Korea's Kang wins Masters at 2014 World Men's Championships

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - The 2014 World Bowling Men's Championships came to a close Sunday in Abu Dhabi as Kang Heewon of Korea claimed the Masters gold medal with a win over Team USA's Mike Fagan at Zayed Sports City's Khalifa International Bowling Centre.

It was the second consecutive day Kang stepped up in the 10th frame with the gold medal on the line, and both times, he found his way to the top of the medal stand. His 213-198 win over Fagan on Sunday gave him top honors in Masters and team.

Kang maintained a double-digit lead throughout the finale and capitalized on splits from Fagan in the seventh and ninth frames, despite a split of his own in the ninth. He locked up the win with a strike in the final frame.

"The focus for us this week was on the team event, so winning Masters was an unexpected surprise," Kang said. "I am really happy with this finish."

The loss gave Fagan his fourth silver medal of the 2014 World Men's Championships, three of which - trios, team and Masters - came down to the final frame. He also claimed the silver medal in all-events.

"I am really proud of our team's performance this week, even though we fell short of some goals," Team USA coach Rod Ross said. "We put ourselves in a good position by getting to the medal rounds, but then anything can happen. It was nice to see all of the great bowlers from around the world and some great performances when it mattered most."

2014WMCMastersFinalists250x140Fagan started his semifinal match against top-seeded Choi Bokeum of Korea with four consecutive strikes and looked like he'd win unchallenged as Choi opened twice in the first four frames.

Choi then struck five consecutive times and had a chance to win with one more strike after Fagan left a 2-8-10 split in the ninth frame and failed to double in the 10th. Choi left a 7 pin on his first attempt, and his run came to an end.

The left-hander averaged more than 237 this week and outdistanced the field by 222 pins after 37 games, including bonus pins. He earned gold medals in doubles, team and all-events to go along with his Masters bronze medal.

Kang had a slightly quieter path to the final as he opened with four strikes and held off his teammate, Park Jongwoo, for a 231-190 win.

Park also earned a bronze medal for his Masters finish to go along with gold medals in doubles and team.

All 24 Masters competitors bowled six games Sunday morning, and their 30-game pinfall totals determined who advanced to the top eight for round-robin match play. The top eight bowled seven matches with 20 bonus pins for each win.

A total of 272 competitors from 49 countries competed at the World Men's Championships this week, bowling for medals in singles, doubles, trios, team and all-events before the cut to the top 24 for the Masters. All-events medals, as well as the cutline for the top 24, were based on 24-game pinfall totals.

Each event included six games, before the field was cut to the top four for the semifinals. Semifinal winners then bowled for the gold medals, while losers each earned bronze medals.

The 2014 World Men's Championships featured two lane conditions - the 43-foot Tokyo pattern and 38-foot Atlanta pattern.

Singles was contested on the Tokyo, doubles was bowled on Atlanta and trios and team competition both included three games on each pattern. Masters competition featured Tokyo on the left lane and Atlanta on the right lane.

Korea topped the medal table this week with eight medals overall, including four gold and four bronze.

The 2014 World Men's Championships marked the event's first visit to Abu Dhabi since 1999.

All rounds of the event were broadcast live on BOWL.com's BowlTV.

For more information on the World Men's Championships, visit the official website of the event at adwtbc.com.

Khalifa International Bowling Centre
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Sunday's Masters results


(Winner earns gold, loser gets silver)
Kang Heewon, Korea def. Mike Fagan, United States, 213-198


(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)

Fagan def. Choi Bokeum, Korea, 212-197
Kang def. Park Jongwoo, Korea, 231-190