The Latest News from Tenpins & More

July 22, 2021

It was nine years "between drinks" for last Sunday's winner in the "Hammer Scratch Series" bowling tournament at Tenpins & More in Rio Rancho.  Brian Skidmore of Albuquerque won his first title there in 2012, married a week later and now happily married to Aimee, with three children, he has won again.  This time in a strong field of 63 bowlers and for a stellar prize-fund of more than $4,000, bolstered by Hammer bowling equipment and Shamrock Foods.

It was an exciting, somewhat nerve-wracking five matches for Skidmore who won all by an average margin of less than ten pins per game.  Along the way he beat Mike Riley 246-244, Diego Lucero 194-188 and Zach Harvey 236-224 before sending Michael De Vore of Santa Fe to the loser's bracket 239-226.

De Vore battled his way back to the championship round with a decisive 240-196 win over DeeRonn Booker, but lost another close one to Skidmore 211-225 after missing a split conversion in the eighth frame.

Skidmore earned $1,000, De Vore $500 and Booker $400. Highest-averaging Harvey at 239.75 was next for $ 325, having to retire with an injured, bloody thumb after shooting 269, 245, 224 and 221.

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In other news, Tenpins & More has been awarded the 2021 Women's City Tournament. The 71st edition will be held the weekend of September 11-12.

Meanwhile, teams and individual bowlers are signing up for the new fall league season at Centers around the state. At Tenpins & More, there are twenty different leagues on the slate.

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In slightly older news...

July 15

The first New Mexico High Schools Alumni bowling tournament drew a good crowd to Tenpins & More in Rio Rancho last weekend, including bowlers now living in Southern Colorado and Las Cruces.  It is the start of what will become an annual event for people who bowled in the state's high school bowling program since 2007.

In the handicap doubles event, Sandia High's Mackenzie Ruiz-Jimenez and Thomas Whitley shot 220 to beat Cleveland Storm's Alex Gontis and Jared Buffington by 27 pins.

Top seeded Aileen Linares and Robin Prioleau (who was celebrating her 19th birthday) lost to Zachary Harvey and Josh Herschman in a high-scoring semi-final inter-school clash, 278-235, as three schools were represented - Cleveland, Rio Rancho and La Cueva.

In the re-played scratch final, the women bowled 269 that included eight strikes in a row to win by 81 pins.

Prioleau wasn't finished though as she romped through bracket play on day two beating Linares 194-185 after the Rams player (Linares) had lost to Cleveland's Dale Coffee 256-238 in a nail-biter.  Prioleau needed to beat Coffee twice to claim her second trophy of the weekend and did so convincingly 242-189 then 204-184, after being relegated to the loser's bracket in the first match of the day, meaning she had eleven games ahead of her to even get there with a chance.

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Short season summer leagues and even early start fall leagues are forming the next few weeks at Tenpins & More, with more than 750 expected to be part of the weekly action.  Three kick off this Saturday (July 17), with a new "Have A Ball season doubles this Tuesday a 6.20 pm. Interested bowlers should visit the Center at 1416 Deborah Road or call 891-4462 to sign up.

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In slightly older news...

July 9


17th annual tournament offers $55,000 prize-fund.   The 17th New Mexico Open, to be held at Tenpins & More in Rio Rancho from August 20-22 has added a $ 20,000 car for the first 300 game bowled in the four-person championship round.  The highest game bowled in the tournament's first 16 years was bowled by Craig Nidiffer of Michigan, whose 285 beat Mike Edwards' 242 in his win in 2014.

"We are thrilled to be able to have local car dealership, Pitre Kia/Buick/GMC sponsor this unique opportunity", said tournament director, Steve Mackie.

As well, this year's winner will receive at least $ 10,500 from an estimated purse of more than $ 55,000, based on 192 entries, less than when Coloradan Hall-of-Famer, Duane Mellinger who beat Utah's Steve Kloempken 461-423 in the two-game match in 2019.

