The championship round of the World Tenpin Bowling Association World Singles Championship was held on Tuesday, Sept. 25, in the country of Cyprus. The World Singles Championship had a maximum of two bowlers from 44 different countries participating to prove they were the best bowler in the world. Several PBA stars were in attendance to represent their country including Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Osku Palermaa and Andres Gomez. It was Chris Barnes that was ultimately able to walk away with the gold medal despite a very slow start to the tournament.
Chris Barnes has long been considered to be one of the five best bowlers in the world, and this title only reaffirms this belief. Barnes started off very slow at the beginning of the tournament, and was in danger of not advancing past the qualifying round. He struggled to average over 200 in the first qualifying round and was sitting outside the top 24. He was then able to post the second highest score in the second and final qualifying round, which propelled him to fifth place. The fifth place qualifying position allowed Barnes to receive an automatic bye to the round of 16, and meant that he would only have to defeat four bowlers to win the title.
The top 24 bowlers were quickly dwindled down to four after a few rounds of match play bowling. The final four bowlers were Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Osku Palermaa and Andres Gomez. Barnes bowled against Gomez in the first semifinal match, and was barely able to get by the great Colombian bowler by the score of 246-244. Jones was pitted against Finland's Palermaa, but would have no problem getting past the power two-hander 259-199. The title match between the two Americans was extremely close until the seventh frame when Barnes would string several strikes together to take an unbeatable lead. The key strikes late in the match allowed Barnes to win by the score of 212-198.
I predicted that this tournament would be won by one of the PBA Tour stars bowling in this tournament, and that is exactly what happened. Barnes, Jones, Palermaa and Gomez were not the only PBA bowlers in this tournament, but they were certainly the most accomplished. The PBA bowlers have been in too many huge tournaments on tough oil patterns to not have a great advantage over the other great bowlers. This tournament proved that there are amazing bowlers across the world, but the best bowlers are competing every week on the PBA Tour. Chris Barnes has been surpassed by Mike Fagan, Jason Belmonte and Sean Rash the last few seasons on the PBA Tour, but this title victory proves that he is not ready to go away just yet.
Jake as been an avid bowler since the age of 8, and regularly follows the PBA throughout the year.
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- Andres Gomez
- Osku Palermaa