Team USA's sights set on team gold heading into 2006 Men's World Championships


    United States

    Asiad Bowling Center in Busan, Korea (Aug. 27 - Sept. 9, 2006)

    2006MWCLogo.jpg In recent years, gold medals have been a rare find for the Team USA men at the World Tenpin Bowling Association World Championships.

    The team has finished second to Sweden in the past two World Championships in 1999 and 2003. In fact, it's been a quarter of a century since Team USA has won gold in the five-player team event.

    With the 2006 WTBA Men's World Championships in Busan, South Korea, on the horizon, the United States has hopes of reclaiming gold in the coveted team event for the first time since 1971.

    2005EBT18DavidHaynes3.jpg "I don't know why it's been so long since we've won, but it's definitely time," said Team USA's David Haynes (left) of Las Vegas, a member of the 2003 team that won silver. "I'm certainly looking forward to it, and I've been practicing every day for a long time to try and get prepared. It's probably the most important tournament to me."

    The World Championships, which begins Aug. 30 with opening ceremonies, will feature dozens of countries competing in six disciplines - singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters.

    Joining Haynes on the U.S. team will be Bill Hoffman of Columbus, Ohio, Rhino Page of Fresno, Calif., Dan Patterson of Phoenix, Scott Pohl of Minneapolis and Ronnie Sparks Jr. of Wayne, Mich.

    2005WCJeriEdwards.jpg Team USA head coach Jeri Edwards (right) is optimistic the team can find success in South Korea, especially with a good mix of veterans and newcomers.

    Hoffman, Haynes and Pohl have competed in the World Championships in the past. Patterson won the U.S. Amateur title this year, and Page claimed that title in 2005. Sparks, meanwhile, was one of the top players at the collegiate level last season at Pikeville, earning Rookie of the Year honors.

    "The newer players bring some excitement and that's always fun for the veterans to experience as well," Edwards said. "It's a nice mix for us this year, and I'm hopeful the team will work together because that's always important in these types of event. Team event is very difficult to win because it's a six-game sprint. Plus, there are some very good teams all over the world."

    At the 2003 World Championships in Malaysia, Tim Mack carried Team USA to five medals - three of which came in individual events. Mack won silver in singles, all-events and Masters while also leading the United States to gold in trios and silver in team.