Coupland, Putney qualify for 2012 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup



    Australia's reps decided at Australian Open and Vic 150

    2012BWCAUSQBenCouplandAnnMareePutney.jpg Melbourne's AMF Keon Park bowling center hosted a hectic schedule of bowling action over Easter as top bowlers from around the country battled for the coveted berths as Australia's representatives at the 2012 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup (dates and venue tbd).

    Over three days from April 6-8, a record line-up of male and female bowlers simultaneously contested the Grouped Property Services Australian Open and the Vic 150 tournaments.

    27-year-old Ben Coupland from Melbourne's Brighton East won the Australian Open trophy and top prize-money, while former Bowling World Cup champion Ann-Maree Putney from Newcastle took the title with a superb 231.7 average over eleven games of match play in the Vic 150 event.

    Picture by Sue Raphael.

    The win gives "AMP" the right to challenge for the title that she won in St. Petersburg in 2007 and will be her eleventh appearance as Australia's female representative at this prestigious international tournament.

    Coupland came into the final day's play as top seed after posting a stunning 244.63 average in 16 games of qualifying, 96 pins ahead of Victoria's David Porto who had won the Australian Open tournament in 2006.

    Following the cut to top 14, the round-robin match play provided a thrilling finish, but Coupland held on to victory with a narrow 16 pin margin over Porto. Victoria's Mac Stewart took third place and bonus-point top honors by winning eight, and tying one of the 13-game match play games.

    "This is the first big milestone for me after returning to competitive bowling following a couple of years traveling in Europe" commented Coupland. "Watching events overseas really drove me to get back into training and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to represent Australia again," he said.

    The format of the Vic 150 pairs Open and Graded female bowlers, and the partnership of Ann-Maree Putney and Susanne Jack from New South Wales withstood a concerted challenge by Lexi Nicoll and Chris Niquet, with Jacinta Gilliland and Debbie Naughten combining to take third place.

    The Vic 150 also provided an edge-of-the-seat finish, with bonus points to Putney/Jack for wins in ten of the eleven match play games edging out the Nicoll/Niquet pair by a mere eight pins overall.