Defending Champ Mika Koivuniemi Leads Senior U.S. Open

by Jerry Schneider, Professional Bowlers Association 0

LAS VEGAS (June 10, 2019) – Boosted by a 300 game, defending champion Mika Koivuniemi of Finland, began his Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm title defense Monday at the Suncoast Bowling Center with the first-round lead in the season’s third major for players 50 and over.

The PBA Hall of Famer, who was inducted into the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in May, bowled a 1,465 six-game pinfall total (244 average) with games of 203, 253, 300, 229, 234 and 246 to hold a 63-pin lead over fellow countryman Kimmo Lehtonen in second with 1,402.

“I don’t think I bowled 10 bad shots the whole round and when you do that it makes everything else easier,” said the 52-year-old Koivuniemi, who owns three Go Bowling! PBA Tour major titles including the 2001 U.S. Open. “I was able to use the same ball and the main adjustment I had to make was in the middle of the first game when I started putting more forward roll on the ball which helped me carry the 10 pins.

“I could tell by the third or fourth frame of the third game I had a really good shot and it was probably going to be a matter of just kicking out the 10 pins and a 300 was certainly going to be possible,” the 14-time PBA Tour winner added.

As top qualifier for the stepladder finals, Koivuniemi won the 2018 Senior U.S. Open by defeating Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 259-237, in the title match for his first PBA50 Tour win.

Because of his commitments as the head bowling coach for the United Arab Emirates national bowling team, the Senior U.S. Open is the only PBA event Koivuniemi plans to bowl this year.

“For the past two months I started practicing regularly about three or four games a day, five or six games a week to get ready,” he said. “Nothing very strenuous – just enough to stay in good playing shape.”

Rounding out the top five after the first round were Jeff Johnson, Freeport, Illinois, 1,358; Don Moser, Menifee, California, 1,347, and PBA Hall of Famer and 2011 Senior U.S. Open winner Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 1,327.

A day after winning the USBC Senior Masters for his fifth PBA50 major and ninth career title, PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli is in 20th place after the first round with a 1,276 pinfall bowling games of 211, 198, 224, 193, 222 and 228.

The 57-year-old Monacelli, who is trying to become the Senior U.S. Open’s first three-time champion after winning back-to-back in 2012 and 2013, says he has had to put the Senior Masters win out of his mind in preparation for the U.S. Open.

“I need to refocus my mental concentration and keep my emotions stable,” said Monacelli, a 20-time PBA Tour winner. “There’s a lot of talent and experience out here (on the PBA50 Tour) so for me it comes down to the mental game, trusting my instincts and just figuring out how to win. Sometimes I’m so focused, I don’t even know what frame I’m in.”

Former Major League All-Star pitcher John Burkett, who has a best finish of ninth this season that came in the Northern California Classic, withdrew after the second game with a knee injury.

The Senior U.S. Open – the season’s final major – is streamed live in its entirety by PBA’s streaming partner FloBowling.  For subscription and schedule information visit

Qualifying continues Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with six-game rounds beginning at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. PT. The field will then be cut to the top 38 players for match play which will begins Friday at 8 a.m.  After Friday’s second match play round at noon, the top five players will be determined for the stepladder finals scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.


Presented by Storm

Suncoast Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Monday

FIRST ROUND (after six games)

1, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 1,465.
2, Kimmo Lehtonen, Finland, 1,402.
3, Jeff Johnson, Freeport, Ill., 1,358.
4, n-Don Moser, Menifee, Calif., 1,347.
5, ss-Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 1,327.
6, n-Tore Torgersen, Sweden, 1,318.
7, Joe Goldstein, San Bruno, Calif., 1,313.
7, n-Ron Nelson Jr., Bridgeview, Ill., 1,313.
9, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 1,312.
10, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 1,311.
11, Bob Rosenau, Redding, Calif., 1,303.
12, ss-Michael Lucente, Warren, Mich., 1,301.
13, Daniel Miyamoto, Mililani, Hawaii, 1,292.
14, Tony Johnson, Canton, Ohio, 1,291.
15, Steve Hoskins, New Port Richey, Fla., 1,287.
16, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 1,284.
17, ss-Kevin Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore., 1,282.
18, Paul Fleming, Fort Worth, Texas, 1,281.
19, Todd Kjell, Roscoe, Ill., 1,280.
20, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 1,276.
21, Noel Vazquez, Sacramento, Calif., 1,274.
22, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 1,271.
23, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 1,261.
24, Stoney Baker, Canton, Ga., 1,260.
25, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 1,259.
26, ss-Tom Baker, King, N.C., 1,258.
27, ss-Widmar Vargas, Sun City Center, Fla., 1,257.
28, Greg McDaniel, Kimball, Neb., 1,256.
29, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,244.
30, Peter Knopp, Germany, 1,242.
31, Rolando Sebelen, Dominican Republic, 1,241.
31, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 1,241.
33, ss-Henry Dawson, Elma, Wash., 1,238.
34, Robert Lawrence, Austin, Texas, 1,235.
35, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,234.
36, Dennis Horan Jr., Oakley, Calif., 1,233.
37, Blaine Weninger, Happy Valley, Ore., 1,232.
38, Todd Haney, Boiling Springs, S.C., 1,228.
39, (tie) ss-Jeff Mann Sr., Clearlake Oaks, Calif., and ss-Johnny Petraglia, Manalapan, NJ, 1,227.
41, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 1,226.
42, (tie) ss-Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., and ss-Don Blatchford, Santa Monica, Calif., 1,225.
44, (tie) ss-Junichi Yajima, Japan, and n-James Wallace, Hicksville, N.Y., 1,223.
46, (tie) Greg Thomas, Irmo, S.C., and Robert P Brown, Cody, Wyo., 1,221.
48, Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., 1,220.
49, ss-Edward Silva, Manteca, Calif., 1,218.
50, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 1,217.
51, Steven Badovinac, Parker, Colo., 1,216.
52, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 1,212.
53, ss-Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas, 1,210.
54, (tie) ss-James Storts, Westfield, Ind., and Pat Nolan, Japan, 1,209.
56, (tie) Richard Strath, Schenectady, N.Y., and Ricky Schissler, Brighton, Colo., 1,203.
58, (tie) Joseph Petrovich, Tracy, Calif., Jon DeLaney, McKinney, Texas, and Martin Bedford, Gasport, New York, 1,201.
61, (tie) Brian Menini, Brookfield, Mo., and Rob Rice, Sunnyside, Wash., 1,200.
63, Tommy Martin, Millington, Tenn., 1,199.
64, n-Dana Wright, St. Paul, Minn., 1,195.
65, ss-Skip Pavone, San Jose, Calif., 1,192.
66, Paul LeMond, Jasper, Ind., 1,189.
67, ss-Joe Salvemini, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1,188.
68, n, ss-Bill Oakes, Lawton, Okla., 1,187.
69, ss-Darryl Bower, Middletown, Pa., 1,184.
70, Doug Kempt, Arcadia, Calif., 1,183.
71, Rick Francis, Linden, Calif., 1,181.
72, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 1,180.
73, (tie) Mark Mazzulla, Brentwood, Calif., and Don Herrington, Ballston Lake, N.Y., 1,179.
75, Eric Forkel, Henderson, Nev., 1,175.
76, (tie) n-Barry Zimmerman, Grand Forks, N.D., and Wayne Garber, Modesto, Calif., 1,174.
78, ss-Christopher Keane, Cape Coral, Fla., 1,171.
79, Bill Vannoy, Lexington, S.C., 1,168.
80, Michael Duran, Banning, Calif., 1,164.
81, (tie) ss-John Dudak, Orland Park, Ill., and ss-Warren Nelson, Hemet, Calif., 1,160.
83, ss-Sammy Ventura, Syracuse, N.Y., 1,158.
84, n-Steven Smith, San Diego, 1,157.
85, n,ss-Robert Callari, Cordova, Tenn.., 1,153.
86, n-Paul Renteria, Henderson, Nev., 1,152.
87, n-Bob Baer, Henderson, Nev., 1,151.
88, n-Jerry Johnson Jr., Las Vegas, 1,150.
89, (tie) ss-Paul Mielens, Menomonie, Wis., and ss-Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 1,149.
91, n-David Waswo, Lees Summit, Mo., 1,148.
92, Bill Watson, Monroe, Ohio, 1,144.
93, n-Troy Silfies, Northglenn, Colo., 1,142.
94, (tie) Tony Rodriguez Jr., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and ss-Russ Simmons, Fontana, Calif., 1,141.
96, (tie) n,ss-Darwin Wimer, Mesquite, Nev., and John Marsala, St. Louis, Mo., 1,140.
98, ss-Steven Jansson, Barnes, Wis., 1,136.
99, Randy Peterson, Carrington, N.D., 1,133.
100, Michael Smith, Centenniel, Colo., 1,131.
101, (tie) Gary Alstott, Washington, Ill., n-Steven Jeeves, England, Gary Faulkner, Norfolk, Va., and Scott Greiner, Sunrise Beach, Mo., 1,130.
105, (tie) ss-Julius Mickel, Omaha, Neb., and n,ss-Dale Knight, Las Vegas, 1,124.
107, n-Jim Montgomery, Byron, Ill., 1,123.
108, Brian McMahon, Boca Raton, Fla., 1,119.
109, (tie) ss-Thomas Sliwinski, Reynoldsville, Pa., and Jay Hess, Gotha, Fla., 1,110.
111, ss-Takeo Sakai, Japan, 1,108.
112, ss-Ross McDonald, Las Vegas, Nev., 1,105.
113, ss-Gary Kammes, Winfield, Ill., 1,100.
114, Rodney Remmers, Moore, Texas, 1,099.
115, (tie) ss-Jerry Sikora, Huron, S.D. and n-Charles Allen Jr., Pell City, Ala., 1,098.
117, (tie) n,ss-Paul Appling, Camarillo, Calif., and ss-Stan Winters, Simi Valley, Calif., 1,096.
119, Tom Sellers, Barstow, Calif., 1,095.
120, ss-Rick Minier, Houston, 1,094.
121, n-Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1,089.
122, n-John Shreve Sr., Sheffield Village, Ohio, 1,088.
123, John Dougherty, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., 1,084.
123, n-Linda Walbaum, Brighton, Colo., 1,084.
125, n-Billy Bundza, Tucson, Ariz., 1,083.
126, Timothy Banks, Rosamond, Calif., 1,082.
127, Mark Abraham, Lansing, Mich., 1,081.
128, Carlos Denot, Mexico, 1,077.
129, n-Jeff Atkins, Hot Springs Village, Ark., 1,076.
130, ss-Tom Carter, Columbus, Ohio, 1,075.
131, ss-Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 1,070.
132, Joe Beck, Montgomery, Ala., 1,062.
133, n-Steven Atkinson, Hollywood Park, Texas, 1,060.
134, Cephas Hensley, Jonesboro, Tenn., 1,059.
135, n-John Hricsina Jr., Las Vegas, 1,055.
136, Carl West, San Jose, Calif., 1,048.
137, ss-Don Lane, San Francisco, 1,045.
138, Ron Hosler, Denver, 1,038.
139, ss-Terry Metzner, Kentwood, Mich., 1,037.
140, ss-Garry Blanton, Owensboro, Ky., 1,032.
141, ss-Glen Nakagawa, Highland Village, Texas, 1,029.
142, n-Rolly Sebelen, Dominican Republic, 1,019.
143, ss-Brian Miller, Springfield, Ohio, 1,013.
144, Jack Wofford, Flagstaff, Ariz., 1,011.
145, n-Michael Mellick, Whittier, Calif., 1,010.
146, n,ss-David Graber, Las Vegas, 1,007.
147, n-Vic Karbowski, Sommerton, Ariz., 1,004.
148, n,ss-Robert Reeder, Bellefonte, Pa., 996.
149, ss-Galen Keas, Alda, Neb., 975.
150, ss-Robert Walters, North Las Vegas, Nev., 934.
151, ss-Bill Kaiser, Allen, Texas, 966.
152, John Burkett, Southlake, Texas, 327, WD.

300 games – Mika Koivuniemi

n - non-member

ss – PBA60 players ages 60 and over

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