Cliff Whitegrass, Skye Gilham and Lonnie Pemberton finished the Cervesa Cup Challenge at Mark Lanes with a point total of 1,872, sharing the top prize of $318.

Mark Lanes hosted the second annual Cerveza Cup on Saturday, Oct. 28, a unique tournament where teams compete in bowling, billiards and darts with a cumulative total crowning a winner. The Big Lebowski-themed tourney drew a total of 12 three-person teams, many of whom showed their spirit and creativity with their Lebowski costumes.

The first event was a two-game series of bowling where all three team members bowled and their scores were totaled together. In the spirit of the fun that the Cerveza Cup has come to embody, there was a good amount of gentle ribbing and plenty of support among teams. The defending champions decided to split their team and compete with separate team members, much to the relief of everyone they bested last year. After all 36 participants had rolled their 24 frames, the top team of Skye Gilham, Cliff Whitegrass and Lonnie Pemberton had a pinfall total of 1,006. The 12 teams accounted for a difference of 420 points from last to first, with four teams scoring over 800 for the two-game set. The Turners had the second highest set with 917, Balls Deep followed with 837 and Drunkards were in fourth with a total of 820.

The field then split between the pool tables and the dartboard. Six teams were sent to the tables to play the first round of the pool tournament. Four teams went to the dartboard to test their proficiency at hitting the bull’s-eye. Through a sometimes chaotic rotation of teams, everyone had their chance to throw darts and shoot their games of pool, sometimes simultaneously.

The Darts portion of the Challenge consisted of each team member throwing a single dart for each of 10 rounds. The points of each 10 throws by all three team members represented their point total for darts. At the completion of the darts competition the top team was Drunkards with a dominating score of 580. Second place in darts went to White Russians with a 519 total. The third highest darts total was Tricky Dicks with 482. The final score over the 400 mark was Her Balls with a team score of 412.

The Pool portion of the Challenge consisted of a single elimination 8-ball tournament. Each teammate took turns shooting until they missed. The competition was sometimes fierce and always friendly. Each team showcased a dominant player, and the games were often decided by their strategy in arranging the order of their players. Each team that lost in the first round of the bracket was awarded 100 points to add to their total. The teams losing out in the next round of the tournament were awarded 200 points; 300 points were awarded to teams losing out in the semi-finals. The runner-up was awarded 400 points, and the tournament champion added 500 points to their score.

The teams exiting the semi-finals were Ed Who? and White Russians. White Russians suffered a painful loss as their strongest player made an incredibly difficult shot to sink the 8-ball only to have the cue ball fall in and cost them what had been a hard fought match. The team Ed Who? was definitely the dark horse of the tournament. They seemed to live a charmed life, moving past teams against all expectations. Their luck ran out in the final match when after a close game, Gilham, Whitegrass and Pemberton won the second portion of the tournament, sinking the 8 ball to secure the high point total for both the pool tournament and the Cerveza cup itself.

After a fun day of laughter and friendly competition, points were totaled for each team from all events and a clear winner emerged. The team of Skye Gilham, Cliff Whitegrass and Lonnie Pemberton finished the tournament with a point total of 1,872 and shared the top prize of $318. Second place went to White Russians with a point total of 1,547. Ed Fitzpatrick, Jercy Powell and Laura Whitford took the runner up honors and $210 second place prize money. Third place went to the Turners - Ike McKay and the mother/daughter power duo of Karla and Christina Fitzpatrick earned a team total of $120, doubling their entry fee. 

(Lonnie Pemberton is a member of Storm Bowling Products’ Pro Shop Staff and a USBC Certified Bowling Coach. He has worked in the bowling industry for 12 years in various positions and has contributed writings to The Desert Bowler publication in the Phoenix Metro Area.)

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