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World Ranking Masters 2006 Page 1 | 2
Kuwaiti becomes local hero

14th May, Kuwait: Kuwaiti, Khaled Al Dubyan became a local hero when he lifted the World Ranking Masters title while Colombian, Sara Vargas emerged the women's champion on Sunday evening at Cozmo Bowling Center in Salmiya, on the outskirts of Kuwait City.

World Ranking Masters Logo

The roof of the Cozmo Bowling Center is surely one meter higher than when finals action commenced Sunday morning. The reason for the architectural change is the uplifting performance of Kuwaiti champion Khaled Al Dubyan, certainly the surprise of this sixth edition of the World Ranking Masters.

The 19-year-old high school student stated his intentions by ousting Asian top-ranked Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong in the quarterfinals over two games in the best of three game shootout. Again a quick two-game win over Finland's Osku Palermaa in the semis.

In the final, against another Finn, Pasi Uotila, he had the packed crowd cheering their hearts out, winning the first game by just one pin with a 172 opener. Al Dubyan clinched the 2006 World Ranking Masters title in a second game squeaker, emerging the champion, 178-166.

Men Winners
Pasi Uotila, Khaled Al-Dubyan and Osku Palermaa

In the ladies' final, a win once again for Colombia as Sara Vargas followed in the footsteps of 2005 champion Clara Guerrero to defeat petite Putty Armein from Indonesia, two games to one.

Vargas, 29, now living in Orlando, USA, started off her wonderful day with a two-game win over Sweden's Anna Mattsson-Baard, then downed the irrepressible Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysia, also over two games.

She lost the first game of the final, 185-176, to Putty Armein, but came back to take the other two, 278-193 and 187-184 and the top prize of US$10,000. Armein was the best Asian women to take second spot and win US$5,000.

Women Winners
Putty Armein, Sara Vargas and Helen Johnsson

Helen Johnsson of Sweden, who lost to Armein in the semifinals finished third to take home US$3,000 while Shalin went home again failing to win the elusive title but won US$1,500.

The Kuwaiti was richer by US$10,000 for emerging as the champion with Uotila settling for US$5,000 as runner-up. Another Finn, Osku Palermaa ended up in third and won US$3,000 and Indonesia's Ryan Lalisang, who lost to Uotila in the semi, took home US$1,500.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowler's Journal International.

Number One spot goes to Hong Kong

13th May, Kuwait: The dust settled Saturday night at the end of qualifying for the quarterfinals of the World Ranking Masters and the man in the envied number one spot is Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong.

World Ranking Masters Logo

The 21-year-old student averaged 225 over his 24 qualifying games and held a 57-pin lead over second-placed Osku Palermaa of Finland, with Puerto Rico’s Luis Rodriguez in third place, making it nice and even to have one member from each of the three zones as tournament leaders.

Local interest was immense as Kuwaiti competitor Khalid Al-Dubyan just made the cut to eighth place by six pins. If Mark Buffa had hit a strike with his second ball of the tenth frame, he would have overtaken the Kuwaiti and marched on into the finals. Alex Liew of Malaysia could also have upset the applecart with a strong final frame finish.

Although Hong was anxious about playing the combination oiling pattern set for today, he opened with a 236 in his first game to settle his nerves.

Wu Siu Hong
Wu Siu Hong leading the field into the quarterfinals

"I stopped myself from fighting the lanes and concentrated on my mental game," Wu commented. "I rehearsed each shot before I played it and after two or three games I was fine. I used two different balls and bowled outside boards of the lane for the short oil and an inside track for the long."

The 'combination' pattern is not widely used in international competition, but the unique pattern calls for utmost concentration and focus from the players. "Personally, I think this oiling pattern should be used in all world and zone championships," added the leader.

The US$1,000 prize for the highest score over the final eight games once again went to a European as Pasi Uotila from Finland outscored the field by 48 pins with a total pinfall of 1953, an average of 244 per game. He took over pole position from the first game, opening with a 289.

Zulmazran Zulkifli, the sole Malaysian survivor finishing fourth was joined by Indonesia's Ryan Lalisang and Robert Andersson of Sweden.

The highest single game score of the squad was a 290 by Finland’s Osku Palermaa, the player with the unique two-handed delivery. The highest game of the tournament this week was still the 299, rolled by Anna Mattsson-Baard of Sweden on Saturday morning.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowler's Journal International.

German maintains pole position

13th May, Kuwait: Tanya Petty of Germany maintained her position at the top of the leaderboard through the final eight games of the World Ranking Masters and leads the top eight competitors into Sunday’s quarterfinals, the best of three-game shootout.

World Ranking Masters Logo

Petty had a lower score on the unique lane condition for the final block, a combination of long oil on one lane and short on the other, forcing utmost concentration from all concerned. High games of 265, 258 and 225 in the second to fourth games kept her on top of the wave and she fended off well a strong challenge from Sweden’s Helen Johnsson who finished just 23 pins adrift.

Consolation for Johnsson as she topped the final squad to win the prize of US$1,000 with her fine series of 1773, just eight pins ahead of Swedish teammate Anna Mattson-Baard, the young lady who came within a 10-pin of a perfect game in today's fourth game, shooting the highest game of the event to date, men or women, a 299.

Helen Johnsson
Helen Johnsson claiming the highest block US$1,000

This was a remarkable achievement as it was only a 50-50 chance that Mattsson-Baard would take her place on the lanes for the first squad. A pulled muscle earlier in the week almost crippled her and at first she was a doubtful contender, but now holds third place going into the next stage.

Malaysia's only survival was Shalin Zulkifli finishing fourth with 5066 joined by Britt Brondsted of Denmark, Sara Vargas of Colombia, Kamilla Kjeldsen of Denmark and Indonesia's Putty Armein into the quarterfinals.

Four other Malaysian ladies, who at one stage were amongst the top 8, Wendy Chai, Esther Cheah, Zandra Aziela and Lai Kin Ngoh, failed to make the cut finishing ninth to 12th.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowler's Journal International.

Hong Kong wonder boy takes over lead

12th May, Kuwait: Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong, China carved his way through the talented field at the Cozmo Bowl Friday afternoon to take the overall lead of the World Ranking Masters after 16 of the 24 qualifying games.

World Ranking Masters Logo

The slim 21-year-old student finished with an overall score of 3528 and has a 34-pin buffer over second placed Stuart Williams of England going into Saturday's unique 'combination' pattern of short oil on one lane and long on the other.

"I'm only so-so on that pattern," Wu wryly remarked. "You are trying to do two different things so have to be focused one hundred per cent."

This is the fourth World Ranking Masters for Wu and his best finish was ninth in the event in Lake Wales, Florida last year. "I liked the long oil pattern today," he added. "It was good for my game and I was pleased to hit a 279, just missing a perfect game through a nine-spare in the fifth frame."

Robert Andersson and Wu
Robert Andersson winning US$1,000 and Wu the overall leader

Robert Andersson, 24, of Gothenburg, Sweden bagged the US$1,000 for topping the long oil squad. His eight game total of 1880 outshone challenger Williams by 46 pins.

"It is nice to win," he remarked, then joked: "At least I can't get caught to treat everyone at the bar! I didn't find the lanes much different from those at home, so I was able to stay fairly relaxed. I didn't have to change anything from the third frame onwards. I was nervous at the end, hoping to win the bonus money."

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowler's Journal International.

Lead retained by German after second block

12th May, Kuwait: Sixteen of the 24 qualifying games have now been completed in the World Ranking Masters with Tanya Petty of Germany retaining the lead in the Women's division after rolling eight games on the long oil condition.

World Ranking Masters Logo

Still at the top of the leader board is lithe Tanya Petty of Germany with an overall total of 3503, 83 pins ahead of Malaysia's Zandra Aziela and with fellow countrywoman Shalin Zulkifli in third, 21 pins aback.

Shalin Zulkifli won the US$1,000 squad prize for the long oil pattern with a score of 1796, an average of 225, but this was not enough to overhaul Petty's 16-game total.

"I'm pleasantly surprised to still be the tournament leader," exclaimed Petty after the 16 game score was published. "I usually have a problem with the long oil pattern but I was very happy to shoot 1707 today. I'm a bit apprehensive about the combination pattern tomorrow. I have never bowled with one lane on short oil and the other on long."

Tnaya Petty and Shalin Zulkifli
Shalin Zulkifli joining Tanya Petty in winning US$1,000

Shalin commented: "I used to be better on short oil, rather than the long pattern, but I have been working hard on my game and that showed today. I should have done better on the short oil yesterday but I didn't use the right ball and also didn't make the right adjustments. I do think that the long pattern here is a bit too long for women bowlers. If it was just a little shorter I am sure that we would get a lot more carry."

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

Malaysian aiming for three-in-a-row

11th May, Kuwait: Zulmazran Zulkifli, 22, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, demonstrated to a packed concourse and his fellow bowlers just how to cope with the short oil condition as the men’s division rolled their first eight of 24 qualifying games Thursday afternoon.

World Ranking Masters Logo

Zulkifli shot into an early lead and held pole position despite strong opposition from the field, finishing with a total pinfall of 1837 for a 230 overall average.

"Of course, I'm really happy to be top of this squad, especially as there is a US$1,000 bonus for each squad leader." He stated, "Now I'm looking forward to doing some shopping." His smile failed a little when informed that he won't get his money until the victory party on Sunday night.

"I just played my game," he added, "and didn't take much notice of what was going on around me. Every pair of lanes seemed to be different, so it was a tough eight-game block. I'm pretty confident that I can handle the long oil pattern on tomorrow's squad, but we'll see when the time comes."

Zulmazran Zulkifli
Zulmazran ended the first block in the lead

There is no prize for the best progress through the field. If there was, it would most probably have gone to Malaysia's Alex Liew who managed to climb from 21st place to third over the final six games.

Zulkifli is a really happy bunny and bowling on top of his form. Last Sunday he won the Kuwait leg of the ABF Tour and two weeks ago clinched the ABF Tour title in Bangkok. He would really like to make it three in a row.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

German clinches lead in opening block

11th May, Kuwait: Germany’s Tanya Petty, 28, made a strong move in the home straight to clinch top place on the leader board at the close of the first block of eight games in the women’s division of the World Ranking Masters on Thursday morning.

World Ranking Masters Logo

Bowling on the short oil pattern, the German Bowler of the Year 2001-2004 hung onto the coat tails of early leader Helen Johnsson of Sweden, but a final game of 235 to Johnsson’s 187 saw her consolidate first place and clinch the US$1,000 bonus as squad leader.

"The short oil condition is my favourite pattern. I also topped the squad on short oil in Aalborg, Denmark two years ago," commented Petty. "I was very pleased with the lanes, there was so little variance across the house. I was watching Johnsson’s scores and it was good that I was able to keep up with her."

Petty, the number one ranked European woman, currently works in Vienna, Austria but is moving to Zurich, Switzerland in August.

Tanya Petty
Tanya Petty clinching on to the lead

"This is my first visit to Kuwait and I am enjoying my stay," she added. "The people are so friendly. Originally, I was afraid to come as I thought that they would not treat women well here, but everything has been first class." Petty’s illustrious pedigree also lists being European Individual Cup champion in 2002, 2004 and 2005, prompting some jokers to suggest that it be re-named the Petty Cup. The men will take to the lanes for their first block of 8 games over the same short oil conditions.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

Kuwait all set for classic showdown

9th May, Kuwait: The clans from around the world are gathering at the Cozmo Bowling Center in Salmiya on the outskirts of Kuwait city for the sixth edition of the World Ranking Masters 2006 which will kick off tomorrow.

World Ranking Masters Logo

Embracing the top eight bowlers from ranking events in the three zones of the Americas, Asia and Europe the World Ranking Marters showcases the best amateur players in the world. Intense competition starts on Thursday, May 11, and runs through until Sunday evening when rivalry is forgotten and the players, officials and hosts get together for a farewell party.

Although Kimmo Lehtonen of Finland, the 2005 champion when this prestigious event was so well hosted at the Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Florida, is not here to defend his title, 2005 lady champion, Clara Guerrero of Colombia is back and detmined to make the double.

The field of 24 men and 24 women, eight from each of the three zones in each division, will be enhanced by the addition of a male and female player from host nation Kuwait. The eyes of this small nation will be on Khaled Al Dubyan and Nora el Roudan.

Kegel Oiling
Rueben Ghiragossian, technician Aga Cuaorazal and Kegel's John Davis

Most of the action will be televised live throughout the day and an additional wrap program broadcast later in the evening.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

Detailed Scores
Women Squad 1
Men Squad 1
Women Squad 2
Men Squad 2
Women Squad 3
Men Squad 3
Women Quarterfinals
Men Quarterfinals
Women Semifinals
Men Semifinals
Women Stepladder
Men Stepladder
Final Results
Santioned by
Organized by
Kuwait Bowling Federation