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PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwait International Open Photo Album 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Dane wins second PBA title

14th March, Kuwait: Topseed, Thomas Larsen of Denmark edged Dominic Barrett of England, 208-205 in the championship match to win his second PBA Tour title in the PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwait International Open at Cozmo Bowl on Friday.

Larsen, who advanced to the TV Shootout finals after topping the Modified Match-play finals earlier, trailed challenger, Barrett of Maldon, Essex, when the Brit rolled three consecutive strikes from the second frame.

The Dane responded with a double in the sixth and seventh frames to reduce the gap to just 9 pins. Barrett had looked certain to take the match and force the Dane into a sudden-death decider but stumbled to a split in the ninth frame allowing Larsen to level things up.

Needing to strike out in the tenth frame, a slightly high pocket left pin 4 which forced Barrett to end with just 205 after sparing the frame and knocking down a strike.

Thomas Larsen with the champion's trophy and cheque

Larsen needed a strike to confirm victory and had delivered a perfect pocket only to see pin 7 and 10 standing but fortunately, pin 7 fell late leaving only a single pin standing. He subsequently spared the frame before striking in the bonus frame to claim victory in just a single match.

"I was pretty well lined up during the Round 5 finals and the match-play finals and did pretty well," said the 23-year-old Larsen of Assens, Denmark, who won his first PBA Tour title at the Abu Dhabi Open in 2013.

"When we were warming up for the final match, I could see that Dom (Barrett) was better lined up and I had struggled to get the reaction I wanted so I quickly scrub my ball a little bit.

"I also didn't have good carry in the early stages of the match but when I doubled in the seventh and eight frames, I knew I had a chance to seal the tie in one match. I'm lucky that Dom had a split in the ninth frame and didn't recover."

Barrett, who settled for US$12,000 as first runner-up, had earlier ended the fine run of his compatriot, Stuart Williams, 243-202 in the semi-finals to take on Larsen, who pocketed the top prize of US$25,000 for the win.

Williams, who was seeded fifth, defeated two-time USBC Masters winner, Jason Belmonte of Australia in a low-scoring 178-148 third stepladder match.

Shannon O'Keefe winning the women's title

The Brit also beat defending champion, Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., 256-200 in the first match. Williams picked up US$8,000 for finishing as second runner-up while Belmonte earned US$6,000 and Rash US$5,000.

In a special Women's stepladder final for the top three women who bowled in the tournament, former PBA member, Shannon O'Keefe of Arlington, Texas, one of nine women who have won PBA Regional titles, defeated PBA member Sandra Andersson of Sweden, 242-196, for the $2,850 first prize.

Second seed Andersson, who defeated Janet Shaikh of Pakistan, 221-182 in the first match, took home US$1,850. Shaikh earned US$1,400 for third.

Shiekh Talal Al-Sabah, President of Asian Bowling Federation and Kuwait Bowling Federation presented the prizes to the champions together with Mr Farouk Haridi, ABF Ex-co Member and Mr Abdulla Al Doseri, President of Bahrain Bowling Association.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

Second victory for Kuwaiti youth

13th March, Kuwait: Third seed, Aseel Al Roomi of Kuwait captured the Youth title of the PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwait International Open for the second time after he defeated top seed and defending champion, Mustafa Al Mousawi in the steplader final match.

Aseel and Mustafa started the final match on equal footing with each striking in the first and sparing their second frame. Both went on a strike-fest reeling in four consecutive strikes from frame three.

But Aseel suffered a setback when he encountered a big 6-pin split which he took 2 pins thereafter to trail Mustafa by 3 pins when the top seed spared his seventh frame.

After a spare in the eighth frame, Aseel struck out from frame nine to end the match with 233 forcing Musatafa to strike twice from the tenth frame and a minimum of 9 pins to win by a single pin.

Aseel Al Roomi with the champion's trophy

But Mustafa's delivery went high on the pocket for a 7-pin split handing the match to Aseel with 222. The victory was reversed when Aseel lost the title match to Mustafa last year.

The champion advanced to the title match after he edged second seed, Ali Saleh, 209-202 in the semi-finals. He also ousted fourth seed, Abdulaziz Salmeen in a low scoring firt stepladder match, 169-122.

Aseel pocketed the top youth prize of US$1,000 and received a trophy while Mustafa settled for US$750. Ali earned US$500 for finishing third and Abdulaziz received US$300.

Sheikh Talal Mohamed Al Sabah, President of Asian Bowling Federation and Kuwait Bowling Federation together with Mr Farouk Haridi, ABF Ex-co member and Mr Nader Mansour, KBF Committee member were on hand to present the prizes to the champion.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

Brit triumphs in Round 4

13th March, Kuwait: Stuart Williams of Bromborough, England edged PBA pro, Criag Nidiffer of Trenton, Mich., in the sixth and final game to triumph in the Round 4 finals of the PBA-WBT #9 Kuwait International Open on Thursday evening.

Williams, who won the 2011-12 PBA Viper Open in WSOB III, set the lanes ablazed with a sizzling 289 to start off with a gap of 10 pins over Round 2 leader, Andres Gomez of Colombia, who shot 279 in his opening game.

Gomez was much stronger in the second game with 257 to take over the running as the Brit posted a moderate 222 to slip behind two-handed Osku Palermaa of Finland in third when the Finn knocked down 257 and 258.

Williams bounced back with a bigger game of 260 in the third to regain the lead, 12 pins ahead of Nidiffer after the American pro matched it with 277.

Sturat Williams leading the top 8 into the next round

The contest was so keenly fought that the lead changed hands again after the fourth game. Andrew Frawley of Australia led for one game before Nidiffer took it over after the fifth game.

But it Williams who ended another high-scoring round the strongest and snatching the lead from Nidiffer with 1436. Nidiffer settled for second with 1430, just 6 pins adrift while Palermaa also ended strongly to take up third with 1427.

"I changed my bowling balls as well as moved more to the right to play from the outside and I had better carry," said the 32-year-old Williams.

"Timmy (Mack) also help me by scrubbing my bowling balls. The scores are getting extremely high and I wouldn't say the lanes are easy. But I still needed to stay very focus. I'm glad I could also shoot big games to get through this round."

Frawley claimed fourth spot with 1421 while Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand survived to finish fifth with 1403. Gomez took sixth position with 1391 with a second PBA pro, Brad Angelo finishing in seventh.

Round 4 top 3, Palermaa, Williams and Nidiffer

Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia, who was last after three games, changed his line of play to fire three massive games of 279, 257 and 245 to snatch the eighth and final spot to advance into the next round in eighth position.

Larsen missed the cut by 6 pins when he managed only 211 in his last game. Round 3 leader, Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa failed to progress finishing 14th while Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., managed only 12th.

The top 8 will be joined by the qualifiers from the top bracket positioned 1 to 7 for the 4-game Round 5 Finals tomorrow. All 15 finalists will then proceed to the Modified Matchplay finals with 3 players to a pair of lanes with pins carried forward from Round 5.

Winner of each match will earn 20 bonus points and second higher scorer, 10 bonus points. After 7 games, a position round match will be played to determine the top 5 advancing to the TV Shootout Finals.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

PBA pros rule Round 3

13th March, Kuwait: PBA professionals ruled the lanes at Cozmo Bowl when Tom Hess and Tom Daugherty rolled a perfect game each en-route to finishing one and two in Round 3 finals of the PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwait International Open.

Hess of Urbandale, Iowa and winner of the 2010-11 USBC Masters, set off on a cracking pace and nearly downed a perfect game but settled for 299 in his opening game to lead Kuwaiti wildcard entrant, Basel Al Anzi in second by 31 pins.

Hess followed it up with 234 in the second game to remain in the lead ahead of two-handed Finn, Osku Plaermaa, who shot the first 300 of the round to take up second spot.

Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., fired the round's second 300 in the third game to leapfrog the duo into the lead while Hess trailed in second, 31 pins adrift and Palermaa slipping to third.

Tom Hess taking the round with a perfect game

Hess regained his lead after he rolled the round's third 300 in the fourth game with Daugherty keeping close to the leader. The American then ended the round with 225 and 223 to take the round with 1520.

His compatriot, Daugherty settled for second with 1500 while Round 2 leader, Andres Gomez of COlombia stormed home with two strong games to clinch third spot with 1462 followed by Palermaa in fourth with 1451.

"The last time I led a round was two year ago in the Euro-Challenge when it was held in Paris and I didn't take advantage of it," said the 44-year-old Hess, who was 2010-11 PBA Midwest Region Player of the Year.

