3rd November, Kuwait: 2018 AMF World Cup champion and three-time ABF Tour winner, Sam Cooley of Australia became the first player to surpass the 1400-mark to lead the qualifying standings of the WBT-PBA 13th Kuwait International Open.
Cooley got off to a blistering start in his opening game of the last squad of Day 3 qualifying preliminaries with the tournament's 13th perfect game. The 28-year-old Australian added 289, 276, 278 and 266 to round off his amazing effort of 1409 for the lead.
Iceland's Arnar David Jonsson, who shot the 10th perfect game in Squad 9 yesterday and managed only 1216, improved with 1396 to top Squad 12 and the overall standings, only to be over-taken by Cooly. Thomas Larsen of Denmark and owner of 2 international PBA titles, topped Squad 14 with 1375 to take up third overall.
2018 Tulsa Open champion Stuart Williams of England, occupied fourth position in the overall standings after finishing second to the Dane with 1366. Early leader, Eight-time PamAm Player of the Year, Ildemaro Ruiz of Venezuela dropped down to fifth with his 1354.
A second Brit, Dominic Barrett, who finished second to Jonsson in Squad 12, took up sixth position with an improved 5-game series of 1345. 2019 World Women's Singles gold and Masters silver medallist, Danielle McEwan of USA occupied seventh position reserved the top female qualifier not in the top 6.
25th Asian Championships Trios silver medallist, Mostafa Almousawi took up the eighth position reserved for the top Kuwaiti not in the top 7. Qualifiers in the top bracket will earn two byes and automatically advance to Round 3 finals.
Overnight leader and last week's U.S. Open champion, Francois Lavoie dropped out of the top bracket to head the second bracket with 1337. Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., who lost to Lavoie in the U.S. Open title match, topped Squad 13 with 1336 to occupy tenth.
Thailand's Yannaphon Larpapharat, two American pros, Tom Daugherty and Kyle Sherman finished 11th to 13th positions with Mika Koivuniemi of Finland in 14th. Indonesia's Tannya Roumimper, who didn't received her bowling balls after landing here in Kuwait for two days, was able to make her attempt after her gear turned up today.
Roumimper rolled the tournament's 12th perfect game to finish with 1250. The Indonesian and 2019 World Women's Championships Team gold medallist, Maria Rodriquez of Colombia filled the 15th and 16th positions reserved for the second and third highest female qualifier.
Qualifiers positioned 9 to 16 will earn one bye and automatically advance to Round 2 finals. PBA Player of the Year (2005-06) and owner of 19 PBA titles, Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, SC., chalked up 1325 to head the third bracket.
Hong Kong's Tony Wong, who shot the third 300 in Squad 6, rolled his second 300 and the tournament's 11th perfect game, failed to improve his 1304 series two days ago. Liz Johnson of USA, Clara Guerrero of Colombia and Sara Gamal of Egypt took up 44 to 46 positions reserved the the next three best female qualifiers not in the top 48.
Aseel Alroomi earned position 47 as the top Kuwaiti qualifier not in the top 48 while Faisal Saleem earned position 48 reserved as the top Kuwaiti youth qualifer.
Qualifiers positioned 17 to 48 (32 qualifiers) 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.
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. Qualifying will end tomorrow with Squad 22 scheduled at 9.30pm.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.