ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Open bowling tournament is in its 18th year and has grown in prize money and prestige. Over 200 bowlers from all over the country are expected to compete in the tournament which runs at Tenpins and More in Rio Rancho August 19-21. The prize purse which was about 14 thousand dollars in year one is now over 60 thousand dollars.

The increase in cash has upped the competition level. Local bowlers and a few others from a state or two players in the first event. Compared to those early days, competition is now extremely fierce.

Story continues below

“I get PBA bowlers that don’t want to travel back east for a tournament on the same weekend,” said tournament director Steve Mackie. “Get team USA bowlers. I get a lot of weekend warriors from all the surrounding states. We already got seven states represented. I expect I will have bowlers from 16 different states this year.”

First place is expected to net about $11 thousand. The first to bowl a game of 300 in the four-person championship round will receive a new car. The tournament has come a long way and Mackie wants it to get even better in the future.

“In Australia, I use to run tournaments down there and I always had a growth plan,” said Mackie. “This one pretty much followed that growth plan. I’m happy that it’s the 18th year. I’m happy that I am still here running it and who knows what will happen? I would love to get a big sponsor and payout $100 thousand, that’s a goal of mine.”