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Anthony Simonsen, Danielle McEwan win World Bowling Tour finals

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Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., won the men’s and women’s titles in the World Bowling Tour Finals, presented by the PBA, Sunday at The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas to conclude the 2016 WBT season.

Simonsen (right) capped a year of globetrotting by winning the men’s finals defeating WBT points leader Martin Larsen (left) of Sweden, 243-213, for the $20,000 first prize.

Simonsen, a 20-year-old two-handed player who qualified second for the finals after a year-long, world-wide points competition based on performances in World Bowling Tour events, eliminated no. 3 qualifier Marshall Kent (right) of Yakima, Wash., in the opening match of the three-man stepladder, 263-253.

McEwan, the women’s top qualifier and defending champion, successfully defended her WBT Women’s Finals title in unexpected fashion when Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., needing only a mark in the 10th frame to win, left a pocket 7-10 split and opened, handing McEwan a 203-200 victory.

Simonsen, the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Masters champion, struck on six of his first seven shots in the title tilt to build a 33-pin lead under WBT’s experimental “Current Frame” scoring system and secured the win on the bench when Larsen did not strike in the 10th frame.

Under the “Current Frame” system, players earned 30 pins a frame for each strike; 10 pins plus the total from their first shot of the frame for a spare, and actual pinfall for an open frame. Games consisted of 10 frames with no additional shots in the 10th frame if a player strikes or spares. The maximum score is 300 (30 pins for 10 strikes).

For Simonsen, the WBT win was a bit of redemption after falling short in his title defense at the USBC Masters. Simonsen finished the week tied for 17th place.

“It’s been a good three-week swing,” said Simonsen, who finished second at the 2017 arbasol PBA Players Championship. “I made a TV show, all three cuts, so it’s been a good run. You obviously want to win them all, but being able to finish this week with the win makes it all worth it.”

McEwan (left), a 25-year-old right-hander, threw a strike in her 10th frame for a 203, forcing Johnson, a two-time PWBA Player of the Year, to mark in her 10th frame for the win. Johnson ran into a disaster instead.

After starting the title match with two strikes, McEwan was unable to strike again until the 10th frame, converting four multiple-pin combinations to remain in contention. Johnson (right) held a 28-pin lead heading into the ninth frame but was unable to mark in her final two frames.

“In the moment, I didn’t think that strike would be enough,” said McEwan, who won the 2016 H.H. Emir Cup in Doha, Qatar and also led the women’s ranking in three of the remaining five events in 2016.

“I hadn’t struck on that lane in a while, so I just wanted to get to the pocket. It’s hard to watch that happen on the bench to someone who’s such a good friend and someone I look up to, but sometimes bowling works that way. I need to appreciate being on this side of it, because I know the other side can come just as easily.”

In the semifinal match, Johnson bested Colombia’s Anggie Ramirez (left), 268-220.

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From left to right: Tom Clark, PBA CEO & Commissioner, men’s winner Anthony Simonsen, women’s winner Danielle McEwan and World Bowling CEO Kevin Dornberger

2015 World Bowling Tour Finals – Women’s Division Final Standings

The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nev., USA (Feb. 26, 2017)

Championship Round:
1. Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., $20,000
2. Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., $10,000
3. Anggie Ramirez, Colombia, $5,000

Playoff Results:
(Current Frame scoring awarding 30 pins per strike, 10 pins plus first-ball count for spares, and actual pinfall for open frames)
Semifinal Match: No. 3 Johnson def. No. 2 Ramirez, 268-220
Final: No. 1 McEwan def. Johnson, 203-200.

2015 World Bowling Tour Finals – Men’s Division Final Standings

The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nev., USA (Feb. 26, 2017)

Championship Round:
1. Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, $20,000
2. Martin Larsen, Sweden, $10,000
3. Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., $5,000

Playoff Results:
(Current Frame scoring awarding 30 pins per strike, 10 pins plus first-ball count for spares, and actual pinfall for open frames)
Semifinal Match: No. 2 Simonsen def. No. 3 Kent, 263-253
Final: Simonsen def. No. 1 Larsen, Sweden, 243-213.

Author: Herbert Bickel
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