Finland’s Osku Palermaa defeated top seed Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, New York, 227-213, 243-224, on Monday at Blu-O Paragon in Bangkok to win the WBT Thailand, the final PBA International-World Bowling tournament prior to the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas Oct. 24-Nov. 2.
Palermaa, who won $32,350 and his fourth PBA Tour title, had to defeat Ciminelli twice to claim the title. After entering the stepladder finals as the No. 3 qualifier, Palermaa defeated South Korea’s Suh Sang Cheon, 224-206, and Naif Oqab of UAE, 234-191, to advance to the final match.
The WBT Thailand also was the final qualifying event for the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals, presented by PBA, that will be contested during WSOB VI at South Point Bowling Stadium for telecast on ESPN. Finnish-American star Mika Koivuniemi retained his No. 1 position on the two-year, rolling WBT points list, finishing with 567 points. He will bowl against the winner of a match between Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., the No. 2 qualifier and defending WBT Men’s Finals winner vs. No. 3 Jason Belmonte of Australia in Las Vegas. The WBT Women’s Finals will include top qualifier and defending champ Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, meeting the winner of a match between No. 2 Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, New York vs. No. 3 Sandra Andersson of Sweden.
WBT Thailand drew a field of 102 players from around the world, including a number of PBA members. England’s Dom Barrett finished sixth, earning $2,903, and Jason Sterner of Covington, Georgia, was seventh for $2,742. Marshall Kent of Tacoma, Washington; Stuart Williams of England; Rash; Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas; Martin Larsen of Sweden, and Koivuniemi all finished in the group that earned $2,258 each. Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Kulick were among the players who cashed for $1,613.
The next tournament in the cooperative PBA International-World Bowling series will be the WBT Ballmaster Open in Helsinki, Finland, Jan. 6-11.
PBA WORLD SERIES VI FIELD IS SOLD OUT; STANDBY NAMES BEING ACCEPTED
As expected the 240-player field for PBA World Series of Bowling VI, set for Oct. 24-Nov. 2 at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, has been filled and names for the standby list are now being accepted. Vacancies will be filled on a first-come basis.
The 2014 WSOB field includes players from a record-tying 21 different countries including first-time representatives from Belgium, the British Virgin Islands, China and Latvia. The preliminary list of countries represented includes Argentina (1), Australia (5), Bahrain (1), Belgium (1), Bermuda (2), British Virgin Islands (2), Canada (3), China (6), Colombia (9), Denmark (2), Ecuador (3), England (5), Finland (2), Germany (3), Ireland (1), Japan (5), Latvia (1), Mexico (2), Sweden (8), Venezuela (10) and the United States (168).
The field also includes eight PBA Hall of Famers Tom Baker, Parker Bohn III, Jason Couch, Norm Duke, Amleto Monacelli, Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Danny Wiseman.
WENDELL, HARDEE LOCK UP PBA WOMEN’S REGIONAL BERTHS IN WORLD SERIES
Kristina Wendell of Poughkeepsie, New York, and Christina Hardee of Mount Dora, Florida, have locked up the first two of seven PBA Women’s Regional berths for the World Series of Bowling’s PBA Women’s Regional Finals. They will be joined by PBA Japan Region women’s points leader Yuka Tsuchiya in the eight-player match play competition on Friday, Oct. 24, to determine the two PBA Women’s Regional representatives who will bowl on the PBA Challenge special event on ESPN on Sunday, Nov. 2, at South Point Bowling Stadium in Las Vegas.
Wendell, 30, clinched her spot Sunday in the Mil-Ray Foods Eastern Open at Brunswick Zone Deptford, N.J. She finished 54th in the male-dominated field in Deptford, but advanced to the finals in the other two PBA East Region events she entered.
Hardee, also 30, locked up her WSOB entry and PBA Women’s Regional Finals berth in the Fayetteville South Open at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C., Sunday.
“I was lucky enough to win the ladies points in the South and will be getting to go the WSOB,” Hardee said. “This will also be my first time seeing Vegas and even getting on an airplane. I know I have been living in a cave.”
Qualifying events for women are still underway in the PBA’s Southwest, Central, Midwest, West and Northwest Regions. For detailed information on qualifying events, visit pba.com and click on the PBA Women’s Regional Tour link under the Schedules tab.
PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: CARUSO PULLS OFF “SUPER” VICTORY IN PBA EAST REGION
“Super Senior” Bob Caruso of Dayton, New Jersey, outscored Danny Wiseman of Baltimore by 43 pins over 17 games to win the PBA Mil-Ray Foods Eastern Open presented by Columbia 300 at Brunswick Zone Deptford, New Jersey, on Sunday.
Caruso, who joined the PBA in 1985, turned 60 years of age earlier this year, making him eligible to earn Super Senior prizes in PBA50 events. Last fall, Caruso announced he would be limiting his participation to the PBA50 events plus a few close-to-home standard regionals.
He had never finished higher than third place in more than 100 standard regionals prior to turning 50 10 years ago. Caruso won a PBA50 regional title in 2010 but figured he would never be in contention for a standard title again. After qualifying second in Deptford on Saturday, and holding his position after the 12-game cut on Sunday, he moved into the lead after the 15-game cut and held on over the final two games to defeat Wiseman, a PBA Hall of Famer.
Caruso earned $2,300 for the victory while Wiseman earned $1,200 as the runner-up. William Barlow of Bel Air, Maryland, who rolled the event’s only 300 game, earned $1,000 for finishing third.
● Amateur Jack Ness of Lake Wylie, North Carolina defeated Chris McSwain of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, 244-180, 247-230, in a best-of-three-game title match to win the PBA Fayetteville South Open at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C., on Sunday.
The win was Ness’ second this year (he also won in Gastonia, North Carolina in June), but he doesn’t get an official title because he is a non-member. He earned $2,400 for the win.
● Two-handed competitor Shawn Maldonado from Houston, Texas, dominated the field to win the PBA Greenville Southwest Open, presented by allBowling.com, Sunday at Shenaniganz in Greenville, Texas. The victory made Maldonado the PBA Southwest Region’s first two-time winner in 2014.
Maldonado took a 201-pin advantage over Andy Patterson from Tyler, Texas, into position round and won by 108 pins after Patterson toppled Maldonado, 289-182, in their position round match. Maldonado collected the $2,500 winner’s prize.
In the PBA Women’s Regional competition held as part of the Greenville tournament, Colombia’s Clara Guerrero led the three women entered, finishing ninth and earning $640.
● PJ Haggerty of Roseville, California, posted a 7-5 match play record and a 20-game total of 4,747 pins to win his eighth PBA Regional title in the PBA West/NW Capital City Open hosted by Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes Sunday in Citrus Heights, California.
Haggerty, who earned $2,500, defeated Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix, by 117 pins. Haugen had an 8-4 match play record and 4,630 pins.
In the companion PBA50 Open, Kevin Croucher of Grants Pass, Oregon, went 8-4 and knocked down 4,438 total pins for 20 games to top Ron Mohr of Las Vegas by 11 pins for his eighth PBA50 regional title and $1,500.
In the first of three PBA West/Northwest Region Women’s Regional Finals qualifying events, Lindsay Boomershine of Brigham City, Utah, led a field of 10 women, finishing in 12th place for $500.
● The extended Labor Day weekend includes another full schedule of events, including the PBA50 Wilson & Sons Termite Pest Control Super Senior Open (for players 60 and older) followed by the PBA50 Mooresville South Open at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.; the Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by Brunswick at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif., and the BOWLSTRONG Midwest/Central Challenge (for non-winners) plus the BOWLSTRONG Midwest/Central Tournament of Champions (for PBA title winners) at King Pin Lanes in Springfield, Ill.
Kicking off the September schedule will be the PBA50 Kingsport Super Senior South Open for players 60 and older at Warpath Lanes in Kingsport, Tenn., Sept. 2-4, followed by Sept. 5-7 weekend events including the Moon City Central Classic presented by Roto Grip at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, Ohio; the Grand Hotel, Casino & Resort Southwest Invitational at Firelake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla. (featuring live Xtra Frame coverage); the PBA50 Howell Lanes East Open in Howell, N.J.; the Rufus West Open presented by Columbia 300 at FlipSide Lanes in Gilbert, Ariz., and a pair of one-day PBA50 events presented by Ebonite at Illinois Valley Super Bowl in Peru, Ill.
For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.
● Xtra Frame, the PBA’s online bowling channel, will be on hand for the PBA Grand Hotel, Casino and Resort Southwest Regional Invitational from Shawnee, Okla., Sept. 5-7, and the Diamond Jo’s Casino Midwest Open at Diamond Jo’s Cherry Lanes in Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 13-14. The Dubuque event will be the second of three PBA Women’s Regional events in the Midwest Region.