Sweden's Jesper Svensson Wins WBT Thailand Title
BANGKOK, Thailand - Sweden's Jesper Svensson, a 21-year-old left-handed two- handed player, became the first three-time of 2016 when he defeated Australia's Sam Cooley, 237-213, to win the WBT Thailand title at Blu-O Rhythm and Bowl Siam Paragon.
Svensson, who became the youngest player to win the PBA FireLake Tournament of Champions earlier in the year, also won the WBT Brunswick Euro Challenge in Munich, Germany, in March. The Thailand victory was his fifth PBA Tour title and his third World Bowling Tour title in two years. Svensson also won the 2015 WBT Kingdom of Bahrain Open and the PBA Chameleon Open on his way to being selected as PBA's 2015 Rookie of the Year.
Svensson, who clinched the top qualifying berth for the eight-player modified stepladder finals with a 300 game in his final qualifying game, locked up the victory with three strikes in the 10th frame to counter Cooley's ninth-
10th frame double. Along with his title, Svensson earned one 1 million Thai baht, or roughly $32,260 U.S. dollars. Cooley, a second- year PBA Tour player, also threw a 300 in his final qualifying game to clinch the no. 2 berth for the finals.
Grand Casino Renews PBA FireLake
TOC Partnership, Adds Second Event
S H AWNEE, Okla. - T he Professional Bowlers Association's successful relationship with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Grand Casino Hotel & Resort, and FireLake Bowling Center and Arena will expand in 2017 when the Shawnee-based organizations will again host the PBA's signature event, the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions, and add a second to-be-announced summer event.
The premier event for PBA champions will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 19, with live ESPN coverage of the five-player stepladder finals staged in a special installation inside FireLake Arena. All preliminary rounds will be conducted next door at 24-lane FireLake Bowling Center.
In addition to t he Tournament of Champions, Grand Casino will host the annual PBA Hall of Fame dinner and the sponsoring organizations will partner with the PBA in creating a new tentatively-titled FireLake Oklahoma Open tournament during the summer months. Dates have not yet been determined.
"Since 2014, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Grand Casino Hotel & Resort, and FireLakeBowling Center have been outstanding partners," said PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark, "and our relationship continues to grow. The 2016 championship finals in FireLake Arena were spectacular, one of the best venues we've ever had the pleasure to work with. It's great for the PBA and its players to not only have an opportunity to return to Shawnee for the Tournament of Champions, but also for a second event we're working on right now."
Last year's pre-Super Bowl timeslot for the Tournament of Champions drew nearly one million viewers to the ESPN live broadcast. At the time, the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions finale was the highest-rated PBA telecast of the 2016 season, a 17 percent viewer increase over the previous year's TOC telecast. "Our tribal leadership is a firm supporter of
the PBA, and the growing numbers of spectators at events inside our facilities and on television show that support is well founded," said FireLake Bowling Center Director Chris Skillings. "This community loves hosting the PBA, and we're proud to bring a professional sporting event to FireLake and the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort."Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine. www.starsandstrikesbowling.com