Team USA men top Germany, advance to Baker Team semifinals at IBF World Cup


Queensland, Australia – Team USA’s men’s team of Jakob Butturff, A.J. Johnson, Kris Prather and Kyle Troup defeated Germany 3-0 (269-197; 204-200; 214-188) Monday morning to advance to the Baker Team semifinals at the 2022 International Bowling Federation World Cup at Suncity Tenpin Bowl in Queensland, Australia.

The win moved the Americans into the final four and earned them a semifinal matchup with Australia, who advanced one round earlier after coming back from an 0-2 deficit to eliminate Canada 3-2.  

Men’s semifinal squads will be conducted at 7:15 p.m. CST and 9 p.m. CST Tuesday evening.

A semifinal victory over Australia will put Team USA into the gold-medal match at 2:15 a.m. CST Wednesday morning where they would face either Puerto Rico or the Philippines.

If the Americans are anywhere near as dominant Tuesday as they were during Monday’s quarterfinal against Germany, it will be extremely difficult for anyone to stop them.

Team USA took control of the quarterfinal match from the time the first shots were thrown, and the match was rarely close thereafter.

The Americans cruised to a 269-197 win in the opener, starting spare, eight-bagger to put the Germans away long before each team sent its bowler up for the 10th frame.

Game 2 was a very different story, and a strange one at that.

The Americans used the game’s first double – in the fifth and sixth frames by Troup and Butturff – and a German open to grab a 19-pin lead after six frames.

However, Team USA wouldn’t record another strike until Troup delivered again in the ninth. The drought allowed the Germans to keep the game within reach heading into the 10th frame.

Nevertheless, Butturff had a chance to lock the Germans out with a strike on his first ball. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as his flush pocket hit left a ringing 7 pin.

German anchor bowler Patrick Weichert then stepped up and delivered the first strike in the tenth for his team.

Suddenly, Team USA was in jeopardy.

If Butturff converted the spare and struck on his fill ball, the Americans would finish at 205. The Germans, meanwhile, could ride two more Weichert strikes all the way to 207.
Weichert was the first to act, and he delivered a high-flush strike to put the advantage strongly in Germany’s favor.

Even though the final outcome was no longer in his control, Butturff could still convert his spare to force Weichert to get good count on the fill ball.

Butturff did his job, covering the 7 pin to make the math very simple: eight to tie, nine or better to win for Germany.

That’s when the unthinkable happened.

After delivering solid strikes on his first two balls in the tenth, Weichert’s third shot sailed to the outside, way outside, taking just three pins off the right to send the stunned Germans across the finish line with a score of 200.

Now, Butturff suddenly found himself back in the position of having the game riding on him. This time, he was more than up to the task.

Needing just five to tie or six or better to win, Butturff hit the pocket and left another 7 pin. This one didn’t bother him, however, as it was more than enough to give Team USA the unusual win (204-200) and a 2-0 advantage in the race to three.

It would have been difficult for Game 3 to match the drama from the previous game, and it didn’t; instead, Team USA started spare, double, spare, turkey to take a 47-pin lead by the seventh frame.

The Americans’ situation got slightly less secure after a 4-6-7 split led to an open – Team USA’s only open of the match - in the ninth frame.

Unfortunately for the Germans, they were simply too far behind for it to make difference.

When the final shots were thrown, Team USA had won again, this time by a final score of 214-188. The win gave the Americans the 3-0 sweep and a berth in Tuesday night’s semifinals against the hosts from Australia.

Butturff attributes Monday’s impressive performance against Germany to good strategy and a great bond between teammates.

“A.J (Johnson), Kris (Prather) and I bowled together in Dubai last year, and adding Kyle (Troup) to the team this year has just a huge asset,” Butturff said. “We’ve built very good chemistry this week, and we’ve figured out how to all stay ahead of the moves.

“We just need to stay patient, make our spares and try to keep stay on top of what the lanes are doing. We came here to win, and we feel like we’re in very good shape heading into the next round.”