2nd December, Riyadh
American PBA rookie and topseed, Marshall Kent of Yakima, WA., won his first international PBA title defeating second-seed, Martin Larsen of Sweden, 257-206 in the title match of the PBA-WBT 8th Kingdom International Open.
Kent started off with a spare in the first frame as Larsen had an early split. The American doubled up in his next two frames while the Swede was unable to recover from his early mistake.
The topseed went on a strikefest reeling in five consecutive strikes and Larsen was trying hard to respond. Although Larsen finally found his rythmn with three strikes-in-a-row from frame 7, Kent had already built up a massive lead.
Kent ended the match with 257 to Larsen's 206 to win his first PBA title and pocket the top prize of US$10,000 while Larsen settled for US$7,000. The champion edged fourth-seed, Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas, 243-237 in an all-American semi-final match to reach the final.
"After I had a couple of strikes early in the match and Larsen had the open frame, I felt a little bit more comfortable," said the 22-year-old two-time Collegiate Player of the Year 2011-12 and 2012-13.
"And when I managed a few more strikes and Larsen continued to struggle, I kept telling myself to focus on making sure I made good shots. This win will certainly give me more confidence going into next week's World Championships in Abu Dhabi."
Larsen sailed past third-seed and the only Asian in the top 4 shootout finals, Khaled Al Dubyyan of Kuwait, 224-174 in the other semi to face Kent in the final. Fagan earned US5,000 and Khaled took home US$4,000.
"I really made a bad shot in the opening frame and when I just couldn't respond, it gave Kent more room to pull away in the match," said the 35-year-old, who won the Saudi Open title back in 2012 before it became a World Tour.
"It's been a good week for me after especially finishing third in Qatar and also finishing third in the Day 3 shootout finals. I hope I can carry my form into the World Championships later this week."
In the earlier 9-game Masters finals contested over two oiling patterns, Kent came away with 2161 to advance as topseed for the shootout finals. Larsen finised second with 2108, 54 pins adrift.
Khaled took third spot with 2096 while Fagan stormed home to clinch the fourth and last spot of the shootout finals. Qatar Open champion, Dominic Barrett of England missed the cut by 15 pins to finish fifth with 2076.
2013 World Championships Team gold medalist, John Janawicz of USA, who was fourth going into the final game was overtaken by Osku Palermaa of Finland and early pace-setter, Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa for fifth and sixth positions respectively.
The top 16 Asian finalists qualified for the final stop of this year's ABF Tour Saudi which will be staged at the same bowling center tomorrow.
2nd December, Riyadh
Craig Nidiffer of Trenton, Mich., took his second victory by defeating Dominic Barrett of England, 278-269 in the high-scoring postponed Day 1 Shootout finals of the PBA-WBT 8th Kingdom International Open.
Striking machine, Nidiffer got off with five strikes-in-a-row in the final match against Barrett, but the Brit responded with five of his own. The American spared his next frame while Barrett continued his striking streak.
Nidiffer fought back with a double in the seventh and eighth frames so did Barrett. Nidiffer struck again in the crucial ninth frame and then ended by striking out for a 278 game.
Barrett spared only his ninth frame but could still take victory by doubling up in the tenth frame. The newly-crown Qatar Open champion down the tenth but left two pins in his bonus frame to go down with 269.
The winner had an easy victory in the first semi-final match against Bader Al Shaikh of Saudi Arabia, 234-198 while Barrett was lucky to advance with a victory over Rakan Al Ameeri of Kuwait in a low-scoring 169-166 win in the other semi.
Nidiffer, who won the Day 3 shootout finals late last night, picked up his second Daily shootout prize of US$5,000 leaving Barrett US$3,500 for second spot. Bader earned US$2,500 and Rakan US$2,000.
Meanwhile, the first three games of the Masters finals were contested over the medium oil pattern earlier. Marshall Kent of Yakima, WA., led the series with 760 followed by pace-setter, Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa in second with 751
Day 3 Shoootout finals second runner-up, Martin Larsen of Sweden finished third with 718 and Qatar Open first runner-up, Stuart Williams completed the top 4 with 716.
The players will bowl the next 3 games over the long oil pattern before ending with the final 3 games over dual oil patterns. The top 4 will make the cut for the Masters Shootout finals.
1st December, Riyadh
Top qualifier and third-seed, Craig Nidiffer of Trenton, Mich. picked up US$5,000 after defeating Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas 239-228 to win the Day 3 Shootout Finals of the PBA-WBT 8th Kingdom International Open.
Nidiffer got off to a similar start in his earlier semi-finals in the match against fourth-seed, Fagan with seven strikes in a row as his opponent managed only a double in the fourth and fifth frames.
After a 9-pin spare in the eighth frame, Nidiffer rolled a 3-4-6-7-10 which suprisingly he failed to take any pins in his second throw to give Fagan a slim chance to snatch the win. Fagan struck thrice from frame 7 and needed to strike out.
Nidiffer struck in the tenth and then spared his bonus frame for 239. Fagan left a solid 10 in the tenth frame before striking in his bonus frame for Nidiffer to take victory.
The winner similarly had nine strikes-in-a-row in the semi-final match against second-seed, Martin Larsen of Sweden to advance to the final, 279-222 while Fagan beat topseed, Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 215-186 in the all-American semi-final.
Nidiffer picked up US$5,000 for his win and he has another chance to do that when he contest the postponed Day 1 Shootout finals after the 9-games Masters finals tomorrow. Fagan settled for US$3,500.
Larsen earned US$2,500 as the higher game loser in the semi-finals and Jones US$2,000 for finishing fourth.
Meanwhile, in the earlier ast squad of the qualifying rounds, Mansour Al Awamy of Qatar topped the squad with 1333 ahead of Day 2 Shootout finals winner, Chris Barnes of Double Oak, TX. in second with 1280.
Nidiffer topped the overall Masters qualifying table with 4242 ahead of Larsen in second with 4123 and Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y. in third with 4121. Fagan and Dominic Barrett of England rounded out the top 5 with 4121 and 4103 respectively.
The cut at 30th position went to 2014 ABF Tour Thailand champion, Shaik Abdu Hameed of India with 3772 or 172 over. Salem Al Hajras of Kuwait missed the cut with 3728.
The six Saudi earning automatic qualification were Adel Al Barqi, Abdulrahman Al Kheliawi, Salman Al Shehri, Yasser Abu Alreesh, Abdulla Al Dolijan and Majed Aslani.
The 36 finalists will contest 9 games Masters finals, the first 3 games on the medium oil pattern (39ft), the next 3 games on the long oil pattern (45ft) and the third 3 games on dual oil patterns.
The top 4 finishers will advance to the TV Shootout finals for the top prize of US$10,000 and a PBA international title if the champion is a PBA member. Players will also earn World Bowling Tour ranking points.
1st December, Riyadh
2012 Kingdom International Open champion, Martin Larsen of Sweden topped the Squad B in the third qualifying block of the PBA-WBT 8th Kingdom International Open for second position in the Day 3 overall standings.
Larsen and 2013 World Championships Team gold medalist, John Janawicz of USA shared the early lead with a sizzling 279 in their opening game to lead last year's Kingdom Open first runner-up, Michael Mak of Hong Kong by 11 pins.
Although Larsen shot only 205 in the second game, the Swede was able to hold the lead as Khaled Al Dubyyan of Kuwait narrowed the gap to just 2 pins in second while Janawicz slipped down to tie with Dominic Barrett of England in third.
A superb 257 in the third game from Khaled took the Kuwaiti into the lead which he held for another game despite posting only 214 ahead of two-handed Osku Palermaa of Finland, who showed up briefly in second.
Larsen bounced back to regain the lead after the fifth game but needed 260 or more to topple Squad A leader, Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C. for the top spot. The leader managed 229 in the final game for a total of 1426, 31 pins behind.
Khaled ended poorly with 177 to finish second to Larsen and sharing fifth spot with Sean Rash of USA in fifth with 1365. Janawicz finished third in this squad and seventh from two squads with 1364.
Day 1 topseed, Craig Nidiffer of Trenton, Mich. remained in Day 3 third overall with 1416 while Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas held fourth spot with 1396 making the top shootout finals.
Nidiffer continued to lead the Masters qualifying standings with 4242 from 18 games with Larsen taking over second with 4123. Day 2 shootout finals third runner-up, Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y. completed the top 3 with 4121.
The current cut at 30th position in the Masters qualifying standings went to Yaqoub Al Shatti of Kuwait with 3736 (or 136 over). All the Americans and Europeans competing were all in the top 30.
Mack of USA, who rolled the tournament's first 300 for 1340 in this squad, was the lowest non-Asian in 27th position with 3786. The standings will be determined once Squad C has ended.
1st December, Riyadh
Defending champion and PBA pro, Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C. made good during his third block of the PBA-WBT 8th Kingdom International Open qualifying round by topping the first squad.
Jones, who won last year's title by beating topseed, Michael Mak of Hong Kong twice, got off the block with 222 as compatriots, Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill. and Tom Daugherty of Tampa, Fl. shared the lead with 234 ahead of Craig Nidiffer of Trenton, Mich. by 1 pin.
Nidiffer, who had made the Day 1 Top 4 shootout finals which has been postponed to December 2, followed it up with a superb 258 in the second game to move to the front of the pack while Jones closed in in third.
Nidiffer led for another game before handing it to Jones after the fourth game to trail by 7 pins. Jones, who had finished sixth on the first day with 1306, 6th in the second day with 1308 on a re-entry in Squad C, ended the block with 259 and 235 to take the squad with 1457.
Based on the previous two days benchmark for making the top 4 shootout finals, Jones' scoreline will surely secure his spot. Nidiffer also ended strongly to finish second with 1416 while squad leader on Day 2, Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas took third with 1396.
Rash claimed fourth spot with 1365 which will not likely to secure him a place in the top 4 shootout finals especially with many strong palyers in the next two squads for the day.
At the end of the third squad for the day, the top 30 based on their three best 3-games series over each day will qualify for the Masters Finals together with six Saudi bowlers outside the top 30.
They will contest the 9 games finals with the first 3 games over the medium oil pattern (39ft), the next 3 in the long oil pattern (45ft) and the remaining 3 games over dual oil pattern.
The top 4 at the end of the finals will advance to the Masters Shootout Finals in a 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3 semi-final match. The winner will meet in the final for the title while the higher game loser will be second runner-up and lower game loser third runner-up.