Ildemaro Ruiz Jr. Snags Comeback Win at Lubbock Super Regional
In the final game of the PBA Lubbock Sports Shootout presented by South Plains Lanes and Storm 2022, Ildemaro Ruiz Jr. seized the lead and the title.
Ruiz Jr. entered the position round trailing Anthony Simonsen by 46 pins, which meant he needed to win the final game by at least 17 pins to secure the title. His 242 bested Simonsen’s 211 and was enough for the comeback victory.
Ruiz Jr. netted $10,000 for his super regional win.
The Venezuelan knew the older lane surface would create lots of friction, so he kept his breakpoint between boards 4-8 rather than the gutter. He used urethane as long as he could before switching to reactive late in match play.
Nathan Bohr led Saturday's eight-game qualifying round with a 1,684 series. He averaged 233 to best David Krol by a single pin.
Simonsen took the reigns following the four game cashers round on Sunday morning. He shot 933 to jump from third place into the lead at 2,742.
Ruiz Jr. entered match play in seventh place at 2,681. While Simonsen maintained his lead, Ruiz Jr. steadily climbed up the leaderboard.
Ruiz Jr. said he trailed Simonsen by about 200 pins with three or four games to go.
"If you're first and I'm second, I'm good with that," he told his good friend.
At that same time, Ruiz Jr. moved left with reactive and dialed in playing around the fifth arrow. He surged up the standings and moved within 50 pins of Simonsen entering the final game.
Simonsen, who played much farther right than Ruiz Jr., fired reactive straight up the second arrow. He laced a powerful strike to open the position round, but wasn't able to string more than two consecutive strikes until the 10th frame.
Meanwhile Ruiz Jr. struck 10 times, including on his final six shots, to leapfrog Simonsen and claim the title.
After the position round, Ruiz Jr.'s 5-year-old daughter ran up and hugged him. Ruiz Jr. said it was the first tournament she came to watch by herself.
"She my lady lucky from now on," Ruiz Jr. said while driving back home to Dallas. "I will bring her to every tournament if I can."
- Ildemaro Ruiz Jr., 5,750, $10,000
- Anthony Simonsen, 5,735, $5,500
- David Krol, 5,628, $3,000
- Nathan Bohr, 5,574, $2,000
- Dom Barrett, 5,555, $1,600
- AJ Chapman, 5,520, $1,400
- Jakob Butturff, 5,432, $1,250
- Shawn Maldonado, 5,358, $1,125
- Jake Peters, 5,323, $1,025
- Eric Jones, 5,317, $950
- Deo Benard, 5,166, $925
- Johnathan Norman, 5,080, $900
Full standings can be found here and more tournament information is available here.