Germany leads, Team USA third in team at 2018 World Men's Championships

HONG KONG - The first day of team competition is complete at the 2018 World Bowling Men's Championships, and Germany tops the standings halfway through the six-game event.

The entire field bowled three games Saturday at the South China Athletic Association Bowling Centre, and the Germans set the pace with games of 1,065, 1,061 and 1,074 for a 3,200 total, a 213.33 average. Each complete team consists of five players.

France finished the day in second place with 3,195 and was followed by the United States (3,191) and Indonesia (3,084).

Team USA, the defending champion in the team event, got progressively better with each game, posting scores of 974, 1,063 and 1,154.

The top four after six games of qualifying will advance to Tuesday's semifinals.

Three-time team gold medalist Tommy Jones led the way for the United States with a 689 series and was joined by a trio of World Championships first-timers - EJ Tackett (664), Andrew Anderson (621) and Kyle Troup (611). Returning team champion Jakob Butturff completed the effort with a 606 set.

Jones and Butturff were part of the gold-medal performance in Las Vegas last year, along with Chris Barnes, who is in Hong Kong but was not in the main lineup Saturday. Barnes rolled a 633 series Saturday, as he still is able to complete the games for his all-events total.

The team event really was the first time this week all of the Team USA members had a chance to compete together and communicate, since they were spread across multiple squads for the tournament's previous events.

They also used the things they learned during singles, doubles and trios to help make final equipment and surface selections prior to the start of team.

"We had a bit of a slow start today, but we were able to rally with two big games to put us back in the thick of it," Jones said. "It definitely helps when you have all five guys there to talk through it. Even though Jakob is on the other side of the lane, we still can help him, and the other four of us all are trying to play the lanes similar, but in a way that makes sense for our games. At least the ideas can match, and it gives you more confidence when you get up there on the approach."

The top 26 teams after three games now will have a day off. The bottom portion of the field will return to the lanes Sunday for its final three games, and the leaders will complete qualifying Monday afternoon.

The remaining days of competition at the SCAA Bowling Centre also will include the medal rounds for singles, doubles and trios.

The championship round for singles will take place Saturday night, doubles will be contested Sunday night and the trios semifinals and final will be Monday night. The medal round for the team event is scheduled for Tuesday. The tournament will conclude Wednesday with the Masters final.

All 265 competitors at the 2018 World Men's Championships will bowl 24 games this week (six games in singles, doubles, trios, team), and medals (gold, silver and bronze) also will be awarded for all-events and Masters match play.

Through 21 games, Tackett tops the all-events standings with a 4,670 total, a 222.38 average. He is followed by Anderson (4,664) and Troup (4,647). Jones is 22nd with 4,377, Butturff is tied for 102nd place with 4,103 and Barnes is 167th with 3,895.

The top 24 bowlers from the all-events standings will advance to Masters match play. Denmark's Carsten Hansen and Thailand's Napatra Buspaikonkul are tied for the 24th spot with 4,374, a 208.29 average.

All qualifying rounds at the 2018 World Men's Championships are being livestreamed by World Bowling, and all medal rounds will be broadcast to the United States and Canada by FloBowling. A FloBowling subscription will be required to watch the medal rounds.

For more information on the 2018 World Men's Championships, visit