Michael Schmidt crowned men's QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup


    41st QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup

    Gladiator Bowling Center in Ljubljana, Slovenia

    Championship Match: Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 5 p.m.
    No. 1 Michael Schmidt def. No. 6 Or Aviram, Israel, 2-1
    211 - 200
    205 - 233
    216 - 214

     The men's final at the 41st QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup was a nail biter that came down to the very last shot and nearly has ended in tie. No. 1 seed Michael Schmidt of Canada needed a 9-count on the fill ball in the deciding third game to defeat Or Aviram of Israel by one pin.

    The 25-year-old Canadian, who led the tournament since day one, got a light pocket hit and left the 8-2 combination. But half a second later, the 8-pin fell, then even the 2-pin giving Schmidt a strike and the coveted World Cup title with a 216-214 victory at Gladiator Bowling Center in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

    Schmidt led the first game by three marks when he left the 3-6-10 combination in the seventh and chopped off only the 3-pin. A feat called "Tratnik" by the local bowlers. Aviram narrowed the gap after the Tratnik with a double but didn't get the must-strike in the 10th to hand the game to Schmidt.

    The 26-year-old Israeli who is 11th in the European rankings had a strong finish in game two. Trailing Schmidt by 22 pins in the fourth frame, Aviram reeled off six consecutive strikes to level the match.

    Both players started the decider with a double and traded the lead nearly every other frame until the final showdown in the 10th. Frame. This was Canada's first men' World Cup title since Ray Mitchell accomplished the feat in Hamburg, Germany, in 1972.

    Schmidt and Aviram reach men's final at QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup

    Semifinal Match #1: Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 11.30 a.m.
    No. 6 Or Aviram, Israel def. No. 7 Badr Al Sheikh, Saudi Arabia, 2-1
    193 - 206
    225 - 148
    234 - 208

    When the tournament schedule set up the semifinal match between Or Aviram of Israel and Badr Al Sheikh of Saudi Arabia some people feared that either the Israeli or the Arab might not show up to the match for political reasons. But it was all about the sport when the two athletes battled it out for a berth into the men's finals in the 41st QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup at Gladiator Bowling Center in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

    18-year-old Al Sheikh got lined up early and left no more than single pin spares in the whole first game. The Saudi took had a 24-pin cushion in the sixth frame when Aviram narrowed the gap with a double in the 7th and 8th frame. The Arab missed a 9-pin spare in the ninth but still had the chance to shut out the Israeli with a double. He fired three strikes to take a 1-0 lead.

    Tides tunred in the second game when Al Sheikh began to struggle on the right lane and opened in the 2nd, 4th and 6th frame. Aviram missed a 7-8 split in his first frame but matched up well after that. Playing the fourth arrow, Aviram reeled off five consecutive strikes from frame 5 through 9 to put the match away before the final frame.

    The decider was a thriller that went down to the final frame. Finishing first Al Sheik ended with a double and eight to force Aviram to mark. Working on a strike, the 26-year old Israeli struck out to secure his spot in the finals.

    Semifinal Match #2: Sunday, November 20, 2005 at 1 p.m.
    No. 1 Michael Schmidt def. No. 4 Gery Verbruggen, Belgium, 2-0
    211 - 189
    214 - 197

    25-year-old Michael Schmidt, who lead the 32-game qualifying of the 41st QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup since day one advanced to the men's championships match in a stunningly ruthless, 2-0, victory over Gery Verbruggen, 39, who has won titles at World Championships, World Ranking Masters and numerous international tournaments.

    Verbruggen, the only lefty in the World Cup finals, both men and women, started with a double, before he failed to convert one of two washouts in the first game. The Canadian got two doubles (frames 4-5 and 7-8) to lead by three marks when he got a big 2-4-8-10 split in the 9th frame which resulted in an open frame. Verbruggen could not strike out to put pressure on Schmidt and the Canadian finished with a double to take a 1-0 lead.

    The 4-time European ranking champion didn't look particularly comfortable, especially compared to his outstanding performance in the quarterfinal match against Anders Öhman yesterday. Verbruggen started with a strike on the left lane (15) where players could trust the ball a more than on lane 16. After a strike, he got an 8-pin in the second which he spared and another 8-pin in the third which he missed.

    Schmidt had a turkey in frames 4-6 and took a 24-pin lead in the middle of the game, but Verbruggen narrowed the gap to 13 pins with two doubles. When Schmidt got a 3-4-7-10 split in his 8th frame it seemed as if he would open the door for Verbruggen, but the Canadian thrilled the crowd when he spared it. One frame later, Verbruggen got a 4-6-10 split that he could not convert. Schmidt got up and shut out Verbruggen with a strike in the 9th and a spare in the 10th frame.

    Verbruggen, Aviram, Al Sheikh, Hernandez advance to the men's semis

    Three of the men's quarterfinal matches went the distance in the 41st QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup at Gladiator Bowling Center in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The top 8 men determined the four semifinalists in best-of-three games match play. Verbruggen def. Öhman, 2-0; Aviram def. Legnani, 2-1; Al Sheikh def. Hansen, 2-1; Schmidt def. Hernandez, 2-1.

