U.S. Stages Rout at World Bowling Senior Championships with Team, All-Events Sweep

by Matt Cannizzaro, USBC Communications 0

ARLINGTON, Texas – The representatives from the United States traveled to the 2017 World Bowling Senior Championships in Germany with a goal of claiming as many medals as possible, but winning gold as a team always is the sweetest victory of all.

The men and women from the United States reached that pinnacle again Saturday at Dream-Bowl Palace near Munich, with both teams successfully defending the world championships they claimed in Las Vegas in 2015.

The all-events medals also were decided Saturday, with Team USA’s Ron Mohr and Leanne Hulsenberg winning gold in their respective categories. Lynda Barnes secured the silver medal on the women’s side.

Three members of the men’s team – Mohr, Bob Learn Jr. and Lennie Boresch Jr. – returned to put their title on the line and got to share the latest win with United States Bowling Congress and Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III, who made his world championships debut.

The group earned the gold with a 2-0 win against Mexico in the best-of-three Baker final, 212-194 and 212-176.

Team USA started the final round with four strikes in its first five frames to build a lead that proved to be big enough, despite a missed single pin along the way.

In the deciding game, Team USA started with back-to-back open frames and clung to a small lead after six frames, but Mohr, Learn and Bohn rallied late in the game, closing with five consecutive strikes to hold off Mexico.

The United States downed Canada, 2-1 (187-197, 214-196, 239-194), to earn a spot in the final, and Mexico defeated Finland in the semifinals, 2-0 (214-143, 206-199), to advance.

“Toward the end of the team event on the men’s side, it really could’ve been any of eight or nine teams making it to the semifinals, so it was exciting, but also very stressful at the same time,” said USBC Hall of Famer and USBC Gold coach Bill Spigner, who is coaching the United States contingent this week. “The biggest thing of all about our men’s team was the ability to finish off games, while other teams didn’t seem to have that. The whole day was exciting, and to win the team event back to back is amazing.”

USBC Hall of Famer Tish Johnson was the only returning member for the United States on the women’s side, but she was joined in the victory Saturday by a trio of fellow hall of famers – Barnes, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard and Hulsenberg.

The quartet cruised to the gold medal with a 2-0 performance against Canada, winning 235-191 and 199-169.

Seven strikes from the United States in the first eight frames of the gold-medal match put the opening game out of reach, and consecutive strikes in frames seven through nine after a missed 1-2-4-10 washout in the second game were enough to stay in control of the match.

“It’s such an honor,” said Johnson, the lone left-hander on the women’s team. “Our team was really good again this year. They talked and communicated well when it came to making moves, and they were very supportive when it was my turn to bowl. I did the best I could, and it was awesome. They were fun to bowl with, and when you know each other for 30 years, it makes it a little bit easier.”

The United States defeated Japan, 2-0 (232-179, 222-158), to advance to the gold-medal match, and Canada collected a semifinal win against Sweden, 2-1 (162-181, 154-145, 202-184).

The team event at the 2017 World Bowling Senior Championships featured six traditional team games over two days, after which, the top four men’s teams and top four women’s teams advanced to the best-of-three Baker medal round.

On the men’s side, the United States entered the day in second place but was able to find the top of the standings to earn the top seed for the semifinals with a six-game total of 4,845, just ahead of Finland (4,803), first-day leader Mexico (4,776) and Canada (4,769).

For the women, the United States averaged nearly 205 as a team to earn the No. 1 seed for the semifinals with a 4,917 six-game total. Sweden was second with 4,535 and followed by Canada (4,466) and Japan (4,399).

In the all-events race, Mohr collected his second all-events gold medal in three trips to the World Senior Championships. The right-hander averaged 217.06 during his 18 games this week at Dream-Bowl Palace for a 3,907 winning total.

So far this week, Mohr has won gold medals in singles, team and all-events, as well as silver in doubles with Boresch. Mohr’s first all-events win at the World Senior Championships came in 2013, the inaugural year of the event.

“While I’m not surprised with the success of either team, especially our incredible ladies contingent, I’m ecstatic about my own good fortune,” Mohr said. “Three gold medals in four events far transcends anything I expected.”

The silver all-events medal went to Belgium’s Marc Franceus (3,859), and Australia’s Andrew Frawley claimed the bronze with a 3,830 total. Learn and Bohn finished fourth and fifth with 3,821 and 3,800, respectively.

Boresch finished 17th with a 3,613 total, meaning all four men from the United States qualified for Sunday’s Masters competition.

Hulsenberg, who celebrated her 50th birthday this week in Germany, saw singles and doubles end with the gold medals just out of reach, but her overall performance at Dream-Bowl Palace netted her the all-events gold medal.

The right-hander averaged more than 216 on the way to a 3,900 total for her 18 games, outdistancing Barnes, who claimed the silver medal with a 3,815 effort. The bronze went to Reija Lunden of Finland with a 3,540 total.

Team USA’s Carolyn Dorin-Ballard finished sixth with 3,490, and Johnson was ninth with 3,433, so all four women from the United States also advanced to the Masters event.

Competition at Dream-Bowl Palace continues Sunday with Masters competition, which features the top 24 men and top 24 women from the all-events standings.

All bowling this week at the 2017 World Bowling Senior Championships is taking place on the 41-foot World Bowling Montreal oil pattern.

For more information on the World Bowling Senior Championships, visit WorldBowling.org

2017 WORLD BOWLING SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Dream-Bowl Palace, Unterfohring, Germany
Saturday’s Results

WOMEN’S TEAM

CHAMPIONSHIP
(Winner earns gold, loser gets silver)

United States def. Canada, 2-0 (235-191, 199-169)

SEMIFINALS
(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)

United States def. Japan, 2-0 (232-179, 222-158)
Canada def. Sweden, 2-1 (162-181, 154-145, 202-184)

WOMEN’S ALL-EVENTS

(18-game pinfall totals – six games of singles, doubles and team)

Gold – Leanne Hulsenberg, United States, 3,900
Silver – Lynda Barnes, United States, 3,815
Bronze – Reija Lunden, Finland, 3,540

MEN’S TEAM

CHAMPIONSHIP
(Winner earns gold, loser gets silver)

United States def. Mexico, 2-0 (212-194, 212-176)

SEMIFINALS
(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)

United States def. Canada, 2-1 (187-197, 214-196, 239-194)
Mexico def. Finland, 2-0 (214-143, 206-199)

MEN’S ALL-EVENTS

(18-game pinfall totals – six games of singles, doubles and team)

Gold – Ron Mohr, United States, 3,907
Silver – Marc Franceus, Belgium, 3,859
Bronze – Andrew Frawley, Australia, 3,830