Troup, Zavjalova lead after first day at 2018 QubicaAMF World Cup

LAS VEGAS - Despite many clutch and memorable moments on bowling's biggest stages, Team USA's Kyle Troup and Diana Zavjalova of Latvia admitted to being to being pretty nervous as they started qualifying at the 2018 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup.

Both players had trouble putting together the words to describe the feeling of stepping onto the approach at the Sam's Town Bowling Center while wearing the colors of their respective countries, so they let their performances speak for themselves on the way to the top of the standings after the first of three days of qualifying.

All rounds of the 2018 QubicaAMF World Cup are being broadcast live on BowlTV.

Troup, a first-time Team USA member, paced the 81-player men's field Tuesday with an eight-game total of 1,963, a 245.38 average. He was followed by Colombia's Andres Gomez and Jojoe Yannaphon of Thailand, who tied with 1,882.2018WCMenBlock1Top3ForWeb250x140

"Being able to represent the United States at the World Cup is such an honor, especially going through the opening ceremony last as the home representative," said Troup, who owns three Professional Bowlers Association Tour titles. "That was something I've never experienced before and such a special feeling. I put the jersey on this morning and looked in the mirror, and the feelings were indescribable. I definitely had some jitters the first game on the World Cup stage, but I luckily was able to shake those off and have a good start to the week."

The 27-year-old two-hander, who attacks the lanes from the right side, had a high game of 279 and a low game of 225, and the performance was assurance that his recent hard work is paying off.

Troup didn't bowl as well as he'd hope during the recent FloBowling PBA Fall Swing and U.S. Open, so he spent some extra time before the World Cup working on his game.

"It's great to be able to come out and lead on the first day, especially on the home turf, because it sets the stage and lets everyone know I'm here and ready," Troup said. "I had a quick tuneup with (Storm ball rep) Jim Callahan in Wichita to help get my hand back doing the right thing, and working with (Team USA head coach) Rod (Ross) today was helpful in staying ahead of the moves and really keeping my head in it."

Team USA's Jakob Butturff won the men's title at the 2017 World Cup in Hermosillo, Mexico, so successfully defending that victory will be a thought in the back of Troup's mind this week.

Krizziah Lynn Tabora of the Philippines joined Butturff in hoisting the coveted World Cup trophy last year, but she is not in Las Vegas to defend her title. This time, the Philippines is being represented by Marie Alexis Sy, who finished the first round in 17th place with a 1,599 total.

Zavjalova celebrated her return to the World Cup on Tuesday with 1,749 eight-game total, an average of more than 218. She is looking to improve on a pair of top-eight finishes in 2009 and 2010.

At that point in her young career, Zavjalova primarily was bowling for Latvia, but later went on to star at Webber International University.

She now is a standout on the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour, where owns three PWBA Tour titles, including a win at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Queens. She also turned in a breakout performance at the 2013 USBC Queens for her first major title.

2018WCWomenBlock1Top4ForWeb250x140The 27-year-old right-hander was followed in the 68-player women's field Tuesday by fellow PWBA champion Sin Li Jane of Malaysia (1,732), Nadine Geissler of Germany (1,722) and Team USA's Shannon O'Keefe (1,684).

"My goal this week is to win, but it's not a sprint, it's a marathon," Zavjalova said. "There's plenty of games left, so I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but I'm very happy to be in this position. I'm actually a little surprised to be the leader, though. I threw some really good shots, but I also threw some really bad ones. It was tricky from pair to pair, so it was a bit of a roller coaster."

O'Keefe, a 14-time member of Team USA and first-time World Cup participant, also struggled with consistency Tuesday at the Sam's Town Bowling Center, so she was surprised to hear she finished the first day of qualifying among the top four in the standings.

"I was fighting some physical issues all day, and my look would come and go," said O'Keefe, the reigning PWBA Player of the Year. "Things would be really good for five or six frames, and then I'd throw a really bad one. I definitely missed some moves because I just wasn't sharp, but I fought and grinded the entire day. And, thank goodness I'm a really good spare shooter, because it could've been much worse. I don't watch scores, so I was pleasantly surprised to see where I finished. I hope to build on that tomorrow."

Competition at the 54th running of the event will resume Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, as the women take the lanes. The men will begin their second round of qualifying at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

All competitors will bowl 24 games over three days (eight games each day), and the field then will be cut to the top 24 men and top 24 women for eight additional games. After 32 games, total pinfall will determine the eight bowlers in each division for eight games of round-robin match play.

The top four men and top four women after 40 games, including bonus pins, will advance to Saturday's knockout-style semifinals, where the No. 1 seed will face the No. 4 qualifier and No. 2 and No. 3 will meet. The winners of each match will earn a spot in the championship game.

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.

This year's tournament returns to the 56-lane Sam's Town Bowling Center, where it was held in 2015, and includes representatives from 83 countries. Each country is permitted to send one man and one woman.

For more information, or to follow the scores from the QubicaAMF World Cup, visit