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American, Finn leads WBT rankings

28th February, Arlington, Texas: A big shift in the women's rankings and a shrinking lead for Finland's Mika Koivuniemi highlight the WTBA World Bowling Tour rankings after the recently concluded United States Open.

A tightly packed field at the top of the women's rankings finds Kelly Kulick of the United States now in the lead with 207 points. Koivuniemi still leads the men's rankings with 312 points, but Mike Fagan of the United States is close behind.

After a second-place finish among the women at the U.S. Open, Kulick used the 40 points she earned in the event to move into the lead. American Missy Parkin picked up the maximum ranking points of 50 at the U.S. Open and is second with 195 points.

Liz Johnson of the United States finished third among women at the U.S. Open and has moved into fourth on the points list with 190. Previous leader Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of the United States did not compete in the event and dropped to fifth with 186 points.

Kelly Kulick
Kelly Kulick taking over a tighly-packed field

In the men's rankings, Koivuniemi only picked up four points at the U.S. Open, while Fagan earned 40 points for his second-place finish. Fagan, who has finished eighth or better in the seven previous World Bowling Tour events, is now second overall with 277 points, just 35 points back of first.

American Chris Barnes occupies the third position with 218 points, while Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte is fourth with 176 points.

Pete Weber, who earned US$60,000 for his record-breaking victory at the U.S. Open, picked up 50 points at the event and now sits in 12th place with 97 total points. It was Weber's fifth U.S. Open title.

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.

Mika Koivuniemi
Mika Koivuniemi of Finland remaining in the lead

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 2012 schedule is the 9th Kuwait International Open in Kuwait City from March 15-19.

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 by Terence Yaw and courtesy of Hero Noda.

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