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American, Finn tops WBT rankings

15th February, Arlington, Texas: After the first four events of the 2012 season, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of the United States and Mika Koivuniemi of Finland lead the World Tenpin Bowling Association World Bowling Tour rankings.

Dorin-Ballard leads a trio of American women at the top of the rankings with 186 points, while Koivuniemi leads the men's rankings with 308 points.

The World Bowling Tour points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle, so points earned in 2011 are added to points earned in 2012 to determine the points list.

Dorin-Ballard did not compete in the United States Bowling Congress Masters in Las Vegas, but picked up 35 points in the WTBA International Open in Las Vegas and six points in the International Bowling Championship 2012 supported by DHC in Japan.

Kelly Kulick of the United States competed in all three event and moved into second place with 167 points, while American Liz Johnson took the top women's ranking points at the WTBA International Open to move into third with 155 points.

Carolyn Dorin-Ballard
Carolyn Dorin-Ballard picking up 35 points in Japan

In the men's rankings, Koivuniemi failed to earn any points at the USBC Masters but rebounded to take 35 points in the WTBA International Open and 40 points in the International Bowling Championship.

Mike Fagan of the United States is second with 237 points, while Chris Barnes of the United States is third with 195 points. However, Barnes and American Walter Ray Williams Jr. advanced to the top-three finals (along with Johnson) of the WTBA International Open next month and one of those two players will add 10 points to their total for winning.

The recently concluded International Bowling Championship featured the largest prize fund in the short history of the World Bowling Tour, with combined prizes of approximately US$390,000 for both men and women.

Mika Koivuniemi
Mika Koivuniemi of Finland remaining in the lead

Tommy Jones of the United States won the menís division, while Cherie Tan of Singapore took the women's title. Both players earned about US$77,500 for their victories.

The World Bowling Tour is made up of various events around the world and players earn points based on how they finish in each event. The top three men and top three women will be invited to compete in the World Bowling Tour Finals presented by the Professional Bowlers Association at the end of 2012.

The World Bowling Tour Finals will feature a total prize fund of US$70,000. The top three men and top three women will bowl a stepladder finals format in their respective divisions. The prize money for each division is the same, with the winner taking US$20,000, second place earning US$10,000 and third place winning US$5,000.

The next event on the World Bowling Tour schedule is the United States Open in North Brunswick, N.J., from February 20-26.

The World Tenpin Bowling Association, which is made up of 115 bowling federations, governs the sport throughout the world. For more information on WTBA and the World Bowling Tour, visit www.worldtenpinbowling.com.

Photos courtesy of Hero Noda.

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