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Malaysia’s Ahmad Muaz averages 247.83 to take the lead in men’s qualifying


Ahmad Muaz of Malaysia averaged 247.83 in the last six-game block to move to the top of the leaderboard in men’s qualifying at the 53rd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup and to lead the top 24 players into Friday’s round of 24 at Bol 300 in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Starting the day in 11th place with an average of 213.72 for 18 games, the 23-year-old two-time gold medalist (trios and team) at the Southeast Asian Games 2015 (right) came out of the gates with 257, 253 and 256 and closed with 248, 237 and 236 for 1487, the highest block of the event, and 5334 total, an overall average of 222.25.

Pictured above are the top four men after qualifying. From left: Ahmad Muaz, Jakob Butturff, Oscar Rodriguez and Mats Maggi.

Team USA member Jakob Butturff (left), a 23-year-old left-handed bowler, who won two PBA titles and PBA season record of nine regional titles in 2016, rolled all games between 208 and 248 to shift from third to second place with 5298 and an average of 220.75.

Butturff is fresh off a runner-up finish in the U.S. Open, where he led the field after 56 games by 617 pins, including bonus pins, but fell in the title match to Rhino Page, 256-222. The World Cup also is a marathon with the top 4 after 40 games advancing to the finals.

Oscar Rodriguez (right) of Colombia rolled a solid 1301 series, but fell one spot to third place with 5252. The 28-year-old had high games of 246 and 258, but also three games under 200.

Mats Maggi (left) of Belgium posted the third-highest 1388 series to move up from eighth to fourth place with 5249, just three pins behind Rodriguez. Maggi rebounded from a 193 starting game with 257, 244, 255, 219 and 220.

It took an average of 203.42 to make the cut to top 24, an average of 215.04 to be among the top 8 and an average 218.41 to get into the top 4, who will make it to the TV finals Saturday.

Nicola Pongolini (right) of Italy, who was in the top 5 in all four qualifying rounds, maintained fifth place with 1317 and 5232, just 17 pins off the pace for the top 4.

Third-round leader Ray Teece (left) of England had the lowest 1205 series of all top scorers and slipped all the way out of the top 4 to sixth place with 5225.

Arturo Estrada (right) of Mexico, who led the men’s division after the first and second block, slipped from fourth to seventh place with 5176 behind his low series of 1230. Estrada has won the Copa Mexico at Bowl 300 to qualify for the World Cup.

Rounding out the top 8 was Tor Inge Jansen who moved up five places thanks to a 1362 series, including a high game of 267.

2015 World Cup champion Wu Siu Hong (right) of Hong Kong made the cut in 11th place with 5102, mere 59 pins off the pace for the top 8.

Artemijs Hudjakovs, a 16-year-old two-hander from Latvia, flirted with perfection, firing 9 strikes to start the fifth game, 25th overall, before finishing with a 276 game. He sits in 15th place with 508. Dan Østergaard Poulsen of Denmark hit 1400 on the nose to rocket from 31st to 18th place with 4975.

Mahmood Al Attar (right) of the United Arab Emirates, the 2016 GCC Masters champion, rolled a 1289 series today, including five games between 201 and 214 and a high game of 256 to take the 24th and last spot to advance with 4882 total.

The top 24 women and the top 24 men will return to Bol 300 on Friday morning at 9 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST) to bowl eight additional games before the cut to the top 8.

The 53rd edition of the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup will be held from Nov. 4-12 at Bol 300 in Hermosillo, Mexico.

All competitors will bowl 24 qualifying games over four days before the field is cut to the top 24 for eight additional games. The 32-game pinfall totals will determine the 8 players who advance to eight games round-robin match-play (30 pins for each win, 15 for a tie).

The top 4 players with highest 40-game total including bonus pins will advance to the playoffs. There will be a one-game knockout match with the No. 1 seed versus the No. 4 qualifier and No. 2 versus No. 3. The winners of each match will earn a spot in the championship game.

Bowlingdigital will provide onsite coverage of the 53rd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup from Hermosillo including reports, photos and results after each round commencing with the first round of qualifying on Monday, Nov. 6, all the way through to the finals on Saturday, Nov. 11, completed in the afternoon.

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Herbert Bickel

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