Former PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash
, United States, averaged 256.33 for nine games to win the qualifying in the World Bowling Tour Thailand
tournament and to lead 42 players into the finals starting on Thursday at Blu-O Bowl in Bangkok, Thailand.
The nine-time PBA champion (pictured above), who won the WBT Thailand event in 2013, had three-game series of 814, 789 and 704 to lead the 83-player field from 18 countries with 2307 total.
His compatriot and fellow Team USA member, Anthony Simonsen (left), moved into second place Wednesday with 2275. The 19 year-old two-handed player has won two PBA titles this season, including the USBC Masters to become youngest player to win a PBA major at 19 years and 39 days.
Earlier this month, Simonsen won three gold medals in doubles, team and masters at the World Bowling World Youth Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Simonsen was followed by Dominic Barrett (right) of England in third place with 2245. The captain of Team Europe which defeated USA in the Weber Cup (tenpin bowling version of golf’s Ryder Cup) last week, posted the field-best 821 three-game series, an average of 273,67.
Thailand’s No. 1 bowler, Yannaphon Larpapharat (left, with Kim Bolleby, left) made the first cut in fourth place with 2231 (247.89 average) six pins ahead of 2014 PBA Rookie of the Year, Marshall Kent (right), United States, with 2225.
Former Swedish youth international Kim Bolleby, who now bowls for Thailand was just one pin behind Kent in sixth place with 2224. Rounding out the top 7 was Remy Ong of Singapore with 2204. The top 7 and the best Thai bowler outside the top 7 who was seeded 8th, Peerawich Rungcharoen (2129) received two byes for rounds 2 and 3 on Thursday.
The next local bowler Atchariya Cheng, who was seeded 9th and qualifiers 10-24 receive one bye.
Among this group were three-time PBA Player of the Year and winner of the inaugural WBT Thailand event in 2011, Jason Belmonte of Australia (left – 10th; 2186), 2015 PBA Rookie of the Year, Jesper Svensson of Sweden (right – 11th; 2174), defending champion Osku Palermaa of Finland (below left – 15th; 2142), who won the event in 2014 (was not held in 2015) and Anggie Ramirez (below right) of Colombia, who was the best of nine women in the field in 17th place with 2107, including eight pins handicap each game.
Current World Bowling Tour women’s point ranking leader, Danielle McEwan, United States, took the 24th and last spot to earn one bye with 2090, including handicap. The cut for the final fell at Teerachata Rachatahiranyakan of Thailand, who was 39th with 1947 or an average of 216.33.
The top 39 will be joined in the finals by the top 3 of the one-game Desperado Squad, Rashid Fayil Al-Safmi, Oman (225), Pawat Ungtrakul, Thailand (224) and Ghalib Al-Busaidi, Oman (223).
The 2016 World Bowling Tour Thailand tournament will be held from August 6-12 at
Blu-O Rhythm & Bowl inside the Siam Paragon Shopping Mall in Bangkok, Thailand.
The tournament offers total prize fund of 4,215 million Baht or approximately 131,967 U.S. Dollar. The winner will receive 1 million Baht or roughly $32,260 and will be awarded a World Bowling Tour title and a Professional Bowlers Association title, if won by a PBA member.
All players must bowl nine games of qualifying in three-game blocks with unlimited re-entries. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game. All ties will be broken by a one-ball roll-off.
Total 42 bowlers will survive the qualifying (Round 1), including the top 7 qualifiers, the two highest Thai bowlers outside the top 7 (ranked 8 & 9), the next 28 qualifiers (ranked 10-37), the next two Thai bowlers outside the top 37 (ranked 38-39) plus the top 3 of the one-game Desperado Squad (ranked 40-42).
Players ranked 1-8 receive two byes and players ranked 9-24 get one bye. Bowlers ranked 25-42 advance to the second round to bowl six games from scratch with the top 10 advancing to Round 3.
Those 10 and qualifiers 9-24 will bowl another six games from scratch. The top 12 bowlers will meet the top 8 qualifiers in Round 4. The remaining 20 players bowl another six-game block from scratch to cut to the top 7 plus the next Thai bowler (ranked 8) for the stepladder finals.
In the first round, the No. 6, 7 and 8 seed will square off. The winner takes on No. 4 and 5 seed in the second match. The winner of that match bowls the No. 3 seed in the quarterfinal. The winner meets the No. 2 seed in the semifinal. The winner advances to the championship match in which the top-seeded player must be defeated twice to win the title.
The WBT Thailand event is the 4th tournament on the 2016 World Bowling Tour, which currently consists of eight regular tournaments, six in the Middle East and one each in Germany and Thailand.
The ninth event and the only WBT “major” this season is the PBA World Series of Bowling VIII to be staged from November 27 through December 11, 2016 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., United States.
Players earn ranking points based on how they finish in each event. “Majors” award double points. The points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle. The top three men and top three women in the annual points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals (tbd).
World Bowling provides governance to international bowling and is made up of 134 bowling international federations. For more information on the World Bowling Tour, click here.
Photos courtesy of Asian Bowling Federation (ABF).
Jesper Svensson defeats Martin Larsen to win the Brunswick Euro Challenge
Stunning victory for 17-year-old Ahmed Al-Awadhi in Bahrain
Danielle McEwan shoots two big games to win the H.H. Emir Cup 2016
2016 World Bowling Tour – Schedule, Champions, Men’s and Women’s Ranking Winners
2016 WBT Point Rankings – Men and Women
WBT Thailand – Standings after Qualifying and Desperado Squad
Total 42 players advance to the finals. The top 7 plus the top local bowler (seeded 8th) earn two byes. The next local bowler (seeded 9th) plus qualifiers 10-24 receive one bye. Qualifiers 25-37 plus another two local bowlers (seeded 38th & 39th) and the top 3 of the Desperado Squad (places 40-42) advance to second round. (F) indicates female bowler (scores including 8 pins handicap each game)