Another season has passed as we come to the Storm Northwest Tour Grand Finals. We head to Burley Idaho at Snake River Bowl. With brand new lane panels and a 37 foot oil pattern we are heading into some uncharted territory. Challenges we don't typically see out here will be managing the friction down lane instead of upfront, and an oil pattern that is in what Alex Hoskins says “hardest length” at 37 feet. Lets drive into my top 10 heading into the final event of the season!
10. Yannick Roos - Yannick is just making his 3rd start out in these parts making a solid run in the CB Masters bracket, and leading qualifying at the Idaho Masters. Yannick is a world class bowler having competed literally all over the world. He is coming to a pattern though that may not fit his eye too well. Time will tell how good his urethane game is. If it is sharp, look out for Yannick to make a deep run.
9. Clay Rees - Many thought I snubbed Clay at the Idaho Masters, which could be debated. However, he showed out in a center that has had his number for many years. We may have seen Clay return to form as he was in a bit of a slump before the Idaho Masters. Clay has experience in these conditions and that could pay off when the lanes start to get tight. I see Clay making another run on Sunday, but the field in front of him is going to be tough!
8. Nick Borgaro - Nick is coming off a reliving finish at the Idaho Masters after missing several cuts in a row. Very uncharacteristic of Nick he comes with a bit of confidence this weekend. This pattern should also match up well for Nick with him being able to throw urethane hard and straight. I think keeping the ball in front of you is going to be really important in scoring and Nick is one of the best at doing it. I think Nick is one of the biggest threats not in the top 5 this weekend, and if we get the Nick we have known for so long, he could be very dangerous in the step ladder.
7. Ken Hayase-Fong - Ken boiiii, after making the step ladder at the Idaho Masters Ken is coming into this weekend with a nice smooth swing. Ken should match up to this pattern well as he likes to keep his angels straight and his ball roll forward. This would be a huge step for him having back to back tournaments with great performances. If Ken can manage the transition and throw good shots late on Sunday, he has a great shot at it.
6. Andy Kinney - It's been a minute since I have seen Andy bowl, the last time being at Border Wars XX. Andy finished 2nd after match play, and lost to Gio on his way to a title. Now we see Any return to a place he has had success but what seems familiar will be very different indeed. New lane panels and a 37 foot pattern really shakes up what we traditionally do around here. Andy should be able to adjust just fine though, and a Sunday run through the eliminator will be tricky.
5. Daria Pajak - After a long break Daria returns to the SNWT. We first saw her in a step ladder at the Grand Finals last year, ironically on new lane panels, just at Tough Guy Lanes. Now we are on new panels in Burley. Will that make a difference? Well, I think she has an advantage here from bowling on the National Tour. The patterns there are usually tight with a lot of friction down lane which we will see this weekend. Plus Gio said Daria bowls well on the short, so if that is any indication, we will see Daria make another step ladder this weekend.
4. Josh Link - This is the first time I have seen Josh bowl this year. However, he has been very successful in this center. With the addition of new lane panels and a shorter pattern, I think Josh is primed to make another run at a title in this building. His rev rate and speed make him tough to beat when urethane will be in play for most of the event. I see Josh being in the step ladder, but he’s gonna have a stacked field to beat.
3. Kendle Miles - Kendle is coming in after cooling off a tad at the Idaho Masters. What he does have is a killer look on the short. He will be able to keep his angels shut and rip urethane better than just about everyone. We may even see an appearance form that black Mix. Kendle still has been bowling great and I don't see that changing this weekend.
2. Giorgio Clinaz - Gio is coming off a win in Montana going back to back at the Garden City Scratch Classic. Gio has always done well when urethane is in play and this weekend I don't think is going to be any different. His ball roll is really good at controlling the friction and with the amount of down lane hook there will be, Gio should have an advantage here. Gio has also had a lot of success in this building and this weekend could see him win again.
1. Alex Hoskins - As soon as I doubted Alex at the Idaho Masters he goes and takes a dub. Alex probably won't have as much issue catching breaks this weekend with the amount of hook there will be. He will create enough entry angle on 37 feet to strike a lot. We have seen him whack them at the Bowlers Journal at the Open Championships on a similar type of pattern. I honestly can’t recall Alex winning in this building, but I am calling it now, I think he does this weekend.
Coverage of the SNWT Grand Finals begins Saturday at 9 AM with qualifying and picks back up Sunday at 10 AM. For a full schedule head to our Facebook page!