"During the qualifying rounds, I was simply too tense and tight and made all kinds of mistake when I was desperate to make two byes. But today, I'm totally relax which I was able to take advantage of. I'm going to continue to stay relax and hopefully it'll come good in the next crucial round."

Asian bowlers put in impressive performances to occupy the remaining five slots to advance to the next round. Hussain Al Suwaidi of UAE, two Thais Yannaphon Larpapharat and Sithphol Kunaksorn made the cut from fifth to seventh.

Round 3 Top 3, Daugherty, Hess and Gomez

Andrew Frawley of Australia and Yousef Al Jaber of Qatar completed the top 9 in eighth and ninth positions. Four PBA pros, Tommy Jones, Ronnie Russell, Bill O'Neill and Jason Sterner, who were at one stage in the hunt, all missed the cut.

The top 9 finishers will be joined by the seven qualifiers positioned 8 to 12 (7 players) for another 6 games in Round 4 finals. The field will be cut to half (8 players) and will join the top 7 seeded qualifiers (15 players) for the next round tomorrow.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

Colombian wins Round 2

13th March, Kuwait: Andres Gomez of Colombia won the high-scoring Round 2 finals of the PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwait International Open ahead of Hussain Al Suwaidi of UAE in second and Rakan Al Ameeri of Kuwait third on Thursday morning.

Gomez, who won back-to-back Carmen Salvino Classic 2011-12 and 2012-13 in Las Vegas, got off the mark moderately with 230 as pace-setter, Rakan Al Ameeri of Kuwait fired 268 to lead compatriot, Mustafa Al Mousawi by 7 pins.

But the Colombian shot a stunning 278 to leapfrog into the lead as Al Ameeri trailed in second, 17 pins adrift. Gomez was simply too good for the field of 16 fanalists, reeling in 245, 225, 256 and easing off with 206 to win the round with 1440.

"It's good to start off the finals well and it's also important to be able to roll big games, especially when the scores are so high," said the 40-year-old Gomez.

Andres Gomez comfortably winning the round

"It's a good feeling to win a round and it will boost your confidence quite a bit for the next round. I'm hoping to carry on doing what I've done this morning for the next round."

Hussain Al Suwaidi stormed home on two big games of 258 and 248 to take second spot with 1425 while early front runner, Al Ameeri claimed third spot with 1416.

Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, SC., made better progress after a lack-luster qualifying rounds in the past three days, finishing fourth with 1409. Two out of three Thais in the finals, Yannaphon Larpapharat and Sithiphol Kunaksorn advanced in fifth and eighth positions.

The remaining two spots went to a second Kuwaiti, Basel Al Anzi and sole Qatari, Yousef Al Jaber taking up sixth and seventh positions respectively.

A third Thai, Surasak Manuwong missed the cut by 18 pins so did Kingdom of Bahrain Open winner, Shaker Al Hassan of UAE and American PBA pro, Mike Fagan of Ft. Worth, Texas failing to advance.

Top 3 finishers Hussain, Gomez and Al Ameeri

The top 8 finishers will be joined by qualifiers from the third bracket positioned 15 to 22 for another 6 games scratch in Round 3 Finals. The top 9 finishers after this round will advance into the next round.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

Defending champion qualifies in pole

12th March, Kuwait:Defending champion and overnight leader, Sean Rash of USA hung on to the lead of the overall standings after completing the third block of the PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwait International Open qualifying rounds on Wednesday evening.

Rash of Montgomery, Ill., who had an 89 pins lead over arch-rival, Jason Belmonte of Australia, extended his lead to 121 pins over the Aussie after a cracking opening game of 279 as Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia shot the highest game of 289.

The leader rolled another stunning 278 but Belmonte matched his stride with 279 for the duo to pull away from the pack of strong PBA pros in Squad B.

The two-time USBC Masters champion and two-hander shot 243 in the third to reduce the gap to 96 pins when Rash managed only 219 in the third game. Rash struggled to maintain his pace shooting a low 178 allowing Belmonte to cut the gap to 54 pins.

Sean Rash holding top spot after the third block

Despite knocking down a splendid 268 in the final game, Belmonte was unable to overhaul his opponent after the leader recovered with 227 to end the block with 1181 for a 15-game total of 3642.

Belmonte settled for second, 13 pins adrift while perfect gamer, Stuart Williams of England held off the challenge from Lalisang to take third spot with 3435 and the Indonesian fourth with 3431.

