Rash defeats Koivuniemi twice to win his seventh PBA title in World Bowling Tour Thailand


    2013 World Bowling Tour #14

    Singapore's Dahne Tan finishes fourth to win the women's ranking in Bangkok; the men's field for the World Bowling Tour Finals will include Rash, Koivuniemi and Mike Fagan

    2013WBTThailandSeanRash.jpgIn an all-PBA finale, reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash (pictured left), United States, defeated two-time PBA Player of the Year Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 235-225 and 245-228, to win the World Bowling Tour Thailand event Monday at Blu-O Paragon bowling center inside the Siam Paragon Shopping Mall in Bangkok.

    Rash received the one million Baht top prize (approx. $32,140) and earned his seventh career PBA title and the second international title of the 2012-2013 PBA/WBT season after his victory in the Kuwait Open in March 2013.

    2013WBTThailandSeanRashMikaKoivuniemi.jpgKoivuniemi, who earned the No. 1 seed for the eight-player stepladder finals, had to be defeated twice to win the title. Rash was down by 14 pins heading into the last two frames of the first game, but struck out to win the game by ten pins and to force a deciding game.

    Both players were tied after six frames at 139. Koivuniemi, who was looking for his 12 career PBA title and back-to-back World Bowling Tour title after winning the 11th Columbia 300 Vienna Open earlier this month, alternated spares and strikes in the last four frames. Rash reeled off four consecutive strikes to win the game and the match, 245-228. Koivuniemi (right) earned $16,070 for his second-place finish.

    In the opening match of the stepladder finals, Phoemphun Yakasem of Thailand, who earned his berth into the stepladder by finishing as the best Thai bowler in 9th place, defeated No. 7 Kim Young Kwan of Korea and No. 6, one-time PBA champion Ryan Ciminelli, United States, 256-211-193. Kwan received $2,732 for seventh place and Ciminelli got $2,572 for eighth place.

    2013WBTThailandMichaelMak.jpgIn the second three-player shootout match, Yakasem (169) and No. 4 seed, four-time PBA champion Mike Fagan (182), United States, fell to Hong Kong national team member Michael Mak (238). Fagan and Yakasem pocketed $3,214 and $2,893 for fifth and sixth place, respectively.

    Mak (left) went on to defeat the lone woman in the top 8, Singapore national team member Daphne Tan, who received eight pins handicap. Mak flew past Tan, 258-211, to set up a semifinal match against Rash. Tan slipped one spot to fourth place, worth $6,428.

    Rash struck on seven of his first nine shots in the semifinal, while Mak managed only to double in sixth and seventh frame, to put the match away well before the final frame, 242-219. Mak took home $9,642 for third place.

    The field for the World Bowling Tour Finals, which will be conducted during the PBA World Series of Bowling V at South Point in Las Vegas on Nov. 3, will include WBT point ranking leader Rash, 2011 winner Koivuniemi and Fagan.

    The race for the top three berths in the field was up for grabs heading into the WBT Thailand event, but contenders Tommy Jones, 2012 WBT Men's champion Chris Barnes, United States, and Australia's Jason Belmonte did not compete in the final event of the 2012-13 WBT season and therefore the top 3 remained unchanged.

    Photos courtesy of Asian Bowling Federation.


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    2013 World Bowling Tour Thailand - Round 5 (Stepladder Finals)

    Blu-O Paragon at Siam Paragon Shopping Mall in Bangkok, Thailand (October 21, 2013)

    (f) score including 8 pins handicap


    WBT Thailand - Round 4

    The top 7 plus the best local bowler (9th place Phoemphun Yakasem) advance to the Stepladder Finals.


    WBT Thailand - Round 3

    The top 12 advance to the fourth round.


    WBT Thailand - Round 2

    The top 10 advance to the third round.


    WBT Thailand - Round 1 (Qualifying)

    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 25-38 plus another two local bowlers (seeded 39 & 40th) and the top 2 of the Desperado Squad (places 41 & 42) advance to second round.