Tackett, Johnson Win WBT Finals

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ARLINGTON, Texas – EJ Tackett and Liz Johnson both struck in the final frame to lock up victories in the World Bowling Tour Finals, which was taped in January and broadcast Sunday.

The finals featured the top three bowlers on the World Bowling Tour points list competing for a special prize fund at the International Training and Research Center.

Tackett took down Anthony Simonsen, 233-232, in the men’s final, while Johnson defeated Danielle McEwan, 246-223, to win the women’s event.

The event utilized World Bowling’s current frame scoring system where a strike equaled 30 pins, a spare equaled 10 pins plus the pinfall of the first shot and an open equaled the pinfall for the frame.

After trailing early in the match, Tackett turned things around with strikes in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames. However, a 4-6-10 split in the ninth frame nearly derailed his chances of winning.

Simonsen, throwing a two-handed back-up ball, stepped up and could have struck in the ninth and 10th frames to secure the title but left a blowout eight pin in the ninth to trail by one. He struck in the final frame but that ninth-frame leave allowed Tackett to strike to win in the 10th frame.

The men’s semifinal came down to a one-pin match as well with Tackett coming out on top 243-242 against England’s Stuart Williams.

Heading into the final frame, Tackett led by one pin and Williams had a chance to strike to force Tackett to strike but left a light four pin. Tackett just needed a nine count spare to win and left and converted a four pin to advance.

The women’s title match came down to the final two frames. With the match tied at 186 after eight frames, Johnson struck in the ninth to ensure she could not be shut out in the final frame.

McEwan’s shot in the ninth frame crossed over and left a six pin. She made the spare but trailed by 11 pins. A strike in the 10th frame by McEwan would have forced Johnson to strike to win, but McEwan pulled it again, leaving the 3-6 and taking the pressure off Johnson.

Needing just eight pins to win, Johnson fired a strike to secure the victory.

In the opening match of the women’s division, Johnson struck in the final frame to defeat Daria Pajak of Poland, 242-235.

Pajak started with three strikes in a row and built a 24-pin lead but gave a big chunk of it away when she completely missed a 2-4 leave in the fourth.

Johnson continued to chip away at the deficit and threw strikes in the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth frames leading up to her clutch strike in the final frame.

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