Jack Jurek earns tops seed for Bayer USBC Masters finals


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    Mika Koivuniemi targets for back-to-back major titles



    201011PBAJackJurek.jpg201011PBATomHess.jpgFor the second time in his career, Jack Jurek (pictured left) of Lackawanna, N.Y., has earned the top seed for the television finals at the United States Bowling Congress Masters. Now he hopes to take the next step and win his first major title.

    Jurek went 6-0 in the double-elimination match-play bracket at the 2011 Bayer USBC Masters, locking up the top seed with a 668-583 victory over Tom Hess (right) of Urbandale, Iowa. Hess earned the No. 2 seed for the finals, which will be broadcast live on ESPN on Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

    Mika Koivuniemi of Finland secured the No. 3 seed and will face No. 4 seed Mike DeVaney of Murrieta, Calif., in the opening match of the stepladder finals at the National Bowling Stadium.

    For Jurek, his success this week was a flashback to 2006 when he went unbeaten in match play only to lose in the championship match to Doug Kent, 277-230.

    "The last few weeks of bowling haven't been very good for me, so I've been trying to find a happy place and 2006 in Milwaukee was it for me," said Jurek, who has two career titles on the Lumber Liquidators Professional Bowlers Association Tour. "The most important thing for me is to try and stay relaxed and calm. I can't think about the magnitude of winning the Masters."

    Jurek said the outcome in 2006 didn't leave a negative taste in his mouth because of the way Kent bowled in the final, although he hopes this Sunday he will be on the other side and be the one shooting the big game.

    "If you tell me right now that I didn't have to put my shoes on and bowl but could take a 230 game in the final of a major championship, I'd take it," Jurek said. "If I stay relaxed and bowl well, I can beat anyone."

    In the battle for the top seed, Jurek opened up against Hess with nine strikes in a row before shooting 276 and taking a 94-pin lead and never looking back.

    201011PBAMikaKoivuniemi.jpg201011PBAMikeDeVaney.jpgHess will be making his second appearance in the televised finals of a PBA Tour event. In January 2009, he made the finals of the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship, which was also held at the National Bowling Stadium.

    "It's going to be very emotional for me on Sunday," said Hess, who finished fifth with Laura Hardeman in the mixed doubles event. "It might have cost me the top seed because I was so emotional when I won the match to make the show. Winning a PBA title has been a dream for me since I was a kid."

    In the final matches of the losers bracket, Koivuniemi (left) defeated 1990 Masters winner Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., 695-646, while DeVaney (right) survived a close 594-591 match with 1987 Masters winner Rick Steelsmith of Wichita, Kan.




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    Koivuniemi will be looking to win his second consecutive major title. He took home the biggest prize in bowling history when he won $250,000 for his victory at the PBA Tournament of Champions last month. Koivuniemi, who has three career major titles, won the Masters in 2000 for his first PBA title.

    DeVaney has won two career PBA titles, the most recent coming at the 2009 PBA World Series of Bowling in the Scorpion Championship. He will be making his first appearance in the Masters championship round.

    The USBC Masters is a major on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour and the champion of the event will earn $50,000. The runner-up will take home $25,000, third place will earn $15,000 and the fourth-place finisher will earn $10,000.

    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)


    Winners Bracket Round 2

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

    (32) Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, def. (17) Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 750-629
    (8) Tommy Jones, Greenville, S.C., def. (9) Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 618-615
    (12) Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., def. (37) Andres Gomez, Colombia, 692-621
    (13) Rick Steelsmith, Wichita, Kan., def. (61) Erik Vermilyea, Mansfield, Texas, 664-630

    (19) Mike DeVaney, Murrieta, Calif., def. (62) J.R. Raymond, Saginaw, Mich., 781-665
    (22) Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., def. (38) Lucas Legnani, Argentina, 701-639
    (7) Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., def. (10) Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 719-630
    (15) Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., def. (34) Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz., 794-646


    Losers Bracket Round 3

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $2,000.

    (40) Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., def. (51) Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 640-624
    (30) Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, def. (59) Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 646-606
    (18) Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, def. (23) David Beres, Waukesha, Wis., 688-656
    (63) Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, def. (26) Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 631-572

    (41) Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., def. (35) Stuart Williams, England, 593-540
    (25) Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., def. (46) PJ Haggerty, Roseville, Calif., 690-517
    (58) Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., def. (45) Mathew Jones, Avondale, Ariz., 613-573
    (47) Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., def. (5) Martin Larsen, Sweden, 648-560


    Losers Bracket Round 4

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $2,500.

    Gomez def. Rash, 657-653
    Barnes def. Vermilyea, 754-712
    Castillo def. Allen, 736-590
    Himmler def. Bohr, 639-603
    Ciccone def. Haugen, 656-652
    Couch def. Fagan, 805-690
    Legnani def. Russell, 619-583
    Smallwood def. Raymond, 693-510


    Winners Bracket Round 3

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

    Hess def. Jones, 763-665
    Warren def. Steelsmith, 738-538
    DeVaney def. Paluszek, 670-605
    Jurek def. Koivuniemi, 692-645


    Losers Bracket Round 5

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $3,000.

    Barnes def. Gomez, 712-660
    Himmler def. Castillo, 569-558
    Couch def. Ciccone, 647-635
    Legnani def. Smallwood, 727-627


    Losers Bracket Round 6

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $3,600.

    Koivuniemi def. Barnes, 804-698
    Paluszek def. Himmler, 616-609
    Steelsmith def. Couch, 692-631
    Legnani def. Jones, 684-631


    Winners Bracket Round 4

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

    Hess def. Warren, 611-540
    Jurek def. DeVaney, 640-584


    Losers Bracket Round 7

    Winners remain in losers bracket. Losers eliminated, earn $4,700.

    Koivuniemi def. Paluszek, 669-651
    Steelsmith def. Legnani, 676-608


    Losers Bracket Round 8

    Winners advance to TV show; Losers eliminated, earn $6,500.

    Koivuniemi def. Warren, 695-646
    DeVaney def. Steelsmith, 594-591


    Roll-off for top seed

    Winner takes top seed, loser takes second seed

    Jurek def. Hess, 668-583


    2011 Bayer USBC Masters - Television Finals

    Live on ESPN on Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern

    Match 1: No. 3 Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., vs. No. 4 Mike DeVaney, Murrieta, Calif.
    Match 2: No. 2 Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, vs. Match 1 winner
    Championship match: No. 1 Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., vs. Match 2 winner