5th November, Kuwait: 2019 PBA Hall of Famer, Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C. won the opening round of the finals at the WBT-PBA 13th Kuwait International Open with compatriot, AJ Johnson in second and Canada's Mitch Hupe third.
2015 Bowling World Open champion, Osku Palermaa of Finland rolled the tournament's 21st perfect game in his opener to lead Kamron Doyle of USA and 2018 World Men's Championships Masters gold medallist, Mitch Hupe tieing in second.
The 35-year-old two-handed Finn added another sizzling 278 in the second game but had a second American, Greg Young close on his heels in second, 11 pins adrift. The lowest game was from Hupe with 256 dropping him down the field.
Huge games were posted in the second game with 2019 Asian Championships Trios silver medallist, Khaled Aldubyyan of Kuwait and Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., adding 289s, Jones, Johnson and Young all had 278s while Doyle managed 257.
With back-to-back 278s in the first two games and adding another big game of 289 in the third, Jones superb effort sent him into the lead. Young managed to move up to second while Johnson bowled another 278 to take up third.
There was no stopping the 41-year-old PBA Player of the Year (2005-06) Jones after he continued his blistering pace with yet another 278 to extend his lead from 22 to 32 pins. Hupe recovered with 267 and 279 to regain second spot, which he had to tie with the Aldubyyan.
Despite a moderate end of 256, Jones won the round with a total of 1379. Johnson ended with 247 to finish second to Jones with 1336. Hupe claimed third position with 1333 while Doyle and Rash rounded up the top 5 with 1331 and 1328 respectively.
Aldubyyan and Young finished sixth and seventh positions with 1323 and 1322 and Plaermaa, who had a great start with 300, fizzled off to clinch eighth position with 1301 to join the top 7 in Round 2 finals.
2019 Asian Championships Trios gold medallist, Jassem Alsaqer of Kuwait missed the cut by 18 pins despite ending with the tournament's 22nd perfect game. Others who failed to progress into the next round were newly-crowned U.S. Open champion, Francois Lavoie of Canada finishing 11th and AJ Chapman of USA in tenth.
Eurpoean zone top ranked female player invited to compete in the 2019 World Bowling Tour finals, Anna Andersson of Sweden was the top finisher in this round earning her a spot in the Women's Stepladder finals to be held tomorrow.
The other two female players, Tannya Roumimper and Shinta Ceysaria, both of Indonesia managed only 22nd and 32nd positions. The top 8 will join the seeded qualifiers positioned 1 to 8 in Round 3 finals for another 5 games.
The top 5 with the highest pinfalls at the end of the round will proceed to the TV Shootout finals. Fourth and fifth-seed will kick off the first match. The winner will meet the third-seed for the second match.
Winner of the second TV match will face the second-seed for the third match and the winner will then square off with the topseed over the beat-twice title match to be crowned the champion and pocketing the top prize of a whopping US$50,000.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.