12th New Mexico Open to Feature Record Prize Fund

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

Worth record $ 65,000; up $ 10,000 over last year; new finals bracket format; finals televised live in Albuquerque; Santa Fe Mazda/Volvo adds $ 5,500; Double Bang for your Buck for NM bowlers

Craig Nidiffer
New Mexico Open defending champion, Craig Nidiffer.

The 12th New Mexico Open, to be held at Tenpins & More in Rio Rancho from August 14-16, will pay out more than $65,000 on a full field of 240 bowlers, including a record $10,500 guaranteed to the winner.

Sante Fe Mazda/Volvo added $ 5,500 in bonus money, including a $ 2,000 prize for a 300 game bowled during the live TV finals on Albuquerque's cable channel 26.

Tournament director, Steve Mackie, is also trying to secure live streaming internet coverage of the three-day tournament, pending continuing sponsorship talks.

The entry fee remains at $ 240, making it an attractive proposition for scratch bowlers who are used to paying much more to enter lesser-paying events.

The field may include defending champion, Craig Nidiffer of Trenton, Mich., among other former winners.

Nidiffer won the title, 276-237, over Brett Wolfe in an unusually high-scoring championship match on the usually lower-scoring lane condition designed each year by three-time PBA Tour titlist, Mike Miller, a co-owner of the host Center.

The tournament will again run nine-game qualifying squads to cut the field to 48, who bowl a further four games. At this point, the top 32 enter the new bracket stage, featuring two-game total pinfall double elimination matches until only four remain for the TV show.

To sweeten the pot for New Mexico bowlers, who comprise more than 35 percent of the field, local sponsor, Fuego Del Sol Homes, has added $ 2,000 to a special "Double Bang for your Buck" tournament on August 22-23, bowled on the same demanding NMO lane condition.

Entry forms can be downloaded from www.tenpins-more.com.

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