Dominican Republic (Feb. 18-22, 2009)
After three days of competition, Venezuela's Arturo Hernandez (pictured left) and Alicia Marcano emerged as the winners in the men's and women's division of the American Zone Ranking Final 2009 at Cibao Bowling Center in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.
The top 8 players in each division qualified for the 2009 World Ranking Masters in Naples, Italy, from April 27 through May 3, 2009.
Hernandez was 14th after the first 8-game block on short oil (1639), leaped to 7th after the second block on long oil (1718) and finished atop the leaderboard after the third block on dual lane condition (1851) with 5208 24-game total and an average of 217.00.
Hernandez beat last year's ranking final winner, Lucas Legnani (right), Argentina, who led after 23 games, in the final game 248 to 196 to earn the top spot by 13 pins. Legnani finished second with 5195. Mark Buffa, Canada, who led the 36-player field after 16 games, was mere one pin behind Legnani in third place with 5194.
Places four and five belonged to Ildemaro Ruiz (left) and Day one leader Rafael Medina, both Venezuela, with 5116 and 5087, respectively. Chris Viale, the sole player from the United States, ended in sixth position with 5065.
Three players from the host country Dominican Republic, Arnaldo Mercado, Fidel Marchena and Rolando Antonio Sebelen battled it out for the final spots for Naples. Marcado secured 7th place with games of 236 and 203 and a 4963 pinfall total. Trailing Sebelen by three pins heading into the final game, Marchena (right) beat his compatriot 212 to 198, to help grab the 8th and final spot with 4955 to 4944.
Alicia Marcano (pictured left) took a different route to the women's title. The Venezuelan national team member took the lead after the first block on short oil (1839) and never looked back. She added 1656 on the long pattern and held a comfortable 178-pin lead heading into the final day. Marcano cruised to the title with the field-best 1759 series on the short and long pattern. Her 5254 24-game total, an average of 218.92, was the highest of all 57 competitors, men and women.
Sofia Granda, Guatemala, who was second since the first block maintained that position with 1658 on Saturday and a 4975 pinfall total. Last year's winner Aumi Guerra (right), Dominican Republic, came up strong with 1723 on the dual lane condition to finish in third place with 4956.
Alicia's sister Karen Marcano slipped to fourth place with 4926. Fifth place belonged to Rocio Restrepo (left), Colombia, who was the last player with a 200-plus average, with 4801 (200.04).
Rounding out the top 8 women were Edissa Andrade, Panama (4790), Luz Adriana Leal, Colombia (4766) and Mariangie Colon, Puerto Rico (4670).
The American Zone Ranking Final 2009 concluded the 2008 Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON) ranking season. Since 2006, PABCON, formerly the WTBA American Zone, is divided geographically into five regions, North, Central, Caribbean, South 1 and South 2.The top 12 men and the top 12 women from the 2008 rankings in each of the five regions qualified for the American Zone Ranking Final to determine the top 8 men and 8 women, who will represent America in the 2009 World Ranking Masters in Naples, Italy.
All players bowled 24 games over three days, 8 games on the short oil pattern on Thursday, eight games on the long oil pattern on Friday and eight games on dual lane condition (short/long) on Saturday. The 24-game total determined the final standings.