6th November, Kuwait: 2016 WBT Finals champion, Dominic Barrett of England made the cut for tomorrow's WBT Finals after defeating topseed, Arnar David Jonsson of Iceland twice in the WBT-PBA 13th Kuwait International Open Final Round title match.
The 2018 U.S. Open champion had forced Jonsson into the sudden-death decider after brushing aside the Icelander, 289-235 in the first match. But the deciding match was no easy task for the Brit. Jonsson start off with four bagger while Barrett struck three times and a spare in the second frame.
The champion then turned on his striking prowess with four consecutive strikes to take a 12-pin lead going into the ninth and tenth frames. Jonsson struck on his remaining three frames to end with 277.
Barrett managed 9 pin and spare for 248 in the ninth frame which forced the Brit needing a strike in the tenth frame to clinch victory by a single pin. Barrett took a deep breath and a longer than usual time to make his final shot.
A shot that meant a difference of either settling for US$25,000 as runner-up or US$50,000 as champion. Barrett made a perfect pocket shot and after seeing all ten pins fell, celebrated with pure joy for a 278 victory.
"It has been a week full of fantastic bowling from everyone who took part in this championship," said the 33-year-old three-time World Bowling Writers' Bowler of the Year. "I have to thank Sheikh Talal, World Bowling President for organising such an amazing tournament at this brand new bowling center.
"I was a bit tired when I first arrived Kuwait and didn't have a good first attempt. But as soon as I settled down a bit, I found my way to a good qualifying squad and made cut including skipping one round.
"The final shot was nerve-wrecking indeed. I had to take a deep breath, settled my nerve, stayed extremely focus before making that crucial shot in the final frame to clinch this victory. This is a big win for me and my biggest in Asia."
Barrett had earlier ousted second-seed and 2018 World Men's Championships Masters gold medallist, Mitch Hupe of Canada, 253-230 in the third match to face topseed, Jonsson. He also dispatched fourth-seed and winner of the first match, Ildemaro Ruiz of Venezuela, 276-223 in the second match.
The Venezuelan beat fifth-seed and 2019 Asian Championships Team gold medallist, Michael Mak of Hong Kong, 275-234 in the opening Final Round stepladder match. Barrett pocketed the top prize of a whopping US$50,000 as champion. Jonsson settled for US$25,000, Hupe US$12,500, Ruiz US$8,000 and Mak US$6,000.
Barrett's victory also propelled him into the top of the World Bowling Tour rankings to qualify for tomorrow's WBT Finals. Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., and AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., finished second and third. Canada's Francois Lavoie and Hupe, who were second and third behind Rash, were relegated to fourth and fifth positions in the rankings after the 13th Kuwait International Open.
Earlier in the Women's Stepladder finals, topseed Danielle McEwan of USA trashed compatriot, Liz Johnson, 268-190 to earn the extra prize of US$2,200. Johnson, who picked up US$1,600 as first runner-up, edged Maria Rodriguez of Colombia, 257-250 in the second match to meet McEwan.
Johnson also eliminated fourth-seed, Anna Andersson of Sweden, 279-211 in the opening match to advance to the second match. Rodriguez and Andersson took home US$1,200 and US$1,000 as second and third runners-up.
Before the Women's Stepladder, McEwan, Johnson and Rodriguez had already been confirmed as the top three qualifiers for the WBT Finals based on the World Bowling Tour rankings after the 13th Kuwait International Open.
For the first time in the history of the World Bowling Tour (WBT) series, one male and one female athlete from each of the three zones (Asian, European and Pan American) have been invited to take part in the WBT Finals alongside the top three men and top three women qualifiers from the WBT rankings.
The athletes selected to represent their zone will be Rafiq Ismail (MAS) and Cherie Tan (SGP) from the Asian Bowling Federation (ABF); Arnar David Jonsson (ISL) and Anna Andersson (SWE) from the European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF); Nick Pate (USA) and Clara Guerrero (COL) from the Pan American Bowling Confederation (PanAm Bowling).
Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.
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