Both Rash and Belmonte retained first and second position in the overall standings as others in this squad were unable to dislodge Mika Koivuniemi of Finland, Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., Thomas Larsen of Denmark and Dominic Barrett of England off their positions in the top bracket.

Khaled Al-Dubyyan claimed the seventh position reserved for the top Kuwaiti qualifier. Williams headed the second bracket with 3435 and 2011 Kuwait Open champion, Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio occupied 14th and the last spot of the second bracket with 3382.

Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pa., headed the third bracket with 3357 and Andrew Frawley of Australia took 22nd and the last spot of the third bracket.

Ryan Lalisang finishing as the top Asian

Hussain Al Suwaidi of UAE headed the fourth and final bracket with 3289 while PBA-WBT #8 Kingdom of Bahrain Open first runner-up, John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda, N.Y. ended with two poor games to miss the cut for the finals in 39th position with 3173.

Yaqoub Al Shatti of Kuwait was elevated to occupy 34th position with 3176, just 3 pins ahead of Szczerbinski. Mustafa Al Mousawi, Basel Al Anzi, Rakan Al Ameeri and Jassim Darwish earned positions 35 to 38 as the top four qualifiers outside the top 34.

The elimination Rounds 2, 3 and 4 finals will be staged tomorrow, March 13 and the Rounds 4, 5 and the Modified Matchplay finals will be contested on March 14 culminating with the stepladder finals shootout finals for the top 5 finishers.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

American secures top bracket slot

12th March, Kuwait: American PBA pro and overnight Squad A leader, Ryan Ciminelli secured his place in the top bracket of the PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwaiti International Open overall standings after retaining his lead at the end of the third block.

Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y. and winner of two tour titles extended his lead in the squad from 110 to 152 pins after a superb opening game of 247 as top American female, Shannon O'Keefe trailed in second.

Although the American southpaw rolled another decent game of 236, the margin was kept at bay by Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand moving up to second, albeit 154 pins adrift.

Ciminelli went into overdrive when he fired a sizzling 278 to widen his gap to a commanding 218 pins as the Thai retained second place and O'Keefe slipping away quickly.

Ryan Ciminelli topping Squad A bu a huge margin

The leader rounded off the block with 209 and 220 for a 5-game series of 1190 and a 15-game total of 3537 to secure fourth position in the overall standings by topping the squad.

A third American in the squad and owning 6 regional PBA titles, Jason Sterner of Covington, Ga., stormed home to snatch second spot with 3302 and 20th in the overall standings and earned one bye.

Sithiphol struggled with 174 in his final game to slip down to fourth but fortunately for the Thai, he made the cut into Round 2 finals in 26th position. His compatriots, Surasak Manuwong and Yannaphon Larpapharat also made it in 28th and 33rd positions respectively.

O'Keefe will advance to a separate women stepladder finals as top seed being the only demale to qualify for the finals Sandra Andersson of Sweden, who did not make the cut finishing 59th but will make the stepladder while the third spot went to Janet Shaikh of Pakistan.

Defending champion, Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., sits comfortably in pole position in the overall standings on an average of 246.10 ahead of Aussie, Jason Belmonte in second with 237.20 average.

The duo looked set to retain their rightful places in the top bracket. Challengers could still come from perfect gamer, Stuart Williams of England for the lower fifth and sixth positions held by Thomas Larsen of Denmark and Dominic Barrett of England.

Debutant Shannon O'Keefe making the cut for the finals

Those in the bottom of the second bracket could aso lose their places to the top of the third bracket. All to play for when the final squad of the day, where the strongest players are, take to the lanes for their final block later tonight.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

Finn earns top spot of Squad D

12th March, Kuwait: Last year's first runner-up, Mika Koivuniemi of Finland earned top spot in Squad D at the end of the third block qualifying rounds of the PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwait International Open to secure a possible third place in the top bracket.

The winner of 13 PBA titles including winning the Brunswick Ballmasters Open four times, Koivuniemi got off to a cracking start with 279 in his opening game yet continued to trail in second behind leader, Dominic Barrett of England.

Another splendid 236 allowed the lanky Finn to narrow the gap from 27 pins to just 7 as the Brit managed only 205 in his second game.

Barrett recovered with 234 as Koivuniemi kept his pressure on the lead with 244 to further reduce the margin to 3 pins as 2013 PBA-WBT Abu Dhabi Open champion, Thomas Larsen of Denmark moved into third spot.

Mika Koivuniemi cracking into the top bracket

A stunning 262 from Larsen allowed the Dane to take over the running albeit just 1 pin ahead of Koivuniemi in second and Barrett slipping down to third.

Koivuniemi took the squad with 245 in his 15th and final game for a 15-game total of 3544. Larsen settled for second with 3527 while Barrett took third spot with 3501.

All three made it into the top bracket at least before the last two squads complete their third block. Koivuniemi is third in the overall standings with 236.27 average. Larsen is fourth with 235.13 and Barrett 233.40 respectively.

Defending champion and overnight leader, Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., remained in the lead averaging 246.10 followed by his arch-rival, Jason Belmonte of Australia in second with an average of 237.20.

Ryan Ciminelli of of Cheetowaga, N.Y., is fifth with 234.70 average. Barring any unfortunate run by the trio, the top 6 looked set to secure their top bracket places. Three or four has a chance of dislodging anyone from the top bracket.

Stuart WIlliams of England has 232.60 average, PBA pros Criag Nidiffer, Chris Loschetter and Tom Daugherty averaged 225.30, 225.00 and 224.30 and will feature in the last squad of the day and the srongest Squad B late tonight.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

Emirati tops Squad C after Block 3

12th March, Kuwait: 2013 Dubai Open champion, Mahmood Al Attar of UAE completed his third block of qualifying rounds at the PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwait International Open to lead Squad C on Wednesday and hopeful making the second bracket.

Al Attar, who had a comfortable 81 pins lead over his nearest rival and this year's Asian Schools Singles gold medalist, Mustafa Al Mouswai of Kuwait before the start of today's third block, shot 227 to extend his lead to 99.

However a second game of 193 saw the gap reduced to 56 pins when 2014 Arab Cup second runner-up, Yousef Al Jaber of Qatar inched closer to the leader with 211 and 236 in his first two games.

The Emirati lost another 7 pins when he rolled 195 and Yousef 202 in the third game. The Qatari's pace was slightly better than Al Attar when he further reduced the gap to 29 pins after the fourth game.

Mahmood Al Attar barely making the third bracket

Al Attar ended his qualifying strongly with 258 for a 5-game series of 1073 and a 15-game total of 3319 taking his gap to 64 pins over Yousef, who took second spot with 3255. The Kuwaiti youngster, Mustafa finished third with 3152.

The squad leader averaged 221.27 to finish 19th in the overall standings and in the third bracket to earn just one bye into Round 3 finals. Yousef's average of 217 landed him in 26th position in the fourth and final bracket.

Mustafa Al Mousawi finished outside the top 34 and his only chance of making the cut would be to take up one of the four slots reserved for the top 4 Kuwaitis (positions 35 to 38).

Squad D will take to the lanes at Cozmo Bowl after lane dressing. Squad A will be staged later this evening and the last squad of the day, Squad B where most of the best bowlers are, will be played late tonight.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

Overnight leader retains pole

11th March, Kuwait: Overnight leader, Sean Rash of United States retained pole position of the PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwait International Open overall qualifying standings after the second block with a comfortable margin over arch-rival, Jason Belmonte of Australia.

Rash of Montgomery, Ill., who is the defending champion, got off the mark with a stunning 278 in the opening game to open up a gap of 90 pins over the two-handed Aussie, who moved up to second.

Stuart Williams of England registered the first perfect game to take over second spot as the 2011-12 PBA Player of the Year stumbled to a low 181 in the next game with Belmonte hanging on to third 20 pins further away.

Rash recovered with a superb 248 as Belmonte also downed a respectable 246 to regain second spot with the Brit slipping back to third.

Sean Rash remaining in the lead after two blocks

Rash rolled another good 236 before winding up the second block with another splendid 279 for a total of 2461 from a 5-game block of 1222. His arch rival managed 1197 for a two-block total of 2372, 89 pins adrift in second.

Williams finished third with 2326 while seven PBA pros occupied the next sevent positions from fourth to tenth in the squad.

2012-13 WSOB V PBA World Championship winner and three-time WBW Bowler of the Year, Dominic Barrett of Maldon, Essex, England, topped the final squad of the day to moved into the top bracket with 2368 in third.

Rash and Belmonte sits comfortably in first and second spots of the overall qualifying standings after two blocks. Ryan Ciminelli of Cheetowaga, N.Y., who topped Squad A earlier today, took fourth position with 2347.

2013 PBA-WBT Abu Dhabi champion, Thomas Larsen of Denmark, who finished second to Barrett in the same squad, moved up into the top bracket in fifth position with 2347 while four-time Brusnwick Masters champion, Mika Koivuniemi of Finland also moved into the top bracket with 2330.

Perfect gamer, Williams headed the second bracket with 2326 with Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., who was second overnight, slipping down to 14th and last spot of the second bracket with 2243.

Hussain Al Suwaidi of UAE headed the third bracket with 2237 and 2013 AMF World Cup first runner-up, Andres Gomez of Colombia took 22nd and last spot of the third bracket with 2190.

Dominic Barrett
Dominic Barrett topping Squad D to move into the top bracket

Top female competitor, Shannon O'Keefe of USA headed the final bracket with 2178 while the current cut in 34th position went to Khaled Al Dubyyan of Kuwait with 2145.

Competition will resume with the third and final block of 5 games tomorrow. 16 qualifiers in the fourth bracket will contest Round 2 finals over 6 games and the top 8 will be joined by 6 qualifiers from the third bracket for Round 3 finals for another 6 games.

The top 9 will be joined by 7 qualifiers from the second bracket for another 6 games in Round 4 finals where the field will be cut to 8 to join the 7 qualifiers from the top bracket for 4 games in Round 5.

All 15 players will move into the Modified Matchplay Round (three to a pair) with pins carried forward from Round 5 for 7 games and a position round with bonus. Winner will receive 20 pins bonus while second will receive 10 pin bonus.

The top 5 at the end of the matchplay round will advance to the stepladder finals shoot out to determine the champion. Members of PBA will be also be awarded an international PBA title for the victory.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

Defending champion leads standings

10th March, Kuwait: Defending champion and 2011-12 PBA Bowler of the Year, Sean Rash on United States, topped the strongest squad of the day to lead the overall qualifying standings of the PBA-WBT #9 11th Kuwait International Open after the first block.

Rash of Montgomery, Ill., who won two International PBA titles in Kuwait and Thailand last year, did not have the best of starts but stepped up his pace to fire two big games of 269 and 278 in the third and fourth games to end Squad B in the lead with 1239.

The winner of five PBA titles and two majors including the 2007-08 USBC Masters and the 2011-12 Tournament of Champions also topped the overall standings after the first of three blocks qualifying round.

His compatriot, Tom Dougherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., who finished second to Rash in the same squad, took second spot with 1232 while opening squad leader, Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand finished third with 1185.

Sean Rash stamping his mark with the lead

2011 Kuwait Open champion and second runner-up at the PBA-WBT #8 Kingdom of Bahrain Open two days ago, Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio and Squad D leader, Yousif Falah of Bahrain tied in fourth position with 1177 while two-time USBC Masters champion, Jason Belmonte of Australia rounded out the top 6 with 1175.

The seventh position is reserved for the top Kuwaiti. 2013 PBA-WBT Abu Dhabi Open winner, Thomas Larsen of Denmark, who fnished second to Yousif, headed the second bracket with 1165. Stuart Williams of England took the 14th and last spot of the second bracket with 1146.

Last year's Kuwait Open first runner-up, Mika Koivuniemi of Finland headed the third bracket with 1141 and 2013 PBA-WBT Kingdom Saudi Open champion, Martin Larsen of Sweden occupied the 22nd and last spot with 1103.

Bahrain Open first runner-up, John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda, N.Y., headed the fourth and final qualifying bracket with 1102 while the cut at 34th position went to Tom Hess Urbandale, Iowa with 1060.

The next four spots will go to the top four Kuwaitis who are not in the above four brackets. Quailifers in the top bracket (positions 1 to 7) will earn three byes into Round 4 finals. Qualifiers in the second bracket (positions 8 - 14) will earn two byes into Round 3 finals.

Top Asian finisher, Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand in third

Qualifiers in the third bracket (positions 15 - 22) will earn one bye into Round 2 finals and those in the last bracket (positions 23 - 34) plus the four seeded Kuwaiti qualifiers will contest Round 2 finals.

Qualifying will resume tomorrow with the second block of 5 games and a final 5-game third block on March 12 before the finals on March 13 and 14. Women bowlers received 5 pins handicap in the men's division. The the top 4 women finishers will have their own stepladder finals to determine the women champion.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

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