The recent announcement of increased prize money — now a record $65,000 — for the 18th New Mexico Open at Tenpins & More from Aug. 19-21 has attracted the interest of top-level professional bowlers.

Former tournament winners, Nathan Bohr (2013 winner) and Jakob Butturrf (2015 winner) have entered, along with the most recent Professional Bowlers Association “All-Star Clash” champion Jake Peters.

Other stars to add their names include PWBA major winner, Maria Jose Rodriguez and England’s Richie Teece. Francois Lavoie, last year’s runner-up, instead will be representing Canada in an international meet in Colombia that same weekend.

A six-game total pinfall contest at Tenpins & More this coming Sunday (July 31), along with first- and second-place in the center’s Sunday night Sport Shot League, will also be added to the ranks, expected to reach 200 bowlers by the opening date.

In other news from the lanes …

* Pete Sheridan, who turned 60 two weeks ago, captured his first Scratch Match-Play title last Sunday, presented by Shamrock Foods, going 5-0 on tough-scoring lane conditions, while averaging a stellar 214.

Sheridan first eked out a 204-198 win over Jeffery Flores Jr., then beat up-and-coming Joseph LaPointe, 245-191, followed by a 223-188 nod over former Rams anchor Aileen Linares. He closed out with a winner’s bracket victory over Estancia’s Dominique Muller, 216-148.

After moving to the losers’ bracket, Linares won three matches – 210-145 over Dan Brenning, 176-146 over Sam Small, and 204-162 over Muller — to set up the championship round against Sheridan.

It was an early night for both when Sheridan won $1,000 of the nearly $3,500 pot by 46 pins, 182-136, after Linares left several unconverted splits and missed spares. Still, her $500 prize helped her get to Las Vegas this weekend for the Junior Bowlers Tour Main Event contest.

* Twenty leagues are “on the docket” for the upcoming fall league season at Tenpins & More, with nine slated to start in August. Nine of the other 11 get underway in September.

Bowlers interested in putting in their own team, or being added to a line-up, should visit the center to sign up for the days and times of their choice.

Center manager Steve Mackie said he anticipates more than 800 people will be bowling in weekly leagues this season.