Palermaa, Schmidt, Hansen to bowl for men's Bowling World Cup title



    2006BWCOskuPalermaa_small2.jpg Palermaa, Schmidt, Hansen to bowl for men's Bowling World Cup title Osku Palermaa of Finland is the players to beat in Friday's stepladder finals of the 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup at Centro Nacional de Bowling Mampote in Caracas.

    Palermaa was a shoo-in for top seed before the final eight-game block even started. His 2006 World Cup resume thus far includes two perfect games and record-shattering scores for eight-game series (2,057) and average (246.22). 2006BWCMichaelSchmidt_small.jpg
    The previous marks were 1,938 pins for eight games, set by Sweden's Martin Larsen, and a 238.72 average, set by Jason Belmonte of Australia. Both came in 2004 in Singapore. Palermaa closed out his qualifying with 9,595 pins, a 239.88 average and a 197-pin lead over number two seed Michael Schmidt of Canada.

    "My game plan for tomorrow remains to be seen," Palermaa said mysteriously. "I'm just kind of going with the flow right now."

    2006BWCPetterHansen_small3.jpg Palermaa will face the winner of the men's semifinal match between Schmidt, the defending champion, and Petter Hansen of Norway. Schmidt's 297 game in his final block gave him a total of 9,398 pins and a 234.95 average.

    Hansen's 298 opening game secured the number three slot. He finished with 9,284 total pins and a 232.10 average to reach his third consecutive World Cup final. In the 2004 and 2005 finals, eight players advanced to the single-elimination best-of-three games finals.

    "Sure, I was working the crowd a little during the last game, running out my strikes and stuff," Schmidt said. "I think I'm a natural showman. Some call it showboating, but I really feed off the energy of a crowd that gets into a match. I love it."

    The men's competition begins after the women's finals at 2 p.m. The semifinal and championship round face-offs will be best-of-three matches.

    Round of 8 Results
    Combined Standings