Field of 32 Qualifiers Advance to H.H. Emir Cup Step Finals in Qatar

by Bill Vint February 25, 2015 07:57

DOHA, Qatar – Bahrain’s Yousif Falah averaged 229.59 over 16 games of qualifying to lead the field of 32 players who advanced to final rounds of the H.H. Emir Cup at Qatar Bowling Centre Wednesday.

Falah along with Team USA member Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y.; Mika Koivuniemi of Finland; Cherie Tan of Singapore; Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., and Martin Larsen of Sweden were the top six qualifiers, earning automatic berths in the Step 2 Finals Friday.

The other 26 players, including two Qatar youth bowlers, two Qatar adults who finished outside the top 24, and four players who advanced out of the one-game last-chance “desperado” squad, will drop all qualifying pins and bowl a six-game Step 1 Finals round Thursday. The top 10 from Step 1 will join the top six qualifiers for a six-game Step 2 Finals round Friday morning. The top four will then advance to a two-game total pinfall Step 2 (semifinal) round, with the two winners then meeting in a two-game Step 4 (championship round) title match.

The H.H. Emir Cup is a PBA International-World Bowling Tour event. First prize is US$25,000. The winner – if he is a PBA member – will earn a PBA Tour title. None of the six women who advanced to the Step Finals are eligible for PBA title consideration because they receive eight handicap pins per game under tournament rules. In 2014, Singapore’s New Hui Fen finished second to Emir Cup winner Chris Barnes, who was unable to defend his title due to weather conditions in the Dallas area that forced him to cancel his travel plans.

Qatar Bowling Centre, Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Feb. 25

Final Qualifying Standings (after 12 games; top 6 advance to Step 2 Round)
1, Yousif Falah, Bahrain, 2,755.
2, f- Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 2,704.
3, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 2,651.
4, f- Cherie Tan, Singapore, 2,627.
5, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 2,610.
6, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 2,600.
Positions top 7-24 (advance to Step 1 Round)
7, f- New Hui Fen, Singapore, 2,598.
8, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 2,585.
9, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 2,577.
10, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2.566.
11, Naif Oqab, UAE, 2,563.
12, f- Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif. 2,556.
13, f- Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J. 2,553.
14, Salem Al Hajras, Kuwait, 2,549.
15, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 2,545.
16, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,537.
17, Manuel Otalora, Colombia, 2,531.
18, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 2,531.
19, f- Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia, 2,524.
20, Ghanim Aboujassoum, Qatar, 2,519.
21, Hazeem Al-Muraikhi, Qatar, 2,517.
22, Mansour Al-Hajri, Qatar, 2,511.
23, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2,511.
24, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 2,504.
Positions 25-26: Top 2 Qatari Youth bowlers advance to Step 1 Finals
25, Bader Al-Deyab, Qatar, 2,392.
26, Mohammed Al-Merekhi, Qatar, 2,273.
Positions 27-28: Top 2 Qataris outside top 24 advance to Step 1 Finals
27, Yousef Al-Jaber, Qatar, M, A, 1207, 181, 235, 235, 202, 188, 247, , 1288, 2495, 207.92, ,
28, Khaled Al-Dossari , Qatar, M, A, 1263, 247, 221, 172, 202, 181, 165, , 1188, 2451, 204.25, ,
Positions 29-32: Desperado Squad (1 game, top 4 advance to Step 1 Finals)
29, Yaqoub Al Shatti, Kuwait, 289.
30, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 245.
31, Tom Sorce, Charlottesville, Va., 242.
32, Tim Mack, Indianapolis, 237.

f-denotes female competitors who receive 8 handicap pins per game in addition to actual pinfall totals.

Step 1 Finals:
Qualifiers 7-32, 6 games (no carryover pins); top 10 advance to Step 2 Finals

Step 2 Finals:
Qualifiers 1-6 plus top 10 from Step 1, 6 games (no carryover pins); top 4 advance to Step 3 Finals
Step 3 Finals (Semifinal Round): No. 1 Qualifier vs. No. 4 Qualifier, No. 2 Qualifier vs. No. 3 Qualifier; two games, total pinfall.
Step 4 Finals (Championship): Two Step 3 Finals winners, two games, total pinfall.

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Mark Roth and Marshall Holman Were Fierce Rivals But Perfect Doubles Partners

by Jerry Schneider February 25, 2015 02:41


The individual accomplishments of Mark Roth and Marshall Holman are things of legend.  Roth, a four-time player of the year, ranks tied for fifth all-time with 34 titles. Holman, the 1987 player of the year, ranks 11th all-time with 22 titles. They are credited with revolutionizing the sport with the power games they introduced to bowling.

But among their 56 combined titles are three doubles championships. When it came to teaming up as doubles partners, both players were a force to be reckoned with at the annual PBA Tour doubles events.

In honor of the PBA Hall of Famers, Sunday’s Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship on ESPN from Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis bears the name of the two greats who also made their mark as one of the top doubles teams in PBA history. Only the team of Hall of Famers Mike Aulby and Steve Cook has as many doubles titles as Holman and Roth.

Roth and Holman won their first doubles title in the 1977 PBA Doubles Classic at Saratoga Lanes in San Jose, Calif., where they combined for a 7-4-1 match play record and 15,528 pinfall total to outscore runners-up Paul Colwell and Don Johnson by 416 pins.

In 1979, as the top-qualifying team, Roth and Holman won the Columbia Doubles Classic in San Jose with a combined 406 championship match total, defeating Larry Laub and Palmer Fallgren, who combined for a 374 pinfall.

And in 1984 Roth and Holman captured the Showboat Doubles Classic in Las Vegas by defeating Dave Husted and Ted Hannahs in a low-scoring alternate frame championship match, 169-160.

Though fierce rivals on the PBA Tour, it was evident both players had a chemistry that made them successful doubles partners.

“Our bowling styles complemented each other,” said the 60-year-old Holman, who now owns a tax service business in his hometown of Medford. “We played a similar part of the lane which made it easy to line up off each other. From my perspective, I could always count on Mark making a good shot and then it was just a matter of me taking in that information to make a good shot.

“We looked forward to bowling doubles because on Tour you were always alone competing by yourself,” Holman added, “so it was always a nice change of pace to be in a kind of team environment where you could pull for each other.”

The 63-year-old Roth, who continues to make progress in his recovery after a stroke in 2009 which partially paralyzed his left side, also enjoyed the divergence from individual competition while keeping in mind a PBA Tour title was at stake. 

“It was always lot of fun and we always looked forward to it,” said Roth. “We were both at the top of our games at the time so we knew we would always be a tough pair to beat.

“We worked well as a team – he helped me out and I helped him out. Even though it was something we had fun with, you had to remember to take it seriously and stay focused because there was a PBA title on the line.”

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA Stars Head East for Three-Tournament PBA International-WBT Series

by Bill Vint February 24, 2015 06:03

PBA stars from around the world are heading east for a three-tournament PBA International-World Bowling Tour series, beginning with the H.H. Emir Cup, which is underway at Qatar Bowling Centre in Doha, Qatar, and ends Friday. The Qatar event will be followed by the Kingdom of Bahrain Open at Ozone Entertainment Centre in Manama, Bahrain, March 2-7, and the Brunswick Euro Challenge at Dream Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany, March 14-22.

Fans can follow the H.H. Emir Cup and Bahrain Open on the Asian Bowling Federation website: Brunswick Euro Challenge results will be available on its website:

Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, is defending champion in the Emir Cup, but he won’t be on hand to defend his title after a series of weather-related airline postponements forced him to cancel his travel plans. Shaker Al Hassan of the United Arab Emirates won the 2014 Bahrain title. Eventual PBA Rookie of the Year Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., is defending Brunswick Euro Challenge champion. Kent won the 2014 event as an amateur.

Heading into the three-tournament swing, Barrett is the WBT men’s points leader in the two-year, rolling points system, with 588 points. Mike Fagan is second with 582 points. Kelly Kulick is the WBT women’s points leader with 698 points, comfortably ahead of fellow American Liz Johnson (559).


Number four in the continuing series, Concrete Software will debut the “virtual” Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits PBA League team ball into the PBA Bowling Challenge game on Thursday (Feb. 26). PBA League-logoed team balls for gaming play currently available to PBA Bowling Challenge players include the Dallas Strikers ball, GEICO New York WTT KingPins ball and the Silver Lake Atom Splitters ball. The remaining four PBA League balls will be added to the PBA Bowling Challenge arsenal, one a week, leading up to the PBA League Elias Cup competition March 28-29 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

PBA League-logoed balls can be used by more than 12 million people who play PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game on a regular basis. The PBA Bowling Challenge by Concrete Software app is available on Google Play, Apple iOS, Amazon App Store and Nook.


Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz., defeated 17-year-old amateur Wesley Low Jr. of Palmdale, Calif., 235-224, to win the PBA West Region’s Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Championship at Gold Country Lanes in Sutter Creek, Calif., Sunday.

Along with his seventh PBA Regional title, Blanchard earned $2,500. Low, who became the youngest player ever to win a PBA Regional in a PBA Challenge event at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas two years ago at age 15, earned $1,300 for his SMART scholarship account. The two-handed left-hander also bowled the only 300 game of the tournament.

PBA Regional Challenge events are open only to players who have not won a PBA event.

In an all-Baker title match, PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker of King, N.C., defeated Stoney Baker of Canton, Ga., 192-188, 173-243, 256-230, in the best-of-three-game title match to win his 31st PBA Regional title in the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota Southern Open presented by Ebonite at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., Sunday.

Tom gained the advantage in game one before Stoney found his shot in game two and tied the match. Tom got lined up in game three, winning the title and the $2,300 first prize while Stoney pocketed $1,200 as the runner-up. The Bakers are not related.

Kyle Bigelow of Troy, Ohio, defeated amateur Ari Wilson of University Park, Ill., 257-218, to win his first title in the PBA Lynwood Bowl Midwest Challenge presented by Roto Grip at Lynwood Bowl in Lynwood, Ill., Sunday.

Bigelow earned $1,500 along with his title. PBA Challenge events are open to players who have never won a PBA title. Bigelow defeated Gerald Marrs of Huntley, Ill., 229-223, and Wilson edged Mitchell Kratic of Whiting, Ind., 203-177, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match.

Wichita State University star Matt McNiel of Chanhassen, Minn., defeated Kris Koeltzow of Wheat Ridge, Colo., 213-201, to win the $2,500 first prize in the third annual PBA Lakewood Storm Southwest Open at Holiday Lanes in Lakewood, Colo., Sunday.

After rallying in the final two games of the casher’s round to grab the 12th and last spot in the single-elimination match play finals, McNeil eliminated fellow amateur Rick Shafer of Arvada, Colo., 2-1; George Brooks of Loveland, Colo., 2-0, and Jason Duran of Littleton, Colo., 228-227, to advance to the title match. McNiel doesn’t receive credit for a PBA title because he is not a member.

Koeltzow got to the title match by eliminating Ed Petrie from Clint, Texas, 2-0; PBA Hall of Famer Brian Voss, now living in Centennial, Colo., 2-0, and Scott Christensen of Evergreen, Colo., 266-156, in his semifinal match.

● As PBA Regional players continue their pursuit of season-long points championships in their respective regions, which will mean berths in the PBA Regional Challenge Finals along with paid entries into PBA World Series of Bowling VII at South Point in Las Vegas, a busy March schedule of PBA Regional activity gets started Feb. 27-March 1 with the PBA50 Pensacola (Fla.) South Open at New Liberty Lanes.

● The March 6-8 regional calendar includes the PBA50 Victory Lanes Central Open presented by 900 Global in Galion, Ohio; the Sunday-only PBA50 Thunderbowl Midwest Open presented by Hammer in Council Bluffs, Iowa; and the PBA West/Northwest Sands Regency Winter Challenge, Winter Classic and PBA50 Winter Classic at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.

● The March 13-15 PBA Regional schedule includes only one event – the joint PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Track in Virden, Ill.

● A heavy slate of PBA Regional action is on tap over the March 20-22 weekend, including the PBA50 Fayetteville (N.C.) Open at Lafayette Lanes; the PBA50 Rossi Lanes Open in Elmira, N.Y.; the joint PBA Trumbull County Tourism Bureau Central/East Open presented by DV8 at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio; the PBA Odessa (Texas) Southwest Open at Astro Bowl; the PBA50 Boys & Girls Club Midwest/Central Open presented by MOTIV at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill., and the PBA Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open in Grants Pass, Ore.

● Wrapping up the March PBA Regional schedule over the 27-28 weekend will be the PBA50 Tony Grigat Allstate Midwest/Central Open presented by DV8 at Willowbrook Lanes in Willowbrook, Ill.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.


A commemorative special edition “Jason Belmonte USBC Masters Three-Peat” t-shirt is now available through the official online PBA Store. Click on the “Shop” link on or click here: (

● For a preview video for Sunday’s Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship finals on ESPN, click here: The Roth-Holman Doubles Championship telecast airing at 1 p.m. Sunday on ESPN will include top qualifiers Norm Duke and Wes Malott, the defending champions, along with teams of Dino Castillo and Tom Daugherty, Jason Belmonte and Bill O’Neill, DJ Archer and Shawn Maldonado, and Dom Barrett and Osku Palermaa.

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Follow the Action in Qatar’s H.H. Emir Cup

by Bill Vint February 24, 2015 02:29

Follow the action in the PBA International-World Bowling Tour H.H. Emir Cup on the Asian Bowling Federation’s official website, The tournament concludes Friday. England’s Dom Barrett is defending champion.

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Defending Champions Duke and Malott are Top Qualifiers for Sunday’s Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship on ESPN

by Jerry Schneider February 23, 2015 05:59

The PBA Tour brings back its traditional doubles format when the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship finals air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Named in honor of PBA legends Mark Roth and Marshall Holman who won three doubles titles together during their Hall of Famer careers, the Doubles Championship returns to the PBA Tour for the first time since 2011 with defending champions Norm Duke, a PBA Hall of Famer and owner of 37 PBA Tour titles, and nine-time Tour winner Wes Malott trying to repeat from their position as top qualifiers. The finals take place at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis.

Four other doubles pairs, including three of the Tour’s two-handed players, will battle it out in the alternate frame stepladder final beginning with international standouts Dom Barrett of England and two-hander Osku Palermaa of Finland meeting Texans DJ Archer and two-hander Shawn Maldonado in the opening match. 

Both Barrett and Palermaa will be trying for their fifth Tour titles while Archer will be trying for his second Tour title and Maldonado his first in his television debut.

The winner of the opening match will take on the powerful doubles team of Bill O’Neill and two-hander and two-time reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte. Belmonte, who recently won a record third consecutive USBC Masters and then became the first player to win both the Masters and Tournament of Champions in back-to-back seasons, will be making his fourth consecutive television appearance. The Australian two-handed star will be trying to win his third title of the young 2015 season and 13th of his career. Belmonte kept his TV streak going with a fourth-place finish in last Sunday’s PBA Players Championship. O’Neill, whose last title came in the 2014 Badger Open, will be trying for his sixth Tour title.

The second match winner will take on the team of Tom Daugherty of Tampa, Fla. and Dino Castillo of Carrollton, Texas in the semifinal. Daugherty is making his second consecutive TV appearance after finishing third in the Players Championship. He will be trying for his second career title. Castillo will try for his first PBA Tour title.

The semifinal winner will then take on Duke and Malott who won the doubles championship in  2011 by defeating the doubles team of Ronnie Russell and Sean Rash in the championship match, 193-167. Currently tied with Pete Weber on the PBA’s all-time titles list, Duke will be trying to move into third alone if he gets his 38th win. Malott will be trying for his 10th career title which would make him eligible for PBA Hall of Fame consideration in the future.

For a video preview of Sunday’s doubles show click on

Fans can follow PBA action through the PBA Network which includes wall-to-wall coverage of an expanded schedule of live events on Xtra Frame, player interactions through Facebook and Twitter, mobile gaming, original programming, archived events and immediate news updates 24/7 on varying communications devices anywhere in the world. For additional PBA Network information visit

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