top of page

Legends of the Lanes: 5 most successful European bowling players on PBA Tour by 'BowlingLife'

In the world of PBA bowling, numerous European players have made remarkable achievements and significant contributions. Join us in this article as we pay tribute to the 5 most successful male European bowling players of all time, who, according to 'BowlingLife' staff members, have left the most unforgettable legacy on the PBA Tour.

#5 | Thomas Larsen (Denmark)

3 PBA TOUR TITLES | 1 MAJOR TITLE

Thomas Larsen

Thomas Larsen, known for his versatility and exceptional shot-making skills, has achieved remarkable success in various international competitions, including the PBA Tour. Larsen's first two PBA Tour titles came in international events (2013 Abu Dhabi World Bowling Tour championship and the 2014 Kuwait International Open). In 2021, He claimed victory in the USBC Masters to win his first Major title, highlighting his ability to perform under pressure on the grandest stage. Larsen's dedication to the sport, a willingness to share his knowledge with fellow bowlers and his consistent high-level performance have earned him a well-deserved place among Europe's bowling greats according to 'BowlingLife' staff members.


#4 | Osku Palermaa (Finland)

5 PBA TOUR TITLES | 1 MAJOR TITLE

Osku Palermaa

Hailing from Finland, Osku Palermaa has showcased his incredible talent and unique two-handed bowling technique on numerous occasions for more than twenty years lasting bowler career. Palermaa's exceptional skill set, power and ball speed has earned him several prestigious accolades, including iconic Major title in the 2011 PBA World Championship, making him the first international player and the first two-handed bowler to win this coveted title. Worth noticing that Palermaa also became the first two-handed bowler to compete in a televised PBA Tour event (in 2004). His fierce competitiveness, charisma and style, has solidified his place among the European bowling elite.

#3 | Jesper Svensson (Sweden)

12 PBA TOUR TITLES | 1 MAJOR TITLE

Jesper Svensson

Jesper Svensson from Sweden has taken the bowling world by storm with his explosive style and fearless approach. Despite his young age, 'The Ice Man' has already amassed an astonishing number of titles and records. Notably, he became the youngest player ever to win the PBA Tournament of Champions in 2016 (doing it at age 20), and he has continued to dominate the lanes with his powerful two-handed delivery being the second European with most PBA Tour titles. Svensson's remarkable achievements have solidified his reputation as one of Europe's most exciting and promising bowling talents to date, with a big chance of becoming sport's Hall of Famer in the future.


#2 Dominic Barrett (England)

10 PBA TOUR TITLES | 3 MAJORS | 1 TRIPLE-CROWN

Dominic Barrett

England's Dominic Barrett is a true force to be reckoned with in the world of bowling. Known for his smooth, rhythmic delivery and exceptional shot-making ability, 'The Dominator' has achieved remarkable success throughout his career. He claimed victories in three PBA Major events - the 2013 PBA World Championship, 2016 U.S. Open and the Tournament of Champions in 2022, which makes him one of nine triple crown winners in PBA history and the first European player to accomplish this feat. During 2023 PBA Tour season, Barrett was the lone European bowling player competing in eight-men PBA Tour Finals, showcasing his strength and ability to add some new titles to his case in the nearest future.


#1 Mika Koivuniemi (Finland)

14 PBA TOUR TITLES | 3 MAJOR TITLES

Mika Koivuniemi

Mika Koivuniemi, the Finnish bowling icon, has achieved legendary status in the sport, inspiring countless bowlers across the globe. Renowned for his powerful throws and remarkable accuracy, Koivuniemi boasts an impressive array of accomplishments during his PBA Tour career. In 2000, Koivuniemi won his first PBA Tour title (and his first Major) by capturing the ABC Masters. A year later, he won his second title (and his second Major) at the U.S. Open. After this victory, he was nicknamed 'Major Mika,' as his first two PBA Tour titles were Majors. He was awarded with his first POY (two career POY awards in total) a season later, becoming the first European bowler to receive such an honor. In 2011, Koivuniemi won the PBA Tournament of Champions, capturing his third (and last) PBA major title and becoming the first European bowler to claim this esteemed title. Even though Major Mika announced his retirement in 2015 (he later came out of retirement in 2018), he still leads Europeans in PBA Tour earnings with almost 2 million dollars. Koivuniemi was elected to the PBA Hall of Fame in 2018 and is the first European player to gain induction.