HELSINKI, Finland – Finland native Mika Koivuniemi, now living in Hartland, Mich., returned to his home country and defeated England’s Dom Barrett, 188-172, to win a record fourth Brunswick Ballmaster Open title Sunday at Tali Bowl.
Koivuniemi earned his 13th PBA Tour title and his ninth European Bowling Tour title in the first World Bowling/PBA International Tour tournament of the 2014 season. The No. 2 qualifier heading into the stepladder finals, Koivuniemi knocked off fellow Finn Joonas Jehkinen, 236-201, in the semifinal match after Jehkinen eliminated Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., 256-184, in the opening match.
The 44th Ballmaster Open is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious tournaments. A major championship on the European Bowling Tour, it also is the traditional kick-off event for EBT’s 21-tournament season.
PBA Tour competition returns to the United States later this week when Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., hosted the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions. Qualifying begins Saturday, Jan. 18, and continues through Monday, Jan. 20, when the top 24 will advance to match play Monday evening and Tuesday. ESPN will televise the finals live on Sunday, Jan. 26, at noon ET.
All qualifying and match play rounds will be covered live on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.
Thunderbowl also will host the opening rounds of 2014 PBA League competition on Jan. 25, 26 and 27 for delayed telecast on ESPN. For ticket information for all TOC and PBA League rounds, visit pba.com and click on the “tickets” tab.
44TH BRUNSWICK BALLMASTER OPEN
Tali Bowl, Helsinki, Finland, Jan. 12
1, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, $16,370.
2, Dom Barrett, England, $10,900.
3, Joonas Jehkinen, Finland, $5,450.
4, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., $4,090.
Match One: Jehkinen def. Russell, 256-184.
Semifinal Match: Koivuniemi def. Jehkinen, 236-201.
Championship: Koivuniemi def. Barrett, 188-172.
Other PBA Cashers:
5, Magnus Johnson Jr., Sweden, $3,500.
6, Kimmo Lehtonen, Finland, $3,400.
10, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, $2,850.
13, Paul Moor, England, $2,450.
14, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., $2,300.
16, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, $2,000.
18, Jesper Agerbo, Denmark, $1,500.
21, Osku Palermaa, Finland, $1,500.
22, Martin Larsen, Sweden, $1,500.
37, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, $1,500.