ARLINGTON, Texas - The 2011 QubicaAMF World Cup is underway, and Team USA's Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., and Diandra Asbaty of Chicago both finished the first round of qualifying comfortably in the top 10.
Jones, a 13-time Professional Bowlers Association Tour champion, is making his first World Cup appearance and turned in a 1,182 total for his five-game block at Northcliff Bowling Centre to end the day in fourth place. Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte, rolled the day's lone 300 game and averaged 255.6 on the way into the top spot with 1,278. Kimmo Lehtonen of Finland is second with 1,209, and Israel's Ben Fishler is third with 1,184.
"I felt like the day went OK," Jones said. "The lanes played a little different than they did in the practice session, a little tighter on the back part of the lane. Scores tend to be a little higher this week, so you have to make good ball choices."
Asbaty, the 2006 QubicaAMF World Cup champion, averaged 218.8 on Thursday and is tied for fifth place on the women's side with 1,094. Argentina's Mercedes Perez de la Losa leads with 1,157, defending champion Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republic is second with 1,145, and Liza Clutario of the Philippines is third with 1,124.
Asbaty said she realizes the World Cup is a marathon, and she wanted to get comfortable with the lanes and make some good ball decisions to set up the rest of the week.
"I think we did just that," Asbaty said. "We didn't crush them, but I feel like that's to come. I also think we're off to a really good start. I'm really comfortable with my ball reaction."
More than 80 countries are being represented at this year's event, and all participants will bowl 20 games of qualifying over four days before the field is cut to the top 24 men and top 24 women for eight additional games Monday.
The top eight men and top eight women after 28 games advance to the Round of 8 on Dec. 6, where the field will be paired down to the top three men and top three women for the stepladder finals Dec. 7.
For more information and scores from the 2011 QubicaAMF World Cup, visit Qubicaamf.com or click here.