Semifinalists set at 2017 QubicaAMF World Cup in Mexico

Men's standings | Women's standings

HERMOSILLO, Mexico - The eight semifinalists have been determined at the 2017 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup, and some great storylines are taking shape.

The action will unfold live Saturday on BowlTV, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. The championship round also will be shown live locally on Hermosillo's Telemax (Channel 6).

Headlining the list of eight players still in contention at this year's QubicaAMF World Cup is defending champion Jenny Wegner of Sweden, who is looking to become the fourth woman to successfully defend her title. The last was Colombia's Clara Guerrero in 2015.

Wegner averaged nearly 223 through 40 games this week at Bol 300 to earn the No. 1 seed on the women's side with a 9,004 pinfall total, which included 90 bonus pins for each of her three wins in match play.

The 23-year-old right-hander will take on No. 4 Siti Rahman of Malaysia (8,826) in the first women's semifinal Saturday, while No. 2 Rocio Restrepo of Colombia (8,988) and No. 3 Krizziah Lyn Tabora of the Philippines (8,979) will meet immediately after. The winners will bowl for the title.2017WorldCupSemifinalWomenForWeb250x140

"I'm disappointed that I bowled so bad the last five games, but I'm grateful I had a lot of pins from before," said Wegner, who won in her World Cup debut last year in Shanghai. "Right now, I'm tired, but looking forward to tomorrow. It's going to be a lot of fun, and hopefully, I can bowl well enough to win again."

Team USA's Erin McCarthy had an outside chance at making the top four heading into Friday's final game, but the 27-year-old right-hander finished in fifth place with 8,713.

2017WorldCupSemifinalMenForWeb250x140On the men's side, the lead changed hands many times during the two rounds Friday, with Venezuela's Ildemaro Ruiz Jr. finishing as the top seed for the semifinals with a 40-game total of 8,966.

With one game to go before the cut to the top eight, Ruiz was below the cutline, but a 289 effort in the finale catapulted him into fifth place. He took control during match play, posting a 6-2 record, and now will face Colombia's Oscar Rodriguez (8,903) in the first men's semifinal.

The second semifinal will feature No. 2 Ahmad Muaz of Malaysia (8,961) against No. 3 Jakob Butturff of the United States (8,906). The two semifinal winners will square off in the title tilt.

Going into the position round at the end of match play, Butturff was in fifth place, 35 pins out of the cut, but a 277-197 win against Belgium's Mats Maggi secured the 23-year-old left-hander a spot in the semifinals.

"When you bowl 100 games in two weeks, not including practice, it's mentally and physically draining, but you still have to step up when given an opportunity to be clutch," said Butturff, who was the top qualifier by more than 600 pins after 56 games at the recent U.S. Open, where he finished second to former Team USA member Rhino Page. "I knew I need to step it up the last two games to give myself a chance, and I did it, shooting 523. Right now, I'm relieved and looking forward to getting some rest, so I can give it my all tomorrow."

Along with Wegner's quest to repeat as World Cup champion, Colombia and Malaysia both are looking to become the second country to sweep the titles. Sweden achieved the feat in 1986.

A win for Ruiz would be the first World Cup title for Venezuela, and Rahman is looking to become the first woman from Malaysia to win, a challenge she is familiar with after becoming the first Malaysian to win a title on the Professional Women's Bowling Association earlier this year.

Butturff has his sights set on the 19th World Cup victory for Team USA. A win would mean successfully defending the title Derek Eoff won in Hermosillo in 2008.

It took an average of 213.38 to advance to the top eight on the women's side, with Mexico's Maribel Orozco earning the final spot with a 6,828 total. For the men, Germany's Oliver Morig was the final player to advance, posting a 32-game total of 6,905, a 215.78 average.

The field this week started with 64 men and 54 women, representing 68 countries, and all competitors rolled 24 games of qualifying over four days, before the being cut to the top 24 men and top 24 women for eight more games.

After 32 games, total pinfall determined the eight men and eight women who advanced to match play. Their 40-game totals, including bonus pins, determined the semifinalists.

This year marks the record third time the World Cup has visited Hermosillo (1994, 2008) and sixth time Mexico has played host.

Two Mexicans have won the World Cup. Irma Urrea won in Hamburg, Germany, in 1972, the first time women competed, and Alfonso Rodriguez took the title in Seoul, South Korea, in 1985.

Mexico's representatives, Orozco and Arturo Estrada, finished eighth and ninth, respectively, with Estrada missing match play by just three pins. He left the 4-6-7 split on the fill ball of his final game. A strike would've forced a roll-off for the final spot in match play.

Orozco turned in a 2-6 match-play record on the way to an 8,413 pinfall total for the week, including bonus pins.

The World Cup first was contested in 1965, and the tournament now is considered one of the sport's most prestigious singles titles. It also is recognized as the largest event in the sport in terms of number of countries competing.

For more information about the 2017 QubicaAMF World Cup, visit