2019 PBA-WBT World Bowling Tour Thailand
Swede bags second Thailand Tour title
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27th September, Bangkok: 2016 champion and topseed, Jesper Svensson of Sweden defeated challenger Sean Rash of USA in the title match of the 2019 PBA-WBT World Bowling Tour Thailand to claim his second Thailand tour title.

Both title contenders started off the championship match with a spare and a split each in the first and second frames. Svensson recovered with a strike in the third and another spare in the fourth while Rash spared his third but stumbled to another split in the fourth frame.

The two-hander Swede then fired three consecutive strikes from frame 7 as the American was unable to respond. Although Rash did rolled a double in the seventh and eighth frames, Svensson shut out Rash with another double in the tenth and 11th frame to seal the victory, 211-181.

"I had struggled for over one and a half years failing to win any title despite making two TV finals," said the 24-year-old Svensson, who pocketed the top prize of 1 million Thai baht (approx. US$32,260) as champion and earning his eighth PBA title.

Jesper Svensson winning the Thailand tour title for the second time

"After making the top bracket and advancing to Round 4 finals, my confidence came back to me and I knew I could beat anyone. It has been quite a while now since I stood on the top step of the podium. This victory will give me a boost in my next tournament at the Samho Cup next week."

Rash of Montgomery, Ill., who settled for first runner-up to take home 500,000 baht, had a lucky break when five-time TV finalist, Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., failed to make his spare in the tenth frame to hand the match to Rash, 208-209 in the third TV match.

Ciminelli ousted Dominic Barrett of England, 206-184 in the second TV match to face Rash. The left-hander also defeated fifth-seed, Cheah Ray Han of Singapore and 2017 champion, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand, 220-186-216 in the second TV match to advance to the next match.

Yannaphon, the local crowd favourite, dispatched sixth-seed, Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas and Liz Johnson of Buffalo, N.Y., 225-182-193 in the opening TV match. Ciminelli earned 300,000 baht as second runner-up.

Barrett picked up 200,000 baht, Yannaphon 100,000 baht, Cheah 90,000 baht, Johnson 85,000 and Malott 80,000 baht. Svensson rolled the tournament's second 300 in the second game of the earlier Round 4 finals and topped the round with 1571, averaging an incredible 261.83.

Rash clinched second spot with 1354, 217 pins adrift while Barrett claimed third spot with 1348. Ciminelli, Cheah and Malott finished fourth to sixth positions with 1327, 1319 and 1307 rexpectively.

Top three winners, Sean Rash, Jesper Svensson and Ryan Ciminelli

Yannaphon secured seventh position reserved for a Thai while Johnson was awarded eighth position as top female finisher for the TV Shootout final. The 2019 PBA-WBT Thailand is a second-teir World Bowling Tour with total prize money in excess of US$135,000.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok.

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