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Finn, American tops WBT rankings

17th February, Arlington, Texas: After two events on the new World Bowling Tour presented by the World Tenpin Bowling Association, Finland's Mika Koivuniemi maintained his lead at the top of the men's rankings, while Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of the United States moved into the women's lead.

Koivuniemi, who won the season-opening tournament at the Brunswick Ballmaster Open, took third place at the second event of the season, the 2011 USBC Masters, and has a total of 85 ranking points. In the stepladder finals of the USBC Masters, which were aired nationally on ESPN, Koivuniemi lost in the semifinals to American Tom Hess, 254-219.

Sean Rash of the United States retained his second place position in the rankings with 51 points. Rash finished second to Koivuniemi at the Ballmaster Open and took 20th place at the USBC Masters.

Hess, who won the Masters with a 230-206 victory over fellow American Jack Jurek, moved into third place with 50 points, while Chris Barnes of the United States sits in fourth place with 45 points.

Mika Koivuniemi
Mika Koivuniemi leading the rankings after two stops

In the women's rankings, Dorin-Ballard is the only player who has competed in both events to open the season and has a total of 70 ranking points. She finished second among the women at the Ballmaster Open and then took fourth in the women's field at the USBC Masters.

Finland's Krista Pollanen, who earned the top ranking points at the Ballmaster Open, is tied for second place with American Kelly Kulick with 50 points. Kulick topped the women's field at the USBC Masters and finished 29th overall.

Liz Johnson of the United States sits in third place with 40 points after finishing second among the women at the USBC Masters.

Carolyn Dorin-Ballard
Carolyn Dorin-Ballard taking over the lead

The World Bowling Tour is made up of various events around the world throughout the course of 2011. Players earn points based on how they finish in the event and those points will be tabulated throughout the season to determine the top three men and top three women who will be invited to compete in the World Bowling Tour Finals presented by the Professional Bowlers Association.

The next stop on the World Bowling Tour is the 68th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open from February 21-27 in North Brunswick, N.J. The fourth stop of the season is the Brunswick Euro Challenge from March 4-13 in Saint Maximin, France.

The Tour continues with the Kuwait Open from March 18-22 in Kuwait City, Kuwait. The fall swing includes a stop in Bangkok, Thailand, from September 24-30 and wraps up with the AMF Australian Masters from October 10-22 in Sydney, Australia.

The World Bowling Tour finals are scheduled to take place at the PBA's World Series of Bowling in late 2011 and will feature a total prize fund of US$40,000. The event will be aired nationally in the United States.

The World Tenpin Bowling Association, which is made up of more than 100 bowling federations, governs the sport throughout the world. For more information on WTBA and the World Bowling Tour, visit www.worldtenpinbowling.com.

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