Team USA Men Capture Gold at 2022 IBF World Cup

Team USA’s men won a gold medal while the women took fourth place in Baker Team play on the last day of competition at the 2022 International Bowling Federation World Cup at Suncity Tenpin Bowl in Queensland, Australia.

The Team USA men struck gold by defeating Puerto Rico 3-1 (214-172; 262-202; 221-222; 209-198) during Wednesday’s morning’s Men’s Baker Team final.

Puerto Rico walked away with the silver medal. Australia topped the Philippines to earn bronze.

The Team USA women narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing fourth after falling to Malaysia 3-2 (204-226; 182-219; 226-192; 248-220; 228-235) during the women’s bronze-medal match.

The women’s gold went to Sweden, which defeated Germany in the finals. Germany settled for the silver.

Even though it would have been nice to have the women’s team bring home a medal after bowling so well throughout the tournament, Team USA Head Coach Bryan O’Keefe was proud of his teams’ performances on the final day of competition and during the 2022 IBF World Cup as a whole.

“As I’ve said many times, you can never just take for granted that you’re going to walk away with medals at a world cup,” O’Keefe said. “You go up against the best of the best, and one bad break can send you home empty handed.

“We’re leaving this world cup with medals in three out of four events, and we bowled well enough to take a medal in Women’s Team as well; a few things just didn’t go our way. Coach Kelly (Kulick), Coach Kendra (Cameron-Curry) and I are very proud of our men and women for how they performed and carried themselves on and off the lanes during this trip. They did an amazing job; they should be proud of themselves.”

Even though all four members of the men’s team shared the same time and space on the lanes, all four members of the quartet will leave the 2022 IBF World Cup with slightly different answers as to what they enjoyed most about the experience and what they’re most proud of.

For Kyle Troup, a great deal of pride came simply from being able to represent his country again. However, he’ll also remember this trip because it was the one on which he won his first Team gold medal as a member of Team USA.

“We communicated well, we stayed as one and we had each other’s backs even during the bad moments, and we all had some of those at different times throughout the tournament,” Troup said. “