    Quarterfinal Match #1: Saturday, November 19, 2005 at 8 a.m.
    No. 4 Gery Verbruggen, Belgium def. No. 5 Anders Öhman, Sweden, 2-0
    256 - 238
    222 - 214

    Another 10th frame drama in the match between the old European rivals, Gery Verbruggen of Belgium, 39, and Anders Öhman of Sweden, 37. The rivalry started in 2001 when Öhman def. Verbruggen in a close match, 406-394, en route to win the 2001 European Championship Masters title. Verbruggen struck back one year later, when he captured the 2002 World Ranking Masters title with a 2-0 victory.

    In the first quarterfinals match in the 41st QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup, Verbruggen came out of the gates fast when he reeled off seven consecutive strikes and never looked back.

    The Swede, who won three gold medals at the 2004 World Championships in Malaysia, took an early lead in game two converting two 7-pin spares in frames one and four while striking in frames 2-3 and 5-6. Verbruggen, who won the European rankings from 2000 through 2003, struck in frame one but opened in the second when he failed to convert a 3-6-7 split. He rebounded with four consecutive strikes to level the match after six frames.

    Both players spared in frames 7-9. Finishing first, Verbruggen got a double and a 9-count in the 10th frame to force Öhman to do the same to win game two by one pin. The Swede got the first but left a 10-pin standing on his next shot that sealed his fate.

    Quarterfinal Match #2: Saturday, November 19, 2005 at 9.30 a.m.
    No. 6 Or Aviram, Israel def. No. 3 Lucas Legnani, Argentina, 2-1
    183 - 200
    233 - 208
    198 - 170

    Lucas Legnani, 27, started game #1 with three spares including a 3-4 split conversion, and then fired three consecutive strikes to take a 17-pin lead after six frames. Or Aviram, 26, stayed clean through the first seven frames. When he failed to convert a 4-7-9 split in the eighth the game was practically over. Legnani sealed the 1-0 lead with a spare in the 10th.

    Tides turned in the second game, when the Israeli struck on seven of his first eight shots and converted a 10-pin in the third frame. Legnani started with a double and had a turkey in frames 5-7 but he missed a 10-pin in the third frame and another open in the eighth after leaving the "big four" (4-6-7-10) which cost him the game.

    Both players struggled in the decider and opened twice in the first six frames. Legnani was unable to double in the whole game and Aviram put the match away when he fired four consecutive strikes in frames 7-10.

    Quarterfinal Match #3: Saturday, November 19, 2005 at 11.00 a.m.
    No. 7 Badr Al Sheikh, Saudi Arabia def. No. 2 Petter Hansen, Norway, 2-1
    185 - 156
    143 - 212
    213 - 167

    The biggest surprise in the tournament thus far. Last year's runner-up and the No. 2 seed of this year's QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup, Petter Hansen from Norway, is out of the tournament in the first round of single elimination match play.

    The 37 year-old bowling center proprietor and long-time international suffered three open frames in the first game resulting in his lowest score of the tournament, 156. Badr Al Sheikh, who shot the fourth perfect 300-game of the World Cup yesterday, had three splits in his final four frames but spared two baby split (2-7 and 3-10) to take the early lead.

    Hansen wasn't making it easy for the Arab and evened the score when he won the second game easily by a 69-pin margin, and looked like the winner for the first six frames of game #3 when the drama began. Hansen had back-to-back open frames on the right lanes while the Arab changed balls and struck four time (frames 7-10) to put the match away.

    The Saudi will meet Israel's Or Aviram in the semifinals on Sunday.

    Quarterfinal Match #4: Saturday, November 19, 2005 at 12.30 p.m.
    No. 1 Michael Schmidt, Canada def. No. 8 Arturo Hernandez, Venezuela, 2-1
    205 - 201
    186 - 222
    216 - 210

    Michael Schmidt, the 25-year-old top seed from Canada survived a strong challenge by Arturo Hernandez. The 47-year-old Venezuelan international, the most experienced player in the field, started out the last quarterfinal match with four strikes in a row. Schmidt countered with a double, then spared a 2-pin, got another double spared a 7-pin and struck in frame 7.

    Hernandez sandwiched another strike between two 10-pin spares to lead by 11 pins in frame six. Both suffered a split in frame 8 - Schmidt 2-10 and Hernandez 7-10 which both resulted in open frames. When Schmidt missed a 10-pin in the 9th, Hernandez needed a mark to shut out the Canadian. When he failed to convert 2-4-5, Schmidt took full advantage and struck out for the win.

    Hernandez responded with a clean game including a four-bagger at the end to tie the match. Schmidt, who had two doubles failed to convert a baby split and a wash-out.

    The third game was decided in the final frame. Hernandez had the better start (three spares and a turkey) and led after five frames by 26 as Schmidt missed a 2-8 conversion. When Hernandez failed to convert 3-6-10 in his 7th, the young Canadian showed his class and took a five pin lead with a turkey. Finishing first, Hernandez struck twice and got a 9 on his fill ball to force Schmidt to double in his 10th frame. Schmidt got up and struck out for the victory.

    Download the Men's Brackets here....