U.S. Men Win Doubles at 2017 World Bowling Senior Championships

by Matt Cannizzaro, USBC Communications 0

ARLINGTON, Texas – United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III of Jackson, New Jersey, and Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pennsylvania, both threw three strikes in their final frames to claim the doubles gold medal Friday at the 2017 World Bowling Senior Championships in Germany.

The duo downed their Team USA teammates, USBC Hall of Famer Lennie Boresch Jr. of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Ron Mohr of North Las Vegas, Nevada, 439-427, at Dream-Bowl Palace, just outside Munich. Boresch and Mohr earned the silver medal.

Bohn and Learn held a two-pin lead as the anchor bowlers stepped up to close out the match. Learn, who was working on a strike, struck for the first time on the right lane to extend the margin and force Mohr to match his effort for a chance at the victory.

Mohr left a 4 pin on his second offering after a strike to start the 10th frame, and Learn added another strike to lock up the gold medal, the first of Bohn’s international career.

Bohn led the way in the championship match with a 233 effort, while Learn finished with 206. Boresch had 234 in the loss, and Mohr added 193.

“This is an unbelievable feeling, and when Bob threw the second strike in the 10th to clinch it for us, I can’t tell you how gratifying it was to see all 10 pins go down to win us the gold medal,” said Bohn, who was a member of Team USA in 2008. “It has been a dream of mine to stand on the podium and hear our national anthem, either because of something I did or because of something I was a part of. I’ve won a lot of things in the bowling world, but this is on a whole different level.”

The win was the second for Learn at the World Senior Championships. He helped the United States to the team gold medal at the 2015 event in Las Vegas.

“I knew I had control of the pocket on that lane, but we could not win unless I was able to throw a strike,” Learn said. “I moved a half board and got my hand around it a little more to get the ball to finish. As soon as I let go of it, I knew it was good, and it’s a great feeling because that’s what we practice for. I have a partner who set up the 10th for us, and it’s always a great feeling to seal the deal with a great shot. When shots matter that much, and you’re able to perform, that’s what it’s all about.”

Both men’s teams from the United States advanced to the doubles final relatively unchallenged.

Learn (222) and Bohn (173) defeated Canada’s Richard Lafleur (177) and Joe Ciach (157) in the first semifinal, 395-334, while Boresch (202) and Mohr (200) eased past Australia’s Shaun Cummings (182) and Andrew Frawley (139) by a final score of 402-321.

On the women’s side, USBC Hall of Famers Leanne Hulsenberg of Pleasant View, Utah, and Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colorado, came up short in the bid for the sweep, falling to Canada’s France Joubert and Jill Friis, 401-390.

Hulsenberg was looking to celebrate her 50th birthday with the doubles gold medal, while Johnson was searching for some redemption after struggling during the qualifying portion of the event.

The two led by 22 pins heading into the 10th frame of the final, but Hulsenberg (196) was unable to convert the 4-10 split, and Johnson (194) failed to strike, giving the Canadians the opportunity to take the gold.

Friis hadn’t struck through the first eight frames but was able to close the match with four strikes for a 195 game. Joubert, who tossed four consecutive strikes after starting the gold-medal match with a 1-2-4-10 washout, contributed a 206 game to the winning performance.

“We got really, really close to having a chance to win the gold medal, but a couple of bad breaks stopped us in the match with Canada,” Hulsenberg said. “It’s a little disappointing but still a lot of fun to compete on your birthday. The team stuff is going really well, though, so we’re hoping to be able to come away with the gold medal in team.”

Johnson (249) and Hulsenberg (221) earned their spot in the final with a 470-343 win over Mexico’s Teresa Piccini (176) and Margarita Ramos (167).

In the other semifinal, Friis (213) and Joubert (203) topped Lynda Barnes (185) and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (175) by a final score of 416-360.

The doubles medal presentation is scheduled for Saturday.

Competition at Dream-Bowl Palace continues Saturday with the second half of qualifying in the team event, after which, six-game pinfall will determine the four teams in each division that advance to Saturday night’s semifinals.

At the halfway point on the men’s side, Mexico leads with a 2,437 total, the United States is second with 2,433, Belgium is third with 2,410 and Canada is fourth with 2,406.

Learn set the pace for the USA men with a 631 series. He was followed by Boresch (611), Bohn (602) and Mohr (589).

On the women’s side, the United States is out to a commanding lead with a 2,489 total.

Hulsenberg led the way with a 649 series and was followed by Johnson (636), Dorin-Ballard (614) and Barnes (590).

Sweden is second with 2,307, Canada is third with 2,234 and Australia is fourth with 2,181.

The end of the team event Saturday also will determine the gold, silver and bronze all-events medalists and the 24 players in each category advancing to Masters competition.

Competition 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
Friday’s Results

WOMEN’S DOUBLES

CHAMPIONSHIP
(Winner earns gold, loser gets silver)

France Joubert/Jill Friis, Canada def. Leanne Hulsenberg/Tish Johnson, United States, 401-390.

SEMIFINALS
(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)

Joubert/Friis def. Lynda Barnes/Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, United States, 416-360
Hulsenberg/Johnson def. Teresa Piccini/Margarita Ramos, Mexico, 470-343

MEN’S DOUBLES

CHAMPIONSHIP
(Winner earns gold, loser gets silver)

Parker Bohn III/Bob Learn Jr., United States def. Lennie Boresch Jr./Ron Mohr, United States, 439-427

SEMIFINALS
(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)

Bohn/Learn def. Richard Lafleur/Joe Ciach, Canada, 395-334
Boresch/Mohr def. Shaun Cummings/Andrew Frawley, Australia, 402-321