"The pandemic not only caused postponement of the 2020 contest until now, but also cost us some sponsors who unfortunately lost their businesses due to the lengthy closures by the state," said Mackie.

It seems likely that the the event could break the entry record of 217 set seven years ago, as there are already more than 200 sign-ups. A maximum field is 240 that would see prize-money increase to $64,000, with a prize ratio of 1:4. Entry fee remains at $270, much less than most regional and national tournaments in the US and overseas.

The NMO will be live over the internet by Emil Williams whose is presenting it's fifth year of 30 hours of coverage that includes comments and questions for the commentators. In 2019, there were more than 33,000 views.

The roster includes many professional bowlers, Team USA members, collegiate players and "weekend warriors" from a record 20 states and Canada.  Francois Lavoie, a regular here and runner-up in 2015, has confirmed his entry. He's already a two-time major winner on this season's Professional Bowlers Association tour.

The tournament features an eight game qualifying round in squads on August 20 & 21 followed on August 22 by a 32-person bracket double elimination until only four remain for the finals on Sunday afternoon.

Since the main event started in 2004, total prize-money of more than $ 656,000 has been won by over 400 different bowlers.  It is bowled on a "sport" lane condition, created by former PBA National champion, Mike Miller. Typically a 199 average cashes, with a 205 -208 mark enough to make the finals.

Entry forms for the tournament are available by clicking here. Telephone entries can be made after 12 pm any day to (505) 891-4462.

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Tenpins & More hosts the first New Mexico High School Alumni doubles and singles tournament this weekend for bowlers and coaches who have been involved in high school bowling since 2007. The brainchild of Jacob Gill, himself an alum, he hopes it will become an annual fixture on the calendar.

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A record 67 bowlers played the Color Pin event last Sunday, taking home over $ 700 in prizes. The biggest winner was graduating senior, Matthew Mulder who struck one time for $ 130, followed closely by senior, Steve Quintana for $ 120 and Tyler Doucett for $ 112.

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July 1

High scores were the order of the day in last Sunday's well-contested roll-off to win paid entries in to the $ 55,000 New Mexico Open bowling tournament at Tenpins & More.  Jacob Gill (who is organizing the first NM High School Alumni event July 10 & 11) became number one seed on the strength of 257, 221, 211, 241, 244 and 225 for 1,399, one pin ahead of Zachary Harvey's 1,398, boosted by his closing 274. Third was Michael DeVore of Santa Fe with 1,366.

Others to score well included Christopher Trujillo 1,322, Keith Krueger 1,300, C.J. Valencia 1,299, Marcus Medina of Santa Fe 1,272, Brian Bledsoe 1,265, Mike Riley of Los Lunas 1,256, Karen Barcal 1,231 and Tom Thornhill 1, 220. Barcal, incidentally, bowled 300 and 299 two weeks ago in the Women's Nationals at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.  In a play-off, DeVore outlasted Harvey 210-205, the beat the top seed 206-181 to set up the replay.

Gill, who bowls with both hands, similar to world champion, Jason Belmonte and many others now, opened his account with eight strikes in a row to win 277-218. 

There are presently more than 190 confirmed entries for the NMO, heading towards an all-time record and a possible sell-out field of 240, seven weeks ahead of the August 20-22 kegfest.

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Upcoming fall league schedules are available at Tenpins & More as the Center heads in to it's 39th league season in the pin plant at 1416 Deborah Road SE in Rio Rancho.   

"We have twenty-one leagues on tap, something for every bowler of any age that should suit everyone's budget, lifestyle and time constraints," said Center manager, Steve Mackie.  "Because of last year's pandemic interruptions, we lost some bowlers, so we have more than 500 invitations going out this month to encourage folks to rejoin us."

Mackie expects to floor more than 750 bowlers this season, and was rewarded by the city bowling association by being named host Center to the 2021 Women's City tournament on September 11 & 12.

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Real Bowling Heros

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