22nd September, Bangkok: Ex-Thai international, Kim Bolleby took an early lead in the qualifying rounds of the 2019 PBA-WBT World Bowling Tour Thailand underway at Blu-O Rhythm & Bowl Paragon on Sunday.
Bolleby downed 714, 594 and 545 to lead the standings with 1853. The former Swede, who won the Doubles bronze medal at the same bowling center back in 2012 for Sweden when Thailand hosted the World Youth Championships, was roped into the Thai national team in 2015.
Since becoming a Thai, the 28-year-old Bolleby has won the 2015 SEA GAmes Team bronze, picked up the 2016 Thailand Open Masters crown, added a Trios silver medal at the 2016 Asian Championships and 2017 SEA Games representing Thailand.
After quiting the Thai national team in 2018, Bolleby has been back in the European circuit and recently picked up the Masters title at the AIK International in Sweden. 2013 Asian Youth Singles gold medallist, Chong Jun Foo of Sarawak, Malaysia finished second with 1731.
2017 ABF Tour Chinese Taipei champion, Atchariya Cheng of Thailand occupied third spot with 1605. 2017 PBA-WBT Thailand champion, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand, who has only completed two 3-game series took up fourth with 1343 after two impressive 691 and 652 series.
Two gold medallist at the 2016 World Youth Championships, Wesley Low of USA, making his debut at the Thailand World Bowling Tour, finished sixth with 1276 from just two attempts, behind Surasak Manuwong of Thailand in fifth with 1339.
The 2019 PBA-WBT World Bowling Tour Thailand is a second-tier PBA-World Bowling Tour featuring total prize money in excess of US$136,000 with the champion walking away with the top prize of 1 million Thai Baht (equivalent to US$32,260).
Players are required to bowl three 3-game series to qualify. Players positioned 1 to 6 will skip two rounds and automatically qualify for Round 4 finals. Position 7 is reserved for the top female qualifier advancing to Round 4 finals.
Position 8 is reserved for the top local qualifier not in the top 6 to advance to Round 4 finals while Position 9 is reserved for the top local qualifier not in the top 8 to skip one round and advance to Round 3 finals.
Qualifiers positioned 10 to 24 will advance to Round 3 finals while qualifiers positioned 25 to 37 will contest Round 2 finals. If the top five female players are not in the top 32, they will fill up positions 33 to 37 and qualify for Round 2 finals. Positions 38 and 39 are reserved for Thai qualifiers not in the top 37 to join Round 2 finals.
Finally there will be a one-game Desperado Squad held after the last squad on September 26 for the top 3 highest single-game to also qualify for Round 2 finals. The 18 players ranked 25 to 42 will bowl 6 games in Round 2 finals on September 27.
The top 10 with the highest pinfalls will advance to Round 3. Bowlers ranked 9 to 24 together with the 10 bowlers from Round 2 will bowl another 6 games in Round 3 Finals also on September 27. The top 12 with the highest pinfalls will advance to Round 4. Bowlers ranked 1 to 8 together with the 12 from Round 3 will bowl the final 6 games in Round 4 on September 28.
The top 7 with the highest pinfalls and the highest Thai finisher outside the top 7 will proceed to the Knockout TV final round. Bowlers ranked 6, 7 and 8 will bowl in the first match. Winner of the first match will meet bowlers ranked 4 and 5 for another one game in the second match.
Winner of the second match will meet bowler ranked 3 for one game in the third match. The winner of the third match will meet bowler ranked 2 for one game in the fourth match. The winner of the fourth match will meet the bowler ranked 1 in a beat-twice format for the title.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok.