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World Ranking Masters 2009 Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Finland, Malaysia claims world titles

2nd May, Naples: Osku Palermaa defeated Norwegian, Tore Torgersen to clinch the men's title of the 9th World Ranking Masters for Finland for the second time while Malaysia's Siti Safiyah Amirah reclaimed the women's crown for Malaysia two years running.

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The two-handed Finn had to dig deep in his reserves to take the victory in a close fought contest. Palermaa won the first match, 259-248 and was stretched right to the end by Tore Torgersen in the second.

The second-seed had ended the second match with 248 forcing the Norwegian to strike out. A seemingly perfect pocket shot from Torgersen in the tenth frame failed to yeal a strike thus ending the match with 238.

"It all feels quite good now," stated a mightily relieved Osku Palermaa. "And I'm pleased with the win and, of course the money and the points for the WBW Hall of Fame, which is one of my goals.

Osku Palermaa
Osku Palermaa adding another world title to his cabinet

"I'm pleased with the way I bowled in the finals as I was struggling in the semi-finals. The lane patterns didn't worry me at all. I felt good all through the qualifying and knew I was going to make the top eight. That's basically when the tournament starts."

Palermaa ousted Sweden's Robert Andersson, 2-1 to reach the finals and Kuwait's Basil Al-Anzi by a similar margin in the quarter-finals. Torgersen eliminated two Englishmen, Dominic Barrett 2-0 in the quarter-finals and then Stuart Williams, 2-1 in his semi.

Meanwhile, the women's honours went to petite Siti Safiyah Amirah with a convincing victory over Germany's Tina Hulsch, 2-0 in the finals. The second-seed won the first match 215-199 and then edged the German, 175-166 in the second.

Siti's victory gave Malaysia its second women's crown in two consecutive years. Wendy Chai, who qualified for this year's championship but had to pull out due to insufficient time to recover from a knee surgery, won the title in Jakrta last year.

"This is my first individual world title, so that is extra special," said the 19-year-old Siti. "I guess I will get a lot of publicity in the newspapers, maybe headlines, and on TV. I think it will be very big."

Siti Safiyah
A first world title for Siti Safiyah AMirah

The Malaysian sailed through to the semi after eliminating another German, Patricia Luoto, 2-0 in the quarter-finals but was stretched to a third match decider over Dutch, Ghislaine van der Tol, 2-1 in the semi.

Both the champions went home richer by US$10,000 as both runnerups, Torgersen and Hulsch settled for US$5,000. All the losing semi-finalists won US$3,000 each.

Photos courtesy of B.C. Cheah and Keith Hale.

Englishmen snatches final squad

1st May, Naples: Stuart Williams of England, surged in the second half of the Men's final squad to snatch top honours and $1,000 in the 9th World Ranking Masters as second squad leader, Lucas Legnani of Argentina reclaimed overall pole.

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The opening game of 263 saw Chris Vale of USA leading the squad despite running in 24th in the standings after two blocks. Kuwait's Basil Al-Anzi trailed in second with 257 with England's Paul Moor third on 254.

A 227 from Basil in second game allowed the Kuwaiti to move into the lead with Norway's Tore Torgersean coming into the frame in second and Austria's Thomas Gross also making his bid.

The lead by Torgersen after the third was short-lived as Moor took over the running 13 pins ahead of Qatar's Saeed Al-Hajri moving up to second and Gross dropping to third.

Stuart Williams
Stuart Williams snatching pole in Squad 3

A sizzling 269 from the Saeed in the fifth saw the Qatari enjoying a good run to move into the lead as Gross and Sweden's Robert Andersson sharing second spot 47 pins adrift. Saeed held on to the lead for the next two games and seemed sure of claiming the $1,000 squad winner prize.

As Saeed shot a poor 182 in the final game, England's Stuart Williams, who downed 267, 246 and 279 prior to the last game, finished strongest with 244 to snatch top spot with 1848. Saeed settled for second with 1813.

Second squad winner, Lucas Legnani of Argentina finished a creditable third with 1784 which also gave him the overall lead with 5430 and another $1,000 win. First squad winner, Osku Palermaa had looked likely to claim the top spot but settled for second with 5403.

William's superb 1848 in the final squad put him third overall with 5255 with fellow-compatriot, Dominic Barrett fourth with 5223. Tore Torgersen of Norway and England's third representative, Paul Moor took fifth and sixth.

Lucas Legnani
Lucas Legnani finishing pole in the overall standings

Asia's sole survivor, Basil Al-Anzi clinched seventh spot with 5195 and Sweden's Robert Andersson made up the top 8 in eighth position with 5163. Malaysia's Zulmazran Zulkifli missed the cut by 11 pins finishing ninth.

Photos courtesy of www.wrmnapoli2009.com.

Swede tops final squad

1st May, Naples: European Bowling Tour champion, Nina Flack of Sweden finally topped the third squad of the 9th World Ranking Masters' Women's qualifying rounds as Dutch, Wendy Kok ended as overall leader on Friday.

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The final qualifying squad kicked off this morning at the Oltremare Bowl with the women playing on difficult duo oiling pattern. Last year's runnerup, Karen Marcano of Venezuela set the pace with a sizzling 266 with Panama's Edissa Andrade in second.

Another superb 224 from Edissa saw her shoot to the front followed by the suprised second from France's Marilyn Planchard as Swede, Nina Flack closing in on the leading duo.

The European Tour champion, Flack then picked up her pace to take over the lead and opening up a 16 pin margin over the charging Dutch, Wendy Kok in second at the halfway mark.

Nina Flack
Nina Flack topping Squad 3 and winning $1,000

An attempt to close the gap by Wendy failed to materialise as Flack drew away with 57 pins margin going into the final game. But a separate battle had developed between Wendy and Malaysia's Siti Safiyah Amirah for the overall lead.

With just one pin sperating the duo going into the eighth and final game, it was the Dutch, Wendy who kept her cool with 204 while the Malaysian can only down 199. Flack topped the final squad with 1724 to win $1,000 as Wendy finished second.

"I'm very pleased with my performance today," said Wendy Kok after a lengthy call home to her parents. "This morning I didn't expect this to happen at all, my only goal was to make the top eight.

"I was fifth in all-events so had to get a good score today to stay in the top eight and my start was OK, so I just kept on bowling and didn't think about what I could win, as then things could go wrong. I played each game as if it was my first game and that worked fine for me.

Wendy Kok
Overall leader, Wendy Kok of the Netherlands

Honours and $1,000 went to Wendy Kok for emerging as the overall leader and taking pole with a 24-game total of 4935. Siti Safiyah settled for second with 4929 while second squad winner, Ghislaine took third spot with 4907.

Flack and first squad winner, Tina Hulsch of Germany finished fourth and fifth followed by Karen Marcano of Venezuela, Patricia Luoto of Germany and Alicia Marcano all making the top 8 cut from sixth to eighth positions. The top 8 women advanced to Saturday's knockout finals.

Photos courtesy of www.wrmnapoli2009.com.

Dutch lady snatches pole

30th April, Naples: Ghislaine van der Tol snatched overall pole position after the Dutch lady topped the Women's second squad of the 9th World Ranking Masters at Oltremare Bowling Arena on Thursday evening.

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As the women's second squad commenced following the men's earlier, a high game from the talented Siti Safiyah Amirah saw the Malaysian star taking the lead with Venezuela's Alicia Marcano in second with 254.

A 248 for Siti Safiyah in the second allowed her to maintain in front as Marcano kept pace with her and Ghislaine van der Tol of the Netherlands hitting 233 to advance to third place.

Two good games of 207 and 208 in her next two games, put Siti Safiyah firmly in the lead at the halfway mark, 29 pins ahead of another Dutch, Nicole Sanders making up ground.

Ghislaine van der Tol
Squad 2 and new overall leader, Ghislaine van der Tol

But an unexpected 142 in the sixth game for Siti Safiyah allowed Sanders to take over the lead after the latter posted a good 224 with Ghislaine moving up to second and the Malaysian dropping off to fourth.

Despite rallying back with 214 and 203 Siti's last two games, it appeared that Sanders would end the squad in front to claim the $1,000 prize but it was not to be.

Ghislaine snatched pole with a superb 236 and a total of 1714 ahead of Siti Safiyah in second with 1689. Sanders dropped to third after a poor 171 to end with 1672.

This is great," was just about all the comment we could get from Ghislaine, mightily pleased with coming out on top.

After two squads, Ghislaine claimed overall pole position too with a 16-game total of 3337. Overnight leader, Tina Hulsch of Germany dropped to second with 3313 while Siti Safiyah moved up to third with 3278.

The women will resume with their third and final squad tomorrow morning and the men in the afternoon. The top 8 men and top 8 women at the end of the 24-games will advance to Saturday's knockout finals.

Photo courtesy of www.wrmnapoli2009.com.

Argentine tops second squad

30th April, Naples: Catalonia Open champion, Lucas Legnani of Argentina topped the Men's second squad of the 9th World Ranking Masters on Thursday en-route to claiming overall top spot after two squads.

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Qatar's Saeed Al-Hajri, who accepted a last minute invitation to replace Indonesia's Ryan Lalisang having failed to obtain a visa from Italy, opened the second squad with a 279 scorcher then followed it up with 214 and 203 for a 696 and the lead.

Englang's Paul Moor was second, 11 pins adrift with Lucas Legnani of Argentina hot on his heels with 651. Legnani took over the lead after a superb 278 in the fourth game and never looked back ending with 235, 278, 219 and 182.

The Argentine's 1843 from this squad gave him a 16-game total of 3646 to become the new overall leader. Overnight leader, Osku Plaermaa of Finland eventually finish second in this squad with 1772 and second overall with 3633.

Lucas Legnani
Squad 2 and overall leader, Lucan Legnani

Kuwait's Basil Al-Anzi, who only managed 1677 in his second squad, retained third spot with 3503 while Malaysia's Zulmazran Zulkifli shot 1707 to move up one spot to fourth overall on 3499.

"Yes, it was a great day on the long oil pattern," remarked Legnani. "It was a very high scoring pattern for me. I can consider myself lucky because I took the right decisions at the right time but no one knew what was going to happen with the lanes as this was the first time we had bowled on the medium pattern.

"The lanes opened up pretty much after the third game and everybody moved to the left like it was very long oil. I didn't feel that my release was too good, but there was a lot of room for me.

Paul Moor, who finished third in the squad, improved on his 11th placing overnight to sixth with 3454 behind Canadian, Mark Buffa claiming fifth spot with 3489.

The women will resume with their second squad later today and the qualifying rounds will end tomorrow for both the men and women divisions. The top 8 men and top 8 women at the end of the 24-games will advance to Saturday's knockout finals.

Photo courtesy of Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

Finn takes opening squad

29th April, Naples: Two-handed Finn, Osku Palermaa took pole position in the Men's opening squad of the 9th World Ranking Masters after a keen tussle with England's Dominic Barrett but Kuwait's Basil Al-Anzi who finished second.

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England's Dominic Barrett set a cracking pace with a 247 opening game to lead two-time European Tour Ranking champion, Osku Palermaa of Finland by 14 pins. The Englishmen continued to lead after another superb 245 in the second game.

But it was the two-handed Palermaa, who turned in a stronger third and fourth to take over the running at the halfway mark albeit only 2 pins ahead of Barrett with Kuwait's Basil Al-Azni in a close third.

Barrett fought back galantly to regain the lead for the next two games trailed this time by the Finn, 11 pins adrift.

Osku Palermaa
Squad 1 pole-sitter, Osku Palermaa

Palermaa ended the first block stronger to claim pole position and the $1,000 squad prize with 1861 as Basil pipped Barrett for second spot with 1826. The pace-setter settled for third with 1825.

Argentine, Lucas Legnani took fourth spot with 1803 ahead of last year's first runnerup, Zulmazran Zulkifli of Malaysia rounding up the top 5 with 1792.

The men will resume tomorrow with a second block of eight games on long oil (40 feet) and another eight games on Friday. The top 8 at the 24-games qualifying round will proceed to the knockout finals on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of www.wrmnapoli2009.com.

German lass off to a good start

29th April, Naples: Germany's Tina Hulsch got off to a good start by topping the Women's first block of 8 games on short oil as the 9th World Ranking Masters got underway at Oltremare Bowling Arena on Wednesday.

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The morning's squad saw petite Nina Flack of Sweden setting the pace with a superb 269 opening game to lead the field and despite a 167 in her second game, the 2008 Swedish and World Bowling Writers' Bowler of the Year rallied to a 904 after four games after a 257 comeback.

Hot on her heels at the halfway mark were Dutch girl Wendy Kok on 836 and Asian Ranked No. 1, Chan Shuk Han of Hong Kong on 811.

The pendulum swung in a different direction as Nina Flack and Ghislaine van der Tol fought out the lead, it was Germany's TIna Hulsch who swept past the duo to end the block in the lead with 1674 and pinched the $1,000 squad winner prize.

Tina Hulsch
Tina Hulsch topping the opening squad

"This was great," Hulsch remarked. "This is the first time I have bowled in the World Ranking Masters so topping the opening squad was an added pleasure."

Flack settled for second with 1650 ahead of Ghislaine in third with 1623. PBA pro-bowler, Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysia, who had a poor start, came back strongly to finish fourth with 1621.

The women will resume tomorrow with a second block of eight games on long oil (40 feet) and another eight games on Friday. The top 8 at the 24-games qualifying round will proceed to the knockout finals on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of www.wrmnapoli2009.com.

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