World Cup challenge awaits Team USA's Williams, Milligan


    2009 BWC

    200910PBAWalterRayWilliams.jpg200809PBAWSTennelleMilligan.jpgTeam USA members Walter Ray Williams Jr. (pictured left) and Tennelle Milligan (right) enter the 2009 QubicaAMF World Cup next week hoping to address a couple of issues.

    Can Williams bring the United States its third consecutive men's championship? How will Milligan fair on the lanes after a nearly four-month break?

    Those questions will begin to be answered Monday when competition starts at the 45th World Cup in Melaka, Malaysia. With 91 countries entered this year, the World Cup is the largest international bowling tournament in the world in terms of the number of countries competing.

    Williams will look to continue a recent streak of American champions on the men's side. Bill Hoffman claimed the title in 2007 to end a skid of nearly 12 years without victory for the U.S. men. Last year, Derek Eoff had the highest three-game set in a World Cup championship round to beat Sweden's Martin Larsen for the title.

    It will be just the second international competition for Williams as a Team USA member after being selected to join the squad in 2008, when he promptly won two individual gold medals at the 2008 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Men's Championships.

    "I'm definitely honored that I've been selected to bowl, and I hope that I can perform up to my abilities," said Williams, who owns 46 Professional Bowlers Association titles, more than anyone in history. "It would have been nice to do it 15 years ago when I was at the top of my game, but I'm definitely looking forward to going to Malaysia to represent Team USA."

    For Milligan, a pulled muscle put her out of action in late April just before she was scheduled to compete in the United States Bowling Congress Queens tournament. She didn't return to the lanes until almost six weeks after her daughter, Abigail, was born on July 29.

    "Thankfully, I'm a quick healer and a determined person," said Milligan, a four-time Team USA member who has won nearly two dozen international medals. "I worked on getting back my flexibility, got my diet back on track and visited a chiropractor to help realign my back and hips after child birth."

    Milligan said she has spent a considerable amount of time on the lanes training for the World Cup in the past couple months and is ready to compete in Malaysia.

    "I have actually been bowling quite a bit, and I'm ready and able," she said. "When you look at all the events I have missed out on competing in this year, I have a lot to make up for. I'm ready to get back to the international bowling scene and bring back the World Cup to the United States."

    The World Cup begins with official practice and opening ceremonies on Sunday. All participants will bowl 24 games of qualifying over three days starting Monday with the top 24 men and top 24 women advancing to eight more games Wednesday night. The top eight men and top eight women then advance to Thursday, where the field will be paired down to the top three men and top three women for the semifinals and finals.

    USBCLogow.jpgBowlingdigitalBanner.gifUSBC plans to partner with to provide live streaming coverage of the semifinals and finals on on Thursday, Nov. 19 beginning at approximately midnight Eastern (9 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday, Nov. 18). Earlier rounds may be streamed live if possible.


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