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After making several appearances in medal rounds throughout the 2018 World Bowling Men’s Championships, Canada finally made it to the top of the medal stand Wednesday in the event’s final competition.
Canada’s Mitch Hupe swept Team USA’s Kyle Troup, 2-0, to win the gold medal in Masters match play at the South China Athletic Association Bowling Centre in Hong Kong. His teammate, Francois Lavoie, also won Masters gold for Canada at the last World Championships in 2017.
In the gold-medal match, Hupe, who was a rookie on the 2018 PBA Tour, won the opening game in the best-of-three match in overtime after he tied Troup with 192. In the one ball roll-off, Hupe struck while Troup got nine.
Hupe had a chance to avoid overtime in the final frame of the opening match, but he left a 10 pin, converted it and then got nine on the fill for the tie.
Hupe won the second game, 202-190, however, Troup had a chance to force another tie with three strikes in the final frame. Troup left a four pin on his first shot to send Hupe to the top of the podium.
"We bowled pretty well here as a team, so it was pretty disappointing to come so close so many times and not come away with a gold medal before today," Hupe said. "This definitely is a nice way to end the week and being able to successfully defend the title was pretty cool. I think this tournament emphasizes that we are being a team to take note of, and we'll continue working to improve."
It was a tough road to the gold medal for Hupe, who qualified for the Masters match play as the No. 20 seed in the all-events standings. He received no byes and had to bowl every round.
In his opening match, Hupe defeated fellow PBA bowler JoJoe Yannaphon, 2-1, before then taking down all-events winner and No. 1 seed EJ Tackett of the United States, 2-0. In the third round of match play, Hupe upset No. 2 seed Andrew Anderson of the United States, 2-1, despite falling behind 1-0 in the match.
In the semifinals, Hupe took on countryman Dan MacLelland and won that match, 2-0, on wins of 199-176 and 224-221. Troup, meanwhile, defeated Ireland’s Christopher Sloan, 2-0, in the other semifinal on games of 230-226 and 245-220.
The Masters was the final event of the 2018 World Bowling Men’s Championships. To review FloBowling’s coverage of the championships, including archived videos of each medal round, click here.
Information from a news release by USBC’s Matt Cannizzaro contributed to this report.