Team USA's Anderson, Troup make singles semifinals at 2018 World Men's Championships

HONG KONG - While Team USA's ultimate goal at the 2018 World Bowling Men's Championships is to win gold medals in all six disciplines - singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters competition - the most coveted is the team title.

For team members Andrew Anderson and Kyle Troup, not only are they Team USA rookies and first-timers at the World Men's Championships, they're also one-third of the group responsible for defending the team championship the United States won in 2017.

The two quickly proved they're up for the task by qualifying for the singles semifinals in their debut event on the world stage. Qualifying took place at the South China Athletic Association Bowling Centre on Sunday and Monday, while the championship round is scheduled for Dec. 1.

Anderson bowled on the tournament's opening squad and used the first perfect game of the event to propel him to 1,473 six-game total, a 245.5 average. Troup hit the lanes one squad later and staked his claim with a 1,368 effort. Then, the waiting game began.

Their numbers remained untouched through two more qualifying squads Monday, guaranteeing they would not have to bowl each other in the semifinals.

Instead, the top-seeded Anderson will meet No. 4 Dan MacLelland of Canada (1,349), and the second-seeded Troup will take on No. 3 Rafiq Ismail of Malaysia (1,361). The two winners will bowl for the gold medal, and the semifinal losers each will receive bronze medals.

Ismail bowled on the opening squad with Anderson, and MacLelland, the singles champion at the 2014 World Men's Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, bowled on Monday's first squad. MacLelland finished with a 243 game to surge into the top four.

"It's really exciting for us to get off to such a fast and for two of us to make the medal round," Anderson said. "Plus, we don't have to bowl each other, which is great. That means there's a chance for a gold-medal match with the two of us, and that would be pretty awesome."

Anderson and Troup both arrived in Hong Kong with some confidence-boosting momentum.

Shortly after his plane landed in the host city, Anderson found out he was named the 2018 Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year.

Troup's first appearance at the World Championships comes just a few days after his Team USA debut at the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup, where he led wire to wire, before losing to Australia's Sam Cooley in the championship match.

The opportunity to represent the United States at the QubicaAMF World Cup was important in helping Troup shake off the rookie nerves

"Coming into this event, I was really excited after having a great World Cup, and it has been a fun couple of days," Troup said. "I did sweat a little watching the last couple of games today, but I made the medal round, which is a great start. I'm a confidence and momentum bowler, so I couldn't have asked for more, and I hope to carry it over to doubles tomorrow."

Team USA's last singles medal came at the 2014 event, where Tommy Jones fell to MacLelland in the semifinals. Jones settled for the bronze medal, the only individual medal he earned in five World Championships appearances from 2008-2017.

This year, Jones finished 15th with a 1,295 total. Team USA's EJ Tackett was tied for 26th with 1,261, left-hander Jakob Butturff finished 73rd with 1,194 and 16-time Team USA member Chris Barnes ended the event in a tie for 201st place with 1,071.

In seven appearances in the traditional World Championships, Barnes only has earned one singles medal - a bronze in 2010. Two years later, he won gold at the 2012 World Singles Championships.

Defending champion Xander van Mazijk of the Netherlands is back in the World Championships field this year and finished tied for 116th place Monday with a 1,149.

Even more important than a pair of medals for Team USA in the first event of the tournament is what the singles success means to the team as a whole.

Anderson and Troup demonstrated their command of the 38-foot World Bowling Los Angeles oil pattern, Jones and Tackett bowled well and the entire team and coaching staff were able to take notes they hope will help as the week progresses.

"I felt like coming in, getting out to a good start was important for me and the team," Troup said. "I definitely didn't want to bowl bad in singles and create any doubt in myself. I can't wait to bowl in the medal round, but the team gold is the main goal. The key now is to build on this momentum. I think one or two of us advancing gives the whole team confidence. We've got a couple guys really matched up and a few others bowling well, so it's a great start overall."

Next up on the 2018 World Men's Championships schedule is doubles, which will begin Tuesday at 9 a.m. (Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern).

The doubles pairings for Team USA will be Troup and Butturff on Tuesday's first squad, Anderson and Tackett on Wednesday's first squad and Barnes and Jones, the defending doubles champions, on Wednesday afternoon, the final squad of doubles qualifying.

All 265 competitors at the 2018 World Men's Championships will bowl 24 games this week (six games in singles, doubles, trios, team), and medals also will be awarded for all-events and Masters match play.

The medal round for doubles is scheduled for Dec. 2, the trios medal round will be Dec. 3, the team event will conclude Dec. 4 and the Masters final will take place on the event's final day, Dec. 5.

All qualifying rounds at the 2018 World Men's Championships are being livestreamed by World Bowling, and all medal rounds will be broadcast to the United States and Canada by FloBowling. A FloBowling subscription will be required to watch the medal rounds.

For more information on the 2018 World Men's Championships, visit