Dom Barrett, Danielle McEwan Win World Bowling Tour Finals Championships


After traversing the globe competing against the top bowlers in the world over a span of two years, England’s Dom Barrett and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., emerged as the winners of the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals at Woodland Bowl. The finals, presented by the Professional Bowlers Association, aired Sunday on ESPN.

Using an experimental World Bowling scoring system, Barrett, a four-time PBA Tour champion and top qualifier for the three-man finals, rolled a one-of-a-kind perfect game in defeating five-time PBA Tour winner Mike Fagan of Berkley, Calif., 300-256, to win his first WBT Finals championship.

The unique WBT scoring system retained the traditional 10-frame scoring format, but awarded 30 pins for a strike, 10 pins for a spare plus the pinfall of the first shot in the frame, and actual pinfall for an open frame. For a spare, for example, if the player knocked down eight pins on his/her first ball and then converted the spare, he/she earned 18 pins for the frame. If a player left a split or missed a spare and got only nine pins for both shots in the frame, his/her score for that frame was nine.

The maximum score under the World Bowling system is still 300 – based on 10 consecutive strikes - and there is no extra shot or bonus pins in the 10th frame.

Various versions of bowling’s traditional scoring system have been tested by World Bowling, the international governing body for tenpin bowling in the eyes of the International Olympic Committee, in an effort to create a scoring system that will be more easily understood by those who aren’t familiar with the traditional bowling system. An experimental “best frame” system – similar to the system golf uses in Ryder Cup competition – was showcased in last year’s WBT Finals held in Las Vegas.

For bowling the first-ever perfect game under the experimental format, the PBA awarded Barrett its traditional $10,000 bonus for the 300 game.

“That was pretty cool,” Barrett said, referring both to his unique 300 game and his victory. “It was a long two years getting to that point. The scoring format was irrelevant to me. I just had to throw strikes to get the best score I could. I just trusted if I bowled the best game I could, I’d win.”

Barrett said he liked the idea behind the new scoring system.

“I think the idea behind it is great, trying to get us into the Olympics,” he said. “If it helps get (bowling) more onto the international stage, the more people who understand it, the better. The reasons behind (the modified scoring system) are all very good reasons.”

In the women’s final, McEwan won her first WBT Finals championship by defeating 2014 WBT Finals winner and 2016 top qualifier Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., 256-243, throwing six strikes worth 30 pins each and four nine-count spares, each worth 19 pins. McEwan was able hold off Kulick who had one less strike, four nine-count spares and, the difference-maker, a seven-count spare.

“It’s a long process to get here and that’s what makes the win all that much better, looking back on what I had to do to get there,” said McEwan, who also spoke in favor of the scoring system.

“I liked it; it almost made me not pay attention to the score,” she said. “I didn’t watch my opponent as much because throwing a string of strikes didn’t matter. I just had to focus on each shot I made.

“I’m curious to see how people react to it, like my dad, who isn’t a bowler. I want to see if it’s easier for him to understand.”

In the men’s semifinal match Fagan defeated three-time reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte, 265-256. Both players threw seven strikes in the match, but after Belmonte left the 4-10 split in his 10th frame and failed to convert, Fagan threw his seventh strike for the win.

In the women’s semifinal, McEwan, the No. 2 qualifier, defeated No. 3 Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., 256-233, out-striking Johnson 6-4 for the difference.

The players earned their berths in the finals as the top point-earners in PBA International-World Bowling Tour events over a two-year rolling WBT points competition.


Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Sunday


Men’s Division Final Standings

1, Dom Barrett, England, *$30,000.

2, Mike Fagan, Berkley, Calif., $10,000.

3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $5,000.

*Includes $10,000 bonus for 300 game


Stepladder Results (based on modified WBT scoring system awarding 30 pins per strike, 10 pins plus first-ball count for spares, and actual pinfall for open frames)

Semifinal -  Fagan def. Belmonte, 265-256.

Final - Barrett def. Fagan, 300-256.

Women’s Division Final Standings

1, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., $20,000.

2, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., $10,000.

3, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., $5,000.

Stepladder Results (based on modified WBT scoring system awarding 30 pins per strike, 10 pins plus first-ball count for spares, and actual pinfall for open frames)

Semifinal – McEwan def. Johnson, 256-233.

Final – McEwan def. Kulick, 256-243.