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2023 Jeff Bucher Memorial Thunder Egg Power Rankings

The 2023 Jeff Bucher Memorial Thunder Egg comes to us once again at the end of August signifying the season is in full swing. After an exciting finish to the Rumbi Island Grill Classic, we move to a much different and longer format. 12 games of qualifying, 6 on a long pattern and 6 on a brutally difficult short pattern, becomes get what you can early and pray you survive. Match play is round robin and the step ladder is 2 game total pins. The grind will be real this weekend and we are going to dive into who we see are the frontrunners for a SNWT title.

12. KT Simpson - KT is coming off a decent performance at the RIGC but I'm sure she fell short of her expectations. She bowled well in qualifying, but the scoring pace turned up a few notches in the cashers round where she fell a bit short. Now she looks to the Thunder Egg, which is in a center she has a ton of experience in. I put a lot of weight on experience in a center, there just not much to replicate it. She is also a player that can keep her angles closed for longer which will help on the short. however, with 12 games of match play, getting in and hooking it is a must. If the medium plays difficult, she definitely has a shot at making a deep run in match play.

11. Riley Woodard - Riley has had quite a few performances at the end of last season and made the bracket at the RIGC. Riley fell just short of the cut at the 2022 Thunder Egg, but we are thinking he will be riding this wave of momentum as of late to match play Sunday morning. The theme for qualifying like I said earlier is survival. You need to go in knowing you’re not getting any pins back on the short. It will be imperative for Riley to get as many pins on the long as he can, then find a way to damage control the short. I think with his ball roll he will be able to find a spot on the lane for the short where he can shoot 180 consistently and potentially shoot 200 a game or 2. With the way Riley has been bowling lately, we certainly see him being a threat to get into match play.

10. Tyler Lopez is another guy we have seen consistently getting into match play recently. Tyler has found something in his game that has really pushed him over the edge. We have seen him make a few step ladders in there too, so Tyler is on a nice streak here that he continued at the RIGC and is looking to continue this weekend. Tyler also made match play last year at this event. The key for Tyler will be taking advantage of the long pattern, his game really sets up nice to score well here. If he can do this I think we will for sure see Tyler in Match play making a run at the step ladder.

9. Shawn Horenberger - Shawn comes to us off a solid finish at the RIGC where he lost in the first round of the bracket, and last year at this event he took 12th. Shawn has a really unique ball roll that helps him a ton on the short. He's been really consistent on the SNWT and the regional circuit, which has kept him ready for an event like this. I'm fairly certain we will see Shawn in match play, so the key will be winning matches and finding a way to score on the medium pattern Sunday. If Shawn can make some good decisions on balls down the stretch I can see him being a threat of a step ladder spot, but there will be a mountain to climb of talent in front of him.

8. Ryan Conner - Ryan bowls really well in this center just missing the step ladder last year. We don't get to see too much of Ryan around here, but when we do he seems to always be in contention. I really like when someone is comfortable in a center, it's a lot like golf, when you have knowledge of the course and are comfortable there, it's just an advantage that can’t be replicated. Every year Ryan has bowled this event he has done well, and I see that being no different this year. Now can Ryan make the show, that will be decided by his decision making Sunday. He’s throwing new equipment since I last saw him and that always has a learning curve, although he's been throwing Storm for a while now. I am looking forward to a really good battle late on Sunday with Ryan and the rest of the guys on this list.

7. Dallas Burke - Dallas has been very consistent over last season and in the RIGC. His ball roll really lets him be successful regardless of the pattern and it showed last year at this event. Dallas made the show winning his first match against Clay and losing to Steve Kloempken. Those are some big names to be competing with and it is always a good thing to be in their company. Can Dallas rekindle this magic again this year? I think so, like I said his ball roll makes him dangerous on difficult patterns like this. Hard and straight eliminates a lot of big mistakes. I would love to see a tight battle with Dallas in the mix late on Sunday.

6. Luke Brown - Luke is coming off a stellar performance at the RIGC where he finished 4th after beating Gio and Charles Wilkin in exciting matches and eventually losing to champion Alex Hoskins. Luke has been on fire lately and at this event last year advanced to match play. Looking to build off these successes we can see Luke keeping up this momentum and earning himself some more scholarship money. The one thing youth tend to struggle with at events like this are their mindset. You have to know going in the long is where you'll get all your pins and you need to survive the short. You play the lanes differently with these mindsets and they often get overlooked by younger bowlers. If look can lock in his mindset, he is primed for another run at a title.

5. Giorgio Clinaz - Gio has had a really up and down season last year. I’ve spoken to him a few times about it and he is not really sure where it’s coming from. To me it seems his confidence is a little low. We are coming to a place where Gio has won before and off an event where he bowled pretty well. Gio took 11th at the 2022 Thunder Egg where he just threw too many bad games to hang with the top 5. Gio seems to be either really dominant or hanging on the edge. At the RIGC Gio finished 20th after cashers round and won his first match. I’d like to see a solid performance this weekend from Gio and a confidence boost as we head into the meat of the season. The short could be humbling though, and as long as Gio has a good mindset going in, I think Sunday afternoon is going to be a blast to watch

4. Clay Rees - Clay also comes off a solid finish at the RIGC though probably wasn’t the finish he was looking for after being eliminated in the first round by Kyle Morrison. Clay also made the step ladder in this event last year and has historically bowled really well in this event winning the last time we were here. Clay has a lot of tools and 1 for the short that really helps him along. I think we are going to see clay in the step ladder again this year with the potential run at the title. With 2 game total pin matches in the step ladder, you are for sure going to need a good look on the medium pattern to have a shot.

3. Andy Kinney - Andy continues his amazing string of bowling at the RIGC losing in thrilling fashion to eventual Champion Alex in a roll off that lasted 4 rounds. Andy was looking prime to grab the first CB TOUR title after a 279 game 1, however his look went away allowing Alex to take the 2nd game. Now Andy is setting his sights on the 2023 Thunder Egg. Andy was the first man out last year in this event, and that was really before he burst into flames with winning just about everything. I think we are going to see a fired up Andy looking to grab the another SNWT title and get this season off to a really hot start.

2. Nick Borgaro - Nick comes off a runner up finish after the messenger that almost was in the roll off against Alex. Nick bowled well all weekend at the RIGC and got oh so close to winning a title. Nick also is the defending champion here at the Thunder Egg. I think Nick has a good opportunity on the short with his ball speed, he can keep the ball in front of him for longer. I also think more ball speed looks good in this center. At this point, it comes down to who catches the right break at the right time. Nick was on the wrong end of that at the RIGC, but I think this weekend that could change.

1. Alex Hoskins - Alex found his stride and took home a W at the RIGC. We had been wondering when we would see Alex win again, he had made so many finals recently and just hadn’t gotten the job done. He threw one of the best shots I saw all weekend when he needed it and that's all she wrote. There is just something about having 1 shot to win, the feeling I get watching and what Alex gets throwing it. Honestly I can't get enough of it! Alex was also the 2 seed last year at this event, falling to Steve K who is absent this weekend. Alex turned on the nitrous in match play as he went from 18th to 2nd in 12 games. I think he is going back to back. He bowled so well at the RIGC and got the break he had been looking for. I think that is going to boost his confidence a little and it is going to take a monumental performance from the rest of the field to take him down.

The 2023 Jeff Bucher Memorial Thunder Egg kicks off Saturday August 26th at 10 AM LIVE on Championship Bowling’s YouTube page. For a full streaming schedule check out our social Media.

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