ARLINGTON, Texas - For those who follow the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour on a weekly basis, there's no surprise to see international players at the top of the standings.
During the 2017 PWBA season, players from six countries earned titles, and at the recent World Bowling Championships in Las Vegas, the top PWBA players had another opportunity to showcase their talents.
They did not disappoint, as PWBA members claimed 12 medals, including three golds, at the South Point Bowling Plaza.
The 2017 World Championships brought together 176 players from 30 countries in the women's field, which featured medals in singles, doubles, trios, five-player team, all-events and Masters competition. The event kicked off at the Bowling Plaza on Nov. 24 and concluded Dec. 4.
Although the PWBA contingent missed out on the medal round in singles, the opening event of the week, they started to find their look on the 39-foot Beijing oil pattern during doubles.
Malaysia's Shalin Zulkifli and Sin Li Jane, the 2017 Pepsi PWBA Lincoln Open champion, claimed the silver medal, while Team USA's Josie Barnes and Shannon O'Keefe and defending doubles gold medalists Danielle McEwan and Kelly Kulick shared the bronze medal.
O'Keefe, McEwan and Kulick each won on Tour in 2017, and Barnes captured her first career title in 2016.
The PWBA earned its first gold medal at the 2017 event in trios as O'Keefe, McEwan and Kulick put together an inspiring effort against Germany in the finals. Indonesia's Tannya Roumimper took home a bronze medal in trios, teaming with Putty Armein and Sharon Limansantoso.
The team event often is considered the most coveted title at the World Championships, and the PWBA was well represented on the podium in 2017, with 16 of the 24 players earning medals boasting PWBA experience.
Zulkifli and Sin were joined at the Bowling Plaza by Esther Cheah, Syaidatul Hamidi, Natasha Roslan and Siti Rahman, the 2017 PWBA Wichita Open champion, in a gold-medal performance for Malaysia in team competition.
Singapore finished with the silver medal in the team event. Their PWBA representation included 2016 PWBA Rookie of the Year New Hui Fen, 2016 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open champion Cherie Tan, 2015 PWBA Lubbock Sports Open titlist Jazreel Tan, Shayna Ng and Daphne Tan. Joey Yeo was the team's sixth player.
Colombia claimed the bronze medal and also fielded a team with five PWBA players, including Tour champions Rocio Restrepo and Clara Guerrero, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Juliana Franco and Anggie Ramirez Perea. Isabella Correa rounded out the Colombian team, which shared the bronze medal with Korea.
Players at the World Championships bowled six qualifying games in each event to determine who would advance to the medal round, and the 24-game combined totals for singles, doubles, trios and team determined the medalists for all-events and top 24 competitors for Masters.
McEwan and Rahman added two more medals to their 2017 collection, winning gold and silver, respectively, in all-events for their overall efforts.
The Masters event closed the 2017 World Championships, which included best-of-three bracket matches for the 24 advancers. Twelve PWBA players advanced to Masters, and Malaysia's Sin and Singapore's Ng made one more trip to the medal round, earning silver and bronze medals.
Other PWBA members in the field at the 2017 event included: Stephanie Martins (Brazil); Miranda Panas and Felicia Wong (Canada); Birgit Poppler (Germany); Sandra Gongora, Tannya Lopez and Lilia Robles (Mexico); Mariana Ayala and Giselle Poss (Puerto Rico); Sandra Andersson, Nina Flack, Cajsa Wegner and Jenny Wegner (Sweden); Stefanie Johnson and Shannon Pluhowsky (United States); Daria Kovalova (Ukraine); and Ingellimar Beasley and Karen Marcano (Venezuela).
The 2017 World Championships was a combined men's and women's event, which happens every four years. The men's field consisted of 213 players from 36 countries.