Europeans lead World Championships Trios event after Day One on long oil


    2008 MWC

    SF Strike Bowl Ngamwongwan in Nonthaburi, Thailand (August 21-31, 2008)

     With the first 3-game block on the long-oil pattern in the books, three teams from Europe lead the field of 109 trios from 57 countries at the Men's World Championships in Thailand.

    A total of 10 trios or less than 10 per cent of the field, managed to average over 200: 1 trio from Squad 1, 5 from Squad 2 and 4 from Squad 3.

    Squad 2 leaders Dominic Barrett, Mike Quarry and Stuart Williams (left to right) were the sole team that reached the 1900-plateau on the 43-feet long pattern, which was considered as very tough by all of the players we talked to since the official practice on Thursday.

     The Englishmen had games of 692, 578 and 685 for 1955 3-game total and an average of 217.22. Barrett, a two-time gold medalist at the Orlando World Youth Championships last month, led the way with 699. 2007 World Ranking Masters champion Williams added 630, and Quarry, a silver medalist in Doubles at the Men's Worlds in Korea 2006, contributed 626

    Places two and 3 belong to Trios from Finland and Sweden. Led by 8-time PBA champion and PBA Player of the Year 2004, Mika Koivuniemi (center), the Finns were on course to overtake the lead after games of 625 and 714, the highest of the day, but a 546 in game 3 on the far right side of SF Strike Bowl Ngamwongwan ended those dreams. Koivuniemi, Doubles bronze medalist Pasi Uotila (left) and European ranking leader Osku Palermaa (right), ended the day in second place with 1885 pinfall total and an average of 209.44.

     Doubles silver medalists Tomas Leandersson and Martin Larsen teamed with Robert Andersson en route to move onto third place with 1854 (206.00). The Swedes started with 658 and finished with 626 but had a sub-par 570 in the second game.

    L-R Larsen, Andersson, Leandersson and assistant coach Tim Mack, USA.

     Rounding out the top 4 are Filipinos Chester King, Biboy Rivera and Paulo Valdez (left to right), who dropped two spots to fourth with 1852 (205.78). King, Doubles and All Events champion at the Hong Kong Asian Championships last month had 627, Valdez 662 and defending MWC Masters champion Rivera 563.

    Just outside the box looking in is Squad 1 leader UAE in fifth place with Hussain Suwaidi, Shaker Al Hassan and Nayef Eqab, who sit in fifth place with 1846.

     Sixth place belongs to three players from the Unites States who have won a combined 66 titles on the PBA Tour; L-R Walter Ray Williams Jr. (record 44 titles, six-time PBA Player of the Year), Chris Barnes (10 titles and reigning PBA Player of the Year) and Tommy Jones (12 titles, 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year).

    The pros, one of just three teams that had all three games over 600 (Philippines and UAE were the others) used games of 606, 618 and 616 for 1840 pinfall total, an average of 204.44.

    The second U.S. trio, Doubles gold medalists Patrick Allen and Rhino Page, who teamed with 2006 MWC Team champion Bill Hoffman, had a slow start into the trios event. The Americans had games of 621, 551 and 653 for 1805 3-game total (200.56), good for ninth place overall.

    USBCTomClark.jpg As usual, it was easy to find out where the pros were playing. Just check out where the most people are standing and you can't miss them. Among the crowd watching the PBA super stars today was Tom Clark. The former sports editor at USA Today and USBC Vice President of Marketing and Communications became the Vice President and COO for the PBA in May 2008.

    Clark, who made the long trip to Bangkok to watch his players and to promote the PBA World Championships (Oct., 19-26, 2008 at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan.), came right in time to watch Allen and 2007-08 PBA Tour Rookie of the Year Page win the gold medal in Doubles.

    As far as we know it's also the first time in the history that any executive of the Professional Bowlers Association is visiting a WTBA World Championship.

     Sandwiched between the Americans are Tomoyuki Sasaki, Masaru Ito and Yoshinao Masatoki (left to right), Japan and Luis Rodríguez, Edgardo Ruiz and Francisco Colón, Puerto Rico, who sit in 7th and 8th place with 1835 and 1821, respectively.

    Rounding out the top 10 are Mexicans Marco Martinez, Mario Garcia and Enrique Calvo with 1804 (200.44).

    Dominic Barrett led the field in trios with a 699 3-game series, followed by Glenn Morten Pedersen, Norway, who shot 693 in Squad 1.

    2008MWCPasiUotila_small.jpg 2008MWCPatrickAllen_small.jpg Uotila (left) lost the lead in All Events (combined total of Doubles, Trios, Team and All Events) after 9 of 24 games to Mahmood Ahmad Al Attar, UAE, who leads the field of 330 players from 57 countries with 2084 and an average of 231.56. Allen (right), a 10-time PBA champion and 2004-05 PBA Player of the Year, is second with 2062 (229.11), while Uotila slipped to third with 2044 (227.11).

    All trios return on Monday at 9 a.m., 12.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. for the second block on short oil (34 feet). The top four trios after six games advance to the semifinals Monday evening. The 23rd place trio from China after Day One is exactly 100 pins away from fourth place, making tomorrow's final block before the cut to the top four promising to be an extra exciting round.

    In the semis, the No. 1 seed will meet No. 4 and No. 2 takes on No. 3 in one-game matches with the winners meeting in the one-game title match immediately following. The semifinal losers will each receive bronze medals.

    According to the host federation, the Thai Tenpin Bowling Association (TTBA), the semifinals and finals will be broadcasted live on national TV.

    Squad 1 Results
    Squad 2 Results
    Combined Standings after Squad 2
    Squad 3 Results
    Combined Standings after the first block on long oil
    All Events after 9 games

    Team USA's Bill Hoffman interviewed after trios first round