KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait – Reigning Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., defeated Finnish-American Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., 234-201, to win the Kuwait Open at Cozmo Bowling Center Sunday.
The victory was the sixth of Rash’s career and his first in PBA International Tour competition. Rash earned $25,000 and denied Koivuniemi’s bid to add Kuwait to the list of countries where he has won titles. A week earlier, Koivuniemi won the Kingdom of Bahrain International Open – a non-PBA International Tour event – for the 20th different country where he has won titles.
Koivuniemi advanced to the title match with a 238-228 victory over fellow Finn and defending champion Osku Palermaa after Palermaa eliminated Sweden’s Sandra Andersson in match two, 279-176. In the opening stepladder finals match, Anderson ended Ronnie Russell’s bid to earn a berth in the upcoming Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, defeating the Indianapolis resident, 226-185.
The final PBA International Tour event prior to the Tournament of Champions is the Brunswick Euro Challenge, Tuesday-Sunday, at Dream Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany. Mike Fagan of Dallas is the defending champion. The Brunswick Euro Challenge will be covered live on the Internet by bowlingdigital.com.
The Kuwait Open and Brunswick Euro Challenge are also World Tenpin Bowling Association World Bowling Tour qualifying events.
The Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions will take place March 27-31 at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, concluding with the live, five-player, two-hour stepladder finals on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. ET. The PBA League Elias Cup finals, featuring the top four teams based on PBA Detroit Winter Swing qualifying rounds, will be held at 6 p.m. on March 31 at Woodland Bowl for telecast on ESPN on Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. ET.
All qualifying and match play rounds of the TOC will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com.