7th November, Kuwait: Newly-crowned WBT-PBA 13th Kuwait Open champion, Dominic Barrett of England defeated Arna David Jonsson of Iceland in the championship match for his eighth PBA title while Maria Rodriguez of Colombia triumphed over Liz Johnson of USA for her first.
In the re-match against top-seed Barrett, Jonsson got off to a better start with five consecutive strikes as the Brit managed three-in-a-row, followed by a spare in the fourth frame and another strike in the fifth frame to trail by 12 pins.
Whilst the Icelander stumbled to a nasty split in the sixth frame, Barrett went on a relentless strikefest to reel in five-in-a-row putting the match beyond his opponent. Barrett ended with a comfortable 276-232 victory to win his second WBT Finals crown and his career eight PBA title.
"I couldn't have asked for a better week here in Kuwait," said the 33-year-old Barrett fresh from picking up WBT-PBA 13th Kuwait Open title yesterday.
"The lanes have also been kind to me and it worked out just fine. I knew I could beat Arna (Jonsson) again especially after yesterday's match and that confidence allowed me to make good shots." After pocking the top prize of US$50,000, Barrett added another US$12,500 as champion. Jonsson, who outclassed third-seed, Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., 289-223 in the first stepladder match, again settled for first runner-up to take home US$7,5000.
Rash earned US$5,000 as second runner-up. Jonsson and Rash made the cut for the stepladder finals after finishing 232 and 223 to AJ Johnson's 211 in a three-way one-game tie breaker after accumulating 6 points a piece in the earlier Round-Robin matchplay finals.
Barrett topped the round with 9 points. Johnson, Rafiq Ismail of Malaysia and Nick Pate settled for US$2,500 each for finishing 4th to 6th positions respectively.
In the women's division, 2019 World Women's Championships Team gold medallist, Maria Rodriguez of Colombia clinched her maiden WBT Finals title with a convincing victory over challenger and second-seed, Liz Johnson of USA, 252-234 in the championship match.
"I have always wanted to qualify for the WBT Finals and have failed to make the cut," said the 30-year-old winner of the 2018 PWBA Tour Championship, Richmond and 2014 USBC Queens, Reno. "I competed in many WBT event but made little progress over the years. I'm already happy to have made this year's finals and to win it is a dream come true."
Rodriguez won US$12,5000 as champion while Johnson, who earlier ousted a second Colombian, Clara Guerrero 255-232 in the opening stepladder match. Johnson and Guerrero pocketed US$7,500 and US$5,000 as first and second runners-up.
The champion won four of the five Round-Robin matches to advance to the stepladder finals as top-seed. Johnson and Guerrero finished second and third, both with six points a piece. Singapore's Cherie Tan missed the cut by 2 points after she managed only two wins.
World Bowling Tour top ranked, Danielle McEwan of USA ended in a disappointing fifth with only two wins and a draw while Sweden's Anna Andersson also managed two wins and a draw to finish sixth. Tan, McEwan and Andersson settled for US$2,500 each.
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 were 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.