Australia’s Sam Cooley clinched the coveted QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup with an emphatic 244-163 victory over Kyle Troupe from the United States in a thrilling finale to the 2018 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup at the 56-lane Sam’s Town Bowling Centre in Las Vegas.
The 27-year-old from Mt. Warrigal in the Illawarra, south of Sydney shot four strikes, a spare and then another run of four strikes before leaving an open tenth frame, while the hapless Troupe struggled in the all-important grand final match despite earning top seeding after 40 games of qualifying, including a perfect 300 in Game 18.
Cooley overcame Finland’s Osku Palermaa 240-203 in the semi-final, and Troup advanced to the final by ousting Colombia’s Andres Gomez 264-216 but failed to maintain the momentum he had achieved in his previous matches throughout the week-long tournament.
“I have no words!” was Cooley’s first comment after his momentous win, before adding: “Aussie women have won it several times and I’m proud to follow in Jason’s (Belmonte’s) footsteps.”
Belmonte, reigning PBA World Champion, won the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup in Johannesburg in 2011, while Australian women have the distinction of six victories to their credit in this prestigious event: a history-making back to back achievement by Melbourne’s Jeanette Baker in 1982 and 1983, Melbourne’s Cara Honeychurch in 1996, Sydney’s Maxine Nable in 1998, Newcastle’s Amanda Bradley in 1999 and fellow Newcastle bowler, Ann-Maree Putney in 2007.
Australia’s female representative, 28 year-old Rebecca Whiting from Melbourne, missed the cut to the top 8 finishing 17th overall after 32 games of qualifying, just 10 pins behind 2010/2011 champion Aumi Guerra from the Dominican Republic. The women’s final came down to the wire with Shannon O’Keefe from the USA pipping Malaysia’s Li Jane Sin by a mere two pins for the title.
O’Keefe blitzed Nadia Pramanik Nuramalina from Indonesia 247-202 in the semis and an equally decisive 207-166 win by Li Jane Sin over Colombia’s Maria Rodriguez set up an exciting final match that saw the Malaysian tantalizing close to victory until the final frame. Needing a strike to win, she shot 7, delivering O’Keefe the trophy she had eyed for a decade. “The Bowling World Cup is the tournament I have always wanted to play in. I won the US trials in 2008 but they sent someone else, so I have been trying for a further ten years to get here. And now to win it is beyond my wildest dreams,” said O’Keefe.
The QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup is the largest annual sports championship in the world, in terms of number of nations that participate, and this year’s 54th edition attracted male and female players from more than 80 nations.
The award for Sportsman and Sportswoman of the tournament were announced at the Victory Banquet and news of dates and location of the 2019 QAMF Bowling World Cup is highly anticipated.
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Pictures courtesy Hero Noda for QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup