TOC champion Mika Koivuniemi (FIN) leads unbeaten players at Bayer USBC Masters


    2010-11 PBA Tour #9

    Gomez (COL), Legnani (ARG), Larsen (SWE), Williams (ENG) remain in the hunt for the title

    USBCMasters.jpg201011PBAMikaKoivuniemi.jpgFinland's Mika Koivuniemi's (pictured) proficiency in major tournaments continued Thursday night as he went 2-0 in matches at the 2011 Bayer United States Bowling Congress Masters to lead a group of 16 undefeated players.

    Koivuniemi, who last month won $250,000 for his victory at the Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions, dominated his first two matches (690, 754) at the National Bowling Stadium and is the highest seed remaining in the winners bracket at No. 7.

    201011PBARonnieRussell.jpg201011PBABradAngelo.jpg"I'm probably bowling better than I have in my entire life," said Koivuniemi, who won the Masters in 2000 for his first career Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour title was named 2003-04 PBA Player of the Year.

    "If I keep it up I like my chances to make the show. But you never know if you will run into someone who will bowl a big series."

    Koivuniemi defeated No. 58 Ronnie Russell (left), 690-572, in the first round and then took down No. 26 Brad Angelo (right), 754-664, in the three games, total pins matches.

    "I really like where I am right now," Koivuniemi said. "It's been a long time since I went 2-0 in matches to start the Masters. I feel like I can bowl good enough to beat anyone right now. A lot depends on who I bowl and what pair I bowl on."

    201011PBABillONeill.jpg201011PBA09GeorgeLambert.jpgThe double-elimination match-play bracket wasn't kind to the top seeds as No. 1 Bill O'Neill (left) of Southampton, Pa., No. 2 George Lambert IV (right) of Canada, No. 3 Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, and No. 4 Jason Belmonte of Australia were all eliminated on Thursday night.

    Defending champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. entered match play as the No. 64 seed and he upset O'Neill in the first round, 739-712, but then went on to lose his next two matches (641-598 vs. Malott and 669-619 vs. Ralph Solan, Huntsville, Ala.) to be knocked out of the tournament with a 1-2 record.

    2010USBCOCErikVermilyea.jpg2010EBT12LucasLegnani.jpgIn the winners bracket, two amateurs remained alive in their quest to join an elite list of amateur players to win the Masters. Erik Vermilyea (left) of Mansfield, Texas, and Lucas Legnani (right) of Argentina both stayed unbeaten Thursday.

    Mathew Jones of Avondale, Ariz., is the lone amateur left in the losers bracket.

    Nine out of 21 international players from ten countries advanced to double-elimination match play. Four won the opening round to advance to the winners bracket round 1 in which PBA exempt player Andres Gomez (below left), Colombia, defeated Swede Martin Larsen, 638-583, to join Koivuniemi and Legnani as undefeated player.

    201011PBAMartinLarsen.jpg201011PBAAndresGomez.jpgIt was the second consecutive match against an international player for Larsen (right), who sent Kimmo Lehtonen (right), Finland, to the losers bracket with a 696-675 victory in the opening round. Joining Lehtonen in losers bracket round 1 were Lambert, Belmonte, Canadian Dan MacLelland and PBA exempt bowler Stuart Williams, England.

    All five won their matches and eliminated their opponents including William's 641-598 win against Malott and Lambert defeating Norm Duke, 693-605.

    2011EBT01KimmoLehtonen.jpg201011PBA07DanMacLelland2.jpgTides turned in losers bracket round 2 as Lehtonen, (left) Belmonte and MacLelland (right) were sidelined by David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, and Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla. Williams (669-619 vs. Solan) and Larsen (590-584 vs. Michael Clark Jr., Cleveland, Ohio), however, advanced and bringing the number of international players still in the race for the title to five.

    The only woman remaining in the field is Kelly Kulick (below left) of Union, N.J., who made sports history last year by becoming the first woman to win a PBA Tour title.

    201011PBAKellyKulick.jpg201011PBAChrisBarnes.jpg She will take on the man she beat for that title, Chris Barnes (below right), in the losers bracket Friday morning. Barnes has won the first 'major' of the 2010-11 season when he captured the PBA World Championship in January worth $50,000.

    A total of 32 players remain in the hunt for this year's Masters title with 16 players in the winners bracket and 16 players in the losers bracket. All players completed 15 games of qualifying over three days to earn their spot in match play.

    The USBC Masters is a major on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour and the champion of the event will earn $50,000.

    The final four players who survive bracket play will advance to the championship round, which will be televised live on ESPN at 3 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.

    WBTLogo_small.jpgThe Masters also is a part of the new World Bowling Tour organized by the World Tenpin Bowling Association. The World Tour is a new concept developed by the WTBA to showcase the best bowlers from around the world.

    Players who compete in the selected international events and finish among the top three men and top three women in the final points standings will be eligible to compete in the World Bowling Tour Finals, a special televised event with a prize fund of $40,000.


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    2011 Bayer USBC Masters - Match play

    Double elimination, three-game matches decided by total pinfall.

    Match Play Bracket (PDF file)


    Opening Match Play Round

    Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to losers bracket.

    (64) Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., def. (1) Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 739-712
    (32) Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, def. (33) Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 649-634
    (17) Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., def. (48) Mark Scuderi Jr., Rochester, N.Y., 620-612
    (49) Ralph Solan, Huntsville, Ala., def. (16) Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 648-623
    (9) Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., def. (56) Terrance Bright, Atlanta, 612-581
    (41) Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., def. (24) Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 615-610
    (25) Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., def. (40) Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 724-694
    (8) Tommy Jones, Greenville, S.C., def. (57) Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 655-640

    (5) Martin Larsen, Sweden, def. (60) Kimmo Lehtonen, Finland, 696-675
    (37) Andres Gomez, Colombia, def. (28) Wayne Garber, Modesto, Calif., 603-567
    (44) Steven Badovinac, Parker, Colo., def. (21) Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 637-553
    (12) Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., def. (53) Adam Ishman, Las Vegas, 689-545
    (13) Rick Steelsmith, Wichita, Kan., def. (52) Brandon Kraye, LaHabra, Calif., 694-637
    (45) Mathew Jones, Avondale, Ariz., def. (20) Joshua Kierpiec, Scottsville, N.Y., 672-533
    (36) Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., def. (29) Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 672-662
    (61) Erik Vermilyea, Mansfield, Texas, def. (4) Jason Belmonte, Australia, 620-568

    (62) J.R. Raymond, Saginaw, Mich., def. (3) Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 599-573
    (30) Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, def. (35) Stuart Williams, England, 639-613
    (19) Mike DeVaney, Murrieta, Calif., def. (46) PJ Haggerty, Roseville, Calif., 661-619
    (51) Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., def. (14) Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 745-609
    (54) Michael Steil, Wheeling, Ill., def. (11) Dan MacLelland, Saginaw, Mich., 620-605
    (22) Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., def. (43) Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 697-541
    (38) Lucas Legnani, Argentina, def. (27) Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 624-578
    (59) Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., def. (6) Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 674-623

    (7) Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., def. (58) Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 690-572
    (26) Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., def. (39) Jason Munkberg, Redding, Calif., 638-594
    (23) David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., def. (42) Anthony Thompson, Redding, Calif., 664-586
    (10) Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., def. (55) Michael Clark Jr,, Cleveland, Ohio, 633-577
    (15) Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., def. (50) Steve Kloempken, Pleasant View, Utah, 746-605
    (18) Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, def. (47) Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 608-564
    (34) Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz., def. (31) Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 694-595
    (63) Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, def. (2) George Lambert IV, Canada, 639-578


    Winners Bracket Round 1

    Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to losers bracket.

    Hess def. W.R. Williams, 777-611
    Allen def. Solan, 654-508
    Bohr def. Ciccone, 689-618
    T. Jones def. Couch, 659-641
    Gomez def. Larsen, 638-583
    Warren def. Badovinac, 624-533
    Steelsmith def. M. Jones, 676-598
    Vermilyea def. Johnson, 600-593

    Raymond def. Barnes, 733-673
    DeVaney def. Smith, 636-627
    Paluszek def. Steil, 603-598
    Legnani def. Kulick, 697-693
    Koivuniemi def. Angelo, 754-664
    Fagan def. Beres, 716-678
    Jurek def. Castillo, 729-702
    Haugen def. Himmler, 708-637


    Losers Bracket Round 1

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $1,350.

    Boresch def. O'Neill, 686-605
    Rash def. Machuga, 657-615
    Kretzer def. Scuderi, 660-553
    Bright def. Ciminelli, 628-579
    Lehtonen def. Garber, 685-684
    Belmonte def. LaCaze, 637-559
    Weber def. Ishman, 567-493
    Kierpiec def. Kraye, 631-555

    S. Williams def. Malott, 641-598
    Waliczek def. VanDaniker, 776-621
    Haggerty def. Edwards, 691-594
    MacLelland def. Carter, 612-593
    Russell def. Munkberg, 697-672
    Lambert det. Duke, 693-605
    Clark def. Thompson, 660-533
    Smallwood def. Kloempken, 661-607


    Losers Bracket Round 2

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $1,600.

    Smith def. Boresch, 691-576
    Rash def. Steil, 644-635
    Barnes def. Kretzer, 680-627
    Kulick def. Bright, 635-578
    Beres def. Lehtonen, 620-617
    Castillo def. Belmonte 665-623
    Angelo def. Weber, 618-574
    Himmler def. Kierpiec, 653-536

    S. Williams def. Solan, 669-619
    Ciccone def. Waliczek, 677-582
    Haggerty def. W.R. Williams, 710-687
    Couch def. MacLelland, 667-592
    Russell def. Badovinac, 592-555
    M. Jones def. Lambert, 612-591
    Larsen def. Clark, 590-584
    Smallwood def. Johnson, 721-573