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Dutch Xander van Mazijk sets the tone in Men’s Singles at World Championships


European athletes dominated the first of two squads in men’s singles at the 2017 World Bowling Championships as they took the first five places in the preliminaries Sunday morning at the 60-lane South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas.

Pictured above from left: Israel Hernandez, Xander van Mazijk, Tobias Börding and Thomas Larsen.

Xander van Mazijk (left) of The Netherlands set the tone by leading the 106-player field with 1373 pinfall and an average of 228.83 for six games.

The 25-year-old right-hander was consistent during his qualifying block on the Beijing 39 lane conditioning pattern with games of 246, 220, 214, 242, 224 and 227.

Israel Hernandez (right) of Puerto Rico used high games of 254 in game three and 258 in his last game to secure second place with 1361 and an average of 226.83.

The 27-year-old right-handed player is hoping that cut will be a little bit lower than at the last World Bowling Championships for men and women (2013, at Sunset Station in Las Vegas) where it took 1365 to make top 4 for the medal round.

As in the women’s singles preliminaries yesterday, there was a tie for third place. Tobias Börding of Germany and Thomas Larsen of Denmark were deadlocked at 1319 pins, an average of 219.83.

Börding (left), a 25-year-old right-hander, who finished second in the 2014 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup falling to PBA star Chris Barnes in the title match, had high games of 256 and 258 and a 221 closing game to make up a six-pin deficit and tie Larsen for third place.

Larsen (right), 28, a two-time PBA champion, had five games between 214 and 247 and a low game of 191. If Börding and Larsen remain in third place, a one-ball roll-off will be contested to break the tie.

Just nine pins off the pace for the top 4 and the first athlete out was Pontus Andersson of Sweden, who was the last player to surpass the 1300-mark in fifth place with 1309.

Team USA’s AJ Johnson was sixth with 1295, including a 276, the highest game of the squad. World Games gold medalist Francois Lavoie of Canada was seventh with 1289.

Speaking of Barnes, the multiple World Champion who won two gold medals at the 2013 combined World Championships (doubles and all-events) rebounded from a disastrous start (148) averaging 222 for the last five games to move up to 12th place with 1257.

The top 4 have to sit and wait for the results of the second squad later this afternoon after which the field will be trimmed to the top 4 for the medal round, which will be held together with the women on Monday morning, Nov. 27.

The World Bowling Championships for men and women will be held from Nov. 25 through Dec. 4 at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

The Championships will award medals in six disciplines in each division – singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and masters.

Bowlingdigital will provide onsite coverage of the combined World Championships including reports, photos and results after each round commencing with women’s singles preliminaries on Saturday, Nov. 25, all the way through to masters match play on Monday, Dec. 4, completed in the late afternoon.

World Bowling provides governance to international bowling and is made up of 134 bowling international federations. For more information on the World Bowling Tour, click here.

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Top 4 athletes will advance the the medal round on Monday, Nov. 27.

Herbert Bickel

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