2018 PBA-WBT Busan Cup International Bowling Tournament
American PBA pro takes pole position
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25th May, Busan: 2017 World Bowling Tour champion, Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas topped the Open Division final of the 2018 PBA-WBT Busan Cup International Bowling Tournament to advance into the Stepladder TV finals as topseed.

The start of the Open division finals saw KPBA pros, Kang Minhwan and Choi Wonyoung sharing the lead as they set a blistering pace of 277 in their opening game. A third Korean pro and Squad A leader of the qualifying rounds, Lee Myeonghun also fired a sizzling game of 266 to trail the leading duo.

Kang added another stunning 267 to claim the outright lead as Choi slipped down to fifth despite rolling a decent 224 in the second game. Amateur Choi Seokbyeong of Daegu City downed 268 to add to his opening game of 259 to take up second spot, 17 pins behind the leader.

2017 Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games Singles gold medallist, Annop Arromsaranon of Thailand posted a big game of 279 to stay third while Lee fell to fourth even with 237.

Anthony Simonsen advancing to the Stepladder TV finals as topseed

The third game saw most of the front runners returning yet bigger games. Choi blitzed the lanes with 278 to take over the lead. Arromsaranon added 289 to move into second, 10 pins adrift. Simonsen, who had a moderate start with 234 and 257, fired 279 to move into contention in third.

Arromsaranon posted 243 in the fourth game to become the new leader. The two-handed American shot 238 to move into second while Choi managed only 201 to slipped down to third. Women division final topseed, Park Jinhee, who was third after three games, took up fourth while the top women qualifier, Yun Huiyeo of KPBA put herslef amongst the top 4 contenders.

But there ws no stopping the 21-year-old Simonsen, winner of the 2016 USBC Masters and owner of three PBA titles, when he rolled a splendid 264 in the fifth game to become the new leader. Choi bounced back with 244 to take up second again.

The Thai stumbled to a 184 and slipped down to third as Yun returned with 269 to move herself up into fourth. Choi Wonyoung posted the highest fifth game of 278 to stay in contention. Simonsen subsequently ended the finals with 208 to claim the stepladder topseed on a total of 1480.

Arromsaranon downed 216 in the last game to finish second with 1438. Choi Seokbyeong almost lost it when he managed only 183 but was lucky to finish third with 1433. Choi Wonyoung came home with 212 to clinch the fourth and last stepladder spot on a total of 1430.

Park missed the cut by 33 pins finishing fifth with 1397 while Yun rounded out the top 5 with 1396. Kang and two Korean National team members, Lee Yeonji and Rye Seoyeon finished seventh to ninth positions. Second perfect gamer, Jason Sterner of USA completed the top 10.

Open Division top 4 Stepladder finalists, Arromsaranon, Simonsen, Choi Seokbyeong and Choi Wonyoung

The top 4 will proceed to the Stepladder TV finals which will be staged at the outdoor Arena @ Busan Metropolitan City complex. The first stepladder finals will be the General division at 2.00pm local time followed by the Women division at 2.20pm.

The Open division stepladder finals will commence at 2.45pm with the first match between the third and fourth seeds. The winner of the first match will proceed to meet the second seed for the second match. The winner of the second match will then meet the topseed in the title match.

The champion stand to pocket the top prize of 30 million Korean won (approx. US$27,000) with the first runner-up taking home 15 million won. The second and third runners-up will earn 8 and 5 million won respectively.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Busan, Korea.

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