After AJ Johnson seized final spot from James Blomgren at the PBA Cheetah Championship, Europeans had better luck at Scorpion - Finland's Santtu Tahvanainen and Sweden's Jesper Svensson made the Guaranteed Rate PBA World Series of Bowling XIV Scorpion Championship Finals.
Current Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year Sannttu Tahvanainen was in the lead among 117 contestants with only five more games to go in the qualifying round but gave up the leadership position and finished third.
Jesper Svensson had a bit sloppy start at the Scorpion Championship, standing in 33rd place after the first five games, but he managed to rebuild himself, finding his name among the top five contestants at the finish line.
Before the last game of qualification, Svensson initially believed he would need to score over 250, but realized halfway through that anything over 223 would be enough to be in a top five. That meant he had to strike between the eighth and eleventh frames.
"At that point, I just tried to dig deep and throw good shots," Svensson said. "You're tired, you're in here all day pretty much, and it was a pretty long block of bowling. You just try to find that last energy you've got and make a quality shot."
Scorpion Championship Stepladder finals will be Sweden's Jesper Svensson's first appearance in the championship round this year and for the first time since the PBA Playoffs in 2022.
"I didn't really have the show in mind coming into this pattern because I didn't feel very comfortable," Jesper said. "I've been feeling pretty good all season, made a couple of match plays and a few cuts here and there, but I haven't really been able to get it done. It feels good to actually be able to keep it together here."
Jakob Butturff defeated EJ Tackett in a race to win the top seed, while Anthony Simonsen finished fourth.
Santtu Tahvanainen, a 26-year-old bowler from Finland, is one of the youngest bowlers at the WSOB XIV and has never bowled for a PBA title and on television simultaneously. Uncertain of his ability to compete at the game's highest level, he made his PBA debut in Wauwatosa last season.
"I feel like my confidence has been building up all the time during the season because, well, I've done well," Santtu Tahvanainen said. "I have proved, especially for myself, that I can do it. My aim since the first day (of this week) was to make the World Championship cut and maybe the show.
"After the PBA League, I realized that I love being on TV. Especially on this (Scorpion) pattern, I feel like I have a possibility (to win) if I just execute well, so I'm really looking forward to that."
Scorpion's championship round will begin on Friday, April 19th, at 1:00 AM CET on FS1.
The WSOB XIV continues on Thursday and Friday with PBA Shark Championship qualifying.
Combined scores from the Cheetah, Scorpion, and Shark Championships (60 games total) make up the World Championship qualifying. The top 12 players will advance to PBA World Championship Match Play on Thursday, April 20th, for a chance to win the season's fourth Major and a prize fund of $100,000.