Team USA advances in trios at 2018 World Men's Championships

HONG KONG - Andrew Anderson's personal scoring pace at the 2018 World Bowling Men's Championships may have slowed during trios Thursday and Friday, but he's still headed to his third consecutive medal round thanks to a performance that exemplified communication and teamwork.

The 23-year-old right-hander teamed with fellow World Championships first-timers EJ Tackett and Kyle Troup to earn the No. 4 seed for the trios semifinals, scheduled for Monday.

The three Team USA members finished their six games of qualifying with a 3,881 total, a 215.61 average, and will be joined in the championship round by top-seeded Park Jong Woo, Koo Seong Hoi and Kim Kyung Min of Korea (3,960), Indonesia's Billy Islam, Hardy Rachmadian and Ryan Lalisang (3,918) and Sweden's Mattias Wetterberg, Jesper Svensson and Martin Larsen (3,883).

Team USA and Korea will meet in one semifinal, and Indonesia will take on Sweden in the other. The winners then will bowl for the gold medal, while the semifinal losers share the bronze.

Tackett led the effort for the United States with a 1,324 individual total and was followed by Troup (1,322) and Anderson (1,235).

"Today was a really good team effort," Anderson said. "I haven't bowled as well the last couple of days, but thankfully, my teammates were there to hold me up, and we were able to sneak in. We could not have done this without these guys stepping up. A lot went on their shoulders. It was hard for me to grind through it, and to watch them do what they did and hold me up the way they did, was pretty cool."

Anderson's fairytale debut on the world stage began with a dominant performance in singles, which included the tournament's first perfect game. He claimed the top seed for the semifinals, where he'll be joined by Troup, the No. 2 seed.

In doubles, it was Tackett's turn to shine, and a 160-pin improvement from one event to the next helped lift him and Anderson to the No. 1 seed for the semifinals.

The two-day trios event at the South China Athletic Association Bowling Centre certainly challenged the teammates, but they were able to work together to navigate the 38-foot World Bowling Los Angeles oil pattern.

"Today actually was a bit of a struggle, I made some bad shots and my ball reaction wasn't that great, so I was fortunate to get what I got," said Tackett, who had a 703 series Thursday and a 621 set Friday. "I don't know if I missed the moves or threw bad shots that made me see the lanes the wrong way. Luckily, I was able to throw some strikes on this last pair and finish with a good score, even with a mistake in the 10th frame. From all three of us, we really grinded today to even give ourselves a chance at the medal round."

Troup rolled Team USA's highest game in trios, a 268 effort to close Thursday's three-game set, and he was able to carry that momentum into Friday's trios conclusion.

Heading into the final game, a handful of teams had a chance to make the cut, but the difference ultimately was 69 pins between Team USA and fifth-place Finland (3,812).

"It was really important finishing on a big note yesterday, and that gave us some confidence coming into today," Troup said. "We knew today was going to be a grind, being the last squad, which seems to have been a little tougher all week. We held each other up, caught some breaks when we needed them, especially the last game. Guppy (Professional Bowlers Association Tour champion Guppy Troup) always said sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, and I think we got a little of both in this set to make the medal round."

Team USA's other trios team, which included Chris Barnes, Jakob Butturff and Tommy Jones, struggled again Friday, posting games of 493, 525 and 600 for a 1,618 total. The group had 1,654 during Wednesday's first three games and finished 68th overall with a 3,274 six-game total, a 181.89 average.

Jones led the three with a 1,107 total and was followed by Butturff (1,100) and Barnes (1,067).

"The lanes have been pretty hard this week, along with some indecision and just some bad bowling, but I'm pretty excited to get out there and bowl with the rest of the guys now in the team event," Jones said. "We've been split up a little bit with the way we've been bowling and the times we've been bowling, so it will be nice to be on the same page and work together to get some more information. That should help give everyone a better look at what's going on as we try to win the team gold medal, which is the main goal for the week."

Saturday marks the start of the six-game team event and the first of the week's medal rounds.

Teams will be split across two squads - 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. local time - for three games, and the day will end with the singles semifinals and final, beginning at 7:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. Eastern). Team USA will bowl on the later team squad.

Half of the teams will return Sunday to wrap-up the six-game team event, and that will be followed by the championship round for doubles at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 a.m. Eastern).

The remaining half of the field will bowl three games of team Monday, followed by the trios semifinals and final at 6 p.m. (5 a.m. Eastern).

The medal round for the team event will take place Tuesday, and the tournament will end with the Masters final Wednesday.

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.

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