24th September, Bangkok: Newly-crowned 2018 Lucky Larsen Masters champion and PBA pro, Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., took an early lead in the qualifying standings of the 2018 PBA-World Bowling Tour Thailand underway at Blu-O Rhythm & Bowl Paragon on Monday.
Troup knocked down 771, 729 and 705 to lead the standings with 2205. Son of eight-time PBA Tour winners Guppy Troup, defeated fellow two-hander Jason Belmonte 248-232 to win the Lucky Larsen Masters for his third career title.
The 27-year-old owns 3 PBA titles from the 2018 Malmo, Sweden, 2017 Portland, doubles with Jesper Svensson and the 2015 Shawnee, Okla, Wolf Open. 2017 World Campionships Masters champion, Francois Lavoie of Canada, also rolled three 700-series of 730, 729 and 708 to take up second position with 2167.
2018 Asian Games Palembang Masters gold medallist, Rafiq Ismail of Malaysia finished third with 2157 ahead of 2014 Incheon Asian Games Singles bronze medallist, Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand in fourth position with 2153.
Making up the top 7, who would earn three byes and automatically advance to Round 4 finals were Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia in fifth with 2150, 2017 World Championships All Events bronze medallist, Chris Via of USA with 2144 and top Japanese pro, Shota Kawazoe with 2136.
Position 7, reserved for the top Thai qualifier not in the top 7 for Round 4 finals went to Kim Bolleby with 2110 while position 8, reserved for a second Thai qualifier to automatically advance to Round 3 finals went to Surasak Manuwong with 2044.
Top women qualifier and 2018 Asian Games Palembang Team silver medallist, Natasha Roslan of Malaysia headed the second bracket positions 10 to 24 for Round 3 finals with 2107. Timmy Tan of Malaysia rolled the second 300 of the tournament to finish 21st position with 2060 while the 24th position is held by defending champion, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand with 2038.
Hassan Alshaikh of Saudi Arabia headed the third bracket positions 25 to 37 for Round 2 finals with 2024 in 25th position ahead of 2018 PBA-WBT Busan Cup champion, Annop Arromsaranon of Thailand in 26th position with 2021.
The cut in 37th position is held by Yousef Akbar of Saudi Arabia with 1972. Last year's cut stood at 2156, or 356 over. With two remaining days for qualifying, September 25 and 26 after the last squad late this evening and a lot more PBA pros who have just started to make their attempts, the cut would easily reach or surpass last year's mark.
Qualifiers positioned 25 to 39 plus three qualifiers from the one-game desperado squad (total 18 players) will qualify for Round 2 Finals. The top 10 finishers will be joined by qualifiers from the second bracket positioned 9 to 24 (total 26 players) for Round 3 Finals.
At the end of Round 3 Finals, the top 12 finishers will be joined by qualifiers from the top bracket, positioned 1 to 8 for Round 4 Finals. The top 8 finishers at the end of the round will proceed to the Final TV Shootout to determine the champion, who will walk away with the top prize of 1 million Thai baht (approx. US$32,258).
A total of 4.215 million Thai baht (approx. US$131,967) prize money is up for grabs. A total of 42 finalists will earn a minimum of 40,000 Thai baht (approx. US$1,290). Qualifying will continue through to September 26 and the finals will be staged over 2 days on September 27 and 28.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok, Thailand.