center at last year's Meridian Open. I’ve seen Riley have some ups and downs, going from great finishes to missing cuts. Once Riley can figure out how to manipulate his ball roll more, he will find some more success when the conditions don’t match up very well. I think the long could be good for Riley this weekend, but the Short may be everyone’s kryptonite. Look out for Riley to make a run at Match Play this weekend.
8. Nick Borgaro - I haven’t seen Nick bowl since the CB Masters where he failed to make the cut going +50 in his best squad. This was after finishing 2nd to Alex at the RIGC in a roll off where the messenger missed by inches. Did Nick just not match up very well? Or are there other issues at foot? It is tough to say since it has been a while since we last saw him, but at this event last year we saw nick bowl in the step ladder. I am going to go out on a limb here and say it was a fluke and we should see Nick back in form this weekend.
7. Giorgio Clinaz - Gio once again goes up and down on this list. I really don't know where to put him. Last year he won this event, last weekend he missed the cut. Now I know I’ll catch some heat for putting last year's champion wayyy down here on the list, BUT, I haven’t been wrong yet. So, does Gio repeat? He could, and last weekend could have just been an issue matching up. So, # 7 he shall be this weekend, and I hope we see some fireworks with Gio making another run.
6. Ryan Conner - Ryan is always competitive wherever he shoes up. This weekend will be no different. Now we have seen him struggle a bit in match play lately. In the CB Masters Bracket, and Border Wars XX. So, what does Ryan need to do on Sunday to get the job done? My thinking is the pattern is playing different from when he qualifies to when match play is. This weekend will be different as there is a pattern for Sunday. Plus I think Ryan can survive pretty well on the short. This weekend I can see a strong push for Ryan to make the show and maybe bring an upset into play.
5. KT Simpson - KT had a strong showing just a few weeks ago in Boise making the step ladder. We unfortunately didn't see her at the CKSO, but I am guessing the momentum should still be there. Her ability to keep angles shut on a very high friction surface will be a huge advantage over the field. If she can continue making shots like she has, I can see her easily making 2 step ladders in a row.
4. Kyle Morrison - Kyle is perpetually stuck in the 4 hole from now on. He has bowled so well at every event we have seen him at, but on the CB TOUR, he just can't get past 4th. His time is coming though in my opinion and this weekend could be a major stepping stone heading into the grand finals, and then the CB TOUR Championship. As long as Kyle can figure out the short pattern, I think he is keen on making the step ladder in Meridian this weekend.
3. Dallas Burke - Dallas has been crazy good the last few events we have seen him at. He also bowles exceptionally well when the lanes hook a ton. That they will this weekend, and I think Dallas will be able to survive the best on the short pattern. If he can find some scores and wins in match play Sunday, lookout for him to make a run at a title.
2. Alex Hoskins - And so it is here. Alex has fallen from #1 after a few finishes that I am sure he wishes he had back. Alex has been there, right until the end when he was simply beat. He was jumped by 1 stick in Boise 2 weeks ago, and beat in the bracket last weekend. Now he is in a center where he has been very good in the past. However, with the momentum my #1 has right now, I don't think Alex gets it done this weekend.
1. Kendle Miles - Kendle has been bowling as good as I have ever seen him bowl. Plus he is making incredible shots and decisions in the clutch. The move he made in the title match at the CKSO was incredible and ultimately what led to his win. If Kendle can keep the confidence he has right now and pair that with some more great decision making, he will be unstoppable this weekend. That is why he is my #1 at the Idaho Masters at Meridian Lanes.
Coverage for the 2023 Idaho Masters begins at 10 AM Saturday November 4th with long pattern qualifying. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notified when we go LIVE!