MANAMA, Bahrain – Four PBA Tour titlists advanced to Friday’s Round Four of the 12th Kingdom of Bahrain International Open, a World Tenpin Bowling Association-PBA International Tour event, Thursday at Ozone Entertainment Center where they will join seven additional PBA players for the final two elimination rounds leading to the three-man stepladder finals.
Earlier in the week, England’s Paul Moor and Dom Barrett along with American players John Szczerbinski and Tommy Jones, were among the top six players who earned byes all the way to Friday’s Round Five. Australia’s Jason Belmonte, American Bill O’Neill and Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi were among the qualifiers automatically advancing to Friday’s Round Four.
Advancing from Thursday’s six-game elimination rounds were PBA title winners Mike Fagan, Chris Loschetter, Brad Angelo and last week’s Emir Cup winner in Qatar, Chris Barnes.
The Bahrain International Open format involves a series of qualifying rounds to trim the field to 30 players. The top six preliminary qualifiers automatically advance to Round Five, the next six to Round Four, the third six to Round Three and the fourth six to Round Two. In each subsequent elimination round, all pins are dropped and 12 players bowl six games per round with the top six advancing to the next round. The final two elimination rounds will be contested Friday, with the top three bowling a stepladder final to determine the winner of the $25,000 top prize. If the winner is a PBA member, he also will earn a PBA International Tour title.
PBA fans can follow the action by clicking on the Asian Bowling Federation link on pba.com’s home page.
Following the 12th Kingdom of Bahrain International Open, PBA players will head to Kuwait for the Kuwait Open in Kuwait City, March 10-14. The Brunswick Euro Challenge at Dream Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany, concludes the four-event WTBA-PBA International series, March 15-23. All four events are part of the World Bowling Tour points competition.
The surviving players in the tournament are:
AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFIED FOR ROUND FIVE (6 GAMES)
Paul Moor, England
John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y.
Yousif Falah, Bahrain
Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.
Dom Barrett, England
Sami Noor, Bahrain
Plus top six from Round four
AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFIED FOR ROUND FOUR (6 GAMES)
Jason Belmonte, Australia
Shaker Al Hassan, UAE
Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa.
Mike Koivuniemi, Finland-Hartland, Mich.
Sithiphol Kunaksorn, Thailand
Wicky Yeung, Hong Kong
Plus top six from Round Three
Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas
Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio
Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y.
Mohammed Sultan, Bahrain
Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas
Michael Mak, Hong Kong
PBA PLAYERS ELIMINATED IN ROUND THREE ($1,500 each)
Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Osku Palermaa, Finland
Tim Mack, Indianapolis
Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich.