The time has finally come, the Championship Bowlers Tour season 1 is just 1 day away and the change we hope to bring to the bowling community is imminent. We really do hate to brag, but this isn’t about us. The attention we bring isn’t for us. When we started Championship Bowling the singular goal was to grow the game. To ensure its future and to move it forward. No, this is much bigger than us. This is much bigger than any individual or brand could ever think or want to be. This is for the game of bowling, and all of you who have had your lives touched by it. So because of that we will shout to the rooftops and bring as much attention to the work being done here not only by Kenzi and I, but by all of you. Without you all bringing the show, we wouldn't exist. So excuse me if I come off arrogant or prideful, but damn it I fully believe from the bottom of my heart, all of us together, in this moment, are the spark that will ignite this game’s growth and bring it to a level we have not seen in many many years.
Now it is time for what you have all been waiting for, Power Rankings. Power Rankings for the Rumbi Island Grill Classic are brought to you by, Rumbi Island Grill, Storm Bowling Products, and REX Ball Reviews. We are going to break down the top 12 who I think are going to not only have the strongest chance at the first CB TOUR title, but ultimately the best chance of capturing season 1 Champion Bowler of the Year. Without further ado, here are my top 12.
12. KT Simpson - KT is coming off a solid PWBA season where she captured a regional title, and has consistently been in contention throughout last season on the SNWT. Last year at the CB Masters she ran into runner up Alex Hoskins which put a stop to her run. However this year with a tad different format she is going to be much tougher to beat. One significant change to the CB TOUR is how many times the pattern is applied. In the bracket we will be running the lanes after the first 2 rounds of the bracket. The advantage of just waiting to jump left over the left gutter simply won't be there and shot making from multiple different styles of player will work quite well. We are very excited about this change and how it will impact the competition and KT we think is ready to take full advantage.
11. Kendle Miles - Kendle missed the CB Masters last year, so he will be getting his first taste of what a CB tournament is like. Although we think this won't change much, our patterns and formats are quite a bit different from what is used on the SNWT and the PBA Regional circuit. This pattern, 40 feet in length, will probably lean towards more speed dominant players which Kendle is. We’re excited to see the fire Kendle brings when he bowls and fully expect for him to make a run in the bracket. Managing transition and near the end of qualifying and adjusting to the pattern being fresh in the bracket are going to be keys for Kendle.
10. Manny Ferrell - Manny is coming off his first adult tournament with a win. Granted it was with ya boi in a trios event, but still he got the job done and I believe led the tournament in average. Earlier this year we saw him in the step ladder at the Storm Utah Open where he would lose to eventual champion Cameron Henning. This pattern suits Manny a little better as he is pretty good at controlling the friction as a 2 hander. Again managing the different types of transition is going to be key as qualifying is 5 games with people all over the lane, Cashers round being only 3 games with bowlers being much more centered in one spot on the lane, and the bracket where there are far fewer bowlers on a pair. Each day will be unique and Manny is going to need to really slow the game down and think his way through it if he wants to nab a bye in the first round.
9. Nick Borgaro - Nick is coming off a very successful summer on the Regional circuit and a solid finish at the CB Masters. Nick took down Kyle Morrison in a roll off after Kyle 7-10’d. Nick would then fall to Clay Rees in the semi final match. Nick is very speed dominant which I think will be advantageous on the pattern we picked out this weekend. The pins fly pretty well in Lehi so pair that with Nick’s speed and rev rate and he is sure to trip a few corner pins out. Again we go back to the unique way the pattern will break down and the limited amount of shots guys will throw on the burn. Every “burn” is going to be different too as the bowlers migrate to 1 part of the lane. We think Nick will be in a tight fight for a bye in the first round at the end of cashers round and boy is it going to be exciting to watch.
8. Cameron Henning - Cameron is coming off quite the season on the SNWT where he captured a Storm Utah Open title. He also made a deep run in the CB Masters bracket and a 3rd place finish at the regional in this center in 2022. Cameron thrives when the pattern is hard because he can play an area of the plane no one else can. Although this pattern does hook a fair amount, with the format it really won’t develop toa point where it hooks too much. Of course we wont know that for sure until we get on the lanes, but this could be a challenge for Cameron. If he wants to snag a top 8 bye, he is going to need to find a way to score when the pattern is fresh.
7. Steve Kloempken - Steve will be bowling his first CB event after missing last year’s CB Masters. Steve’s game should match up well with this pattern and he has experience in this center from the past regionals here. We have no doubt Steveo will make the cut in the cashers round, but keeping up with the potential scoring pace will be a factor for him. This pattern lives on the edge of hook. Some people will be able to play straighter, and some will simply hook the ball too much. Steve will be able to stay straight for longer which could be a good thing for him, especially in the 3 games of cashers round. Will he get enough to have a bye in the first round on Sunday, we see these positions being very tight Saturday night.
6. Kyle Morrison - Ever since Kyle began bowling some of these events more consistently his talent has really shown. He is constantly in contention and made a very deep run at the CB Masters that was thwarted by one of the worst breaks we have ever seen. Kyle is looking for redemption this weekend and as the season opener of the CB TOUR, Champion Bowler of the Year is a realistic goal for him to have. Getting off to a great start this weekend could be the momentum that pushes him through until the TOUR Championship in December at the National Bowling Stadium. We know he likes to throw urethane, and it is looking like early on, that will be a viable play, and he is one of the best at getting left. We see Kyle making another deep run in the first CB TOUR event!
5. Dallas Leong - Dallas comes to us off his first full time PBA season and is looking to kick off the CB TOUR season strong. Dallas made a solid run at the CB Master, although I’m sure it wasn't the result he was looking for. He also ran away from the field in the Storm Utah Open finals only to be beaten in the title match by Cameron Henning. Again, Dallas is one of those guys we see making a run at a points championship. With only 4 events in the season getting off to a solid start is going to be imperative. Dallas also has a unique ball roll that allows him to play a part of the lane where most may not be able to. Urethane is a strong suit for him and in the first 2 games we are most likely going to see the better players utilizing it. As long as Dallas makes good decisions as the pattern goes through its transitions in qualifying and the bracket, we could see capture the first CB TOUR title.
4. Giorgio Clinaz - After a rocky end to the season we saw Gio miss the cut at the CB Masters last year. He claims it to be the center, which Sparetime does offer some unique challenges. So, he gets his first shot at redemption at a CB event. Every time we have doubted him we were proven wrong, and that is why we see him so high on this list. Gio is a master at controlling the friction, and we are going to see a lot of it this weekend. This lane surface hooks a considerable amount, and this pattern at 40 feet and 26 mils is going to hook a good fair bit. He is also another guy who excels at throwing urethane. Which like I mentioned before for the first 2 games should look pretty good. Remember, cashers round is only 3 games, which is a bit of a sprint compared to qualifying on the bracket. We think he will have a solid game plan to attack the various transitions we will see and grab the momentum he needs to head to the lone major on the CB TOUR with a breath of confidence.
3. Clay Rees - Clay was the first ever CB Champion after taking down Alex Hoskins in the title match at the CB Masters. Although this wasn’t a CB TOUR event, it was still historical to us. THe match was electric with it going the full distance as Clay had to beat Alex twice. In the final match, after splitting again, the roll off lasted 3 rounds and ended with CLay tripping a 4 pin and Alex leaving a 4-9. Clay thrived in the format and has quite a bit of experience in this center. Not only is Clay top 3 in our book to take home a points championship this year and at this specific event. Where we are at now, the guys who can stay in front of the various different transitions we will have are going to have the advantage. We are very excited to see how the final rounds of the bracket playout.
2. Andy Kinney - Andy is coming to us off an electric year which saw him really break out and capture several titles. Something has clearly clicked as Andy has gone from consistently in contention to consistently winning. Hopefully this break we have had hasn't affected his momentum, we don't think so at least. Last year saw an early exit from the bracket for Kinney at the CB Masters, so we are sure he's looking to get a little redemption this year. These formats are quite a bit different than what we are used to with pins not being a factor once you get to the bracket, the only goal is to win the match. Andy is certainly a top contender for the points championship and a win here at the Rumbi island Grill Classic would get him off to an early lead. We are thinking that to win the points, winning an event is a must, and wouldn't it be nice to get that off your chest early on. We predict we will see Andy in either the 3rd/4th place match or the title match this weekend.
1. Alex Hoskins - How do you deny the most dominant player in the region for the past 5 or so years? It is incredible just how consistent Alex is, we are legitimately shocked when Alex isn't near the top 5. Alex really dominated the bracket last year only losing to Clay in the title match. Clearly he succeeds in these formats, although if you asked him he would probably say he prefers more games and total pins. Again we think a win is going to be needed to take home the points championship at the end of the year and we are thinking Alex could realistically take home 2 this season. We think Alex is the best prepared in the field to attack this pattern, and will most likely make the best decisions down the stretch as far as ball choice and lane play. What has been his Achilles heel is the breaks. He just doesn't get them as often as we see others. As much as we would love to say luck shouldn’t play a factor, in bowling, when you have a round object hitting 10 other round objects, luck will always play a role. My prediction for this year is, Alex wins this weekend, and ultimately wins the points championship at the end of the season.
There you have it folks, my top 12 heading into this weekend with some season long predictions as well. We hope you all enjoy your time at the event, or hanging with me on the livestream! It is going to be a blast!
The Rumbi Island Grill Classic begins at 4 PM Friday August 11th with the first of 5 qualifying squads LIVE on Championship Bowling’s YouTube page! For the full schedule check our pinned post on Facebook and Instagram.