1st November, Kuwait: Eight-time Venezuelan Player of the Year, Ildemaro Ruiz got off to a flying start at the WBT-PBA 13th Kuwait International Open preliminaries underway at Kuwait Bowling Sporting Club by leading the qualifying standings.
The 33-year-old from Barquisimeto, Venezuela started his first attempt with a superb opening game of 265. Ruiz then fired 278 and 267 in his next two games but managed only 255 in the fourth game.
Fortunately for Ruiz, he ended on a stunning fifth game of 289 to complete the 5-game series with 1354 total, based on the World Bowling current scoring system. The leader is currently the most celebrated bowler from Venezuela.
His accomplishments included being the 2018 PanAm ranked number 1 bowler, 2018 South American Games champion and 2016 PamAm Bowling Champion of Champions All Events gold medallist. The Venezuelan also won two silver medals at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw, Poland.
2017 PBA-WBT Thailand World Tour champion, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand also made a splendid start with 1334 after rolling 278, 211, 278, 278 and 289. The Thai, who failed to win any medals at the 25th Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships earlier this week, will be hoping to make amends with a strong show in the finals.
Australian youngster, Callum Borck, who rolled the tournament's second 300 in the third game, had lines of 257, 243 and 266 and 246 for a total of 1312 to take up third in the standings. Indonesia's Ryan Lalisang, who led after the fourth squad, slipped to fourth with 1307.
2019 Asian Championships Trios silver medallist, Khaled Aldubyyan of Kuwait, who rolled the first 300 in his second game in same squad as the Aussie, occupied the eighth position reserved the highest Kuwaiti.
2019 Asian Championships Team gold medallist, Tony Wong of Hong Kong shot the third 300 in his second game game during during Squad 6. Wong finished sixth with 1304 behind Indonesia's Billy Muhammad Islam in fifth with 1306.
2019 World Women's Championships Singles gold and Masters bronze medallist, Danielle McEwan of USA completed the top 7 with 1302. The top 7 togther with the top Kuwaiti qualifier will earn two byes and automatically qualify for Round 3 finals.
Francois Louw of South Africa headed the second bracket in ninth position with 1289. Positions 15 and 16 reserved for two top women not in the top 7, went to 2019 World Women's Championships Team gold medallist, Maria Rodriguez of Colombia with 1214 and Indonesia's Putty Armein with 1181.
Qualifiers positioned 9 to 16 will earn one bye and automatically advance to Round 2 finals. Saudi Arabia's Khalid Albayudh headed the third bracket, positions 17 to 45 with 1229, position 46 reserved for the highest Kuwaiti youth qualifier and positions 47 and 48 for two additinal Kuwaiti qualifers.
The 32 qualfiers will bowl 5 games in Round 1 finals with the top 8 advancing to Round 2 joined by qualifiers from the second bracket, positions 9 to 16. They will bowl another 5 games and the top 8 with the highest pinfalls will advance to Round 3.
They will be joined by qualifiers from the top bracket, positioned 1 to 8 for another 5 games in Round 3. The top 5 with the highest pinfalls at the end of the round will proceed to the Final Round shootout.
Positions 4 and 5 will meet over one game matchplay with the winner advancing to face the third-seed over one game in the second match. Winner of this match will meet the second-seed in the third match. The winner of the third match will proceed to challenge the topseed over a beat-twice format for the title.
A PBA international title will be awarded to the champion if he is a member of the Professional Bowlers Associaition. The WBT-PBA 13th Kuwait International Open is a first-tier World Bowling Tour stop with guaranteed prize money of a total of US$218,000. Sixteen qualifying squads remained after two days of qualifying and will end on November 4. The finals will be held on November 5 and 6 while the World Bowling Tour finals will be held on November 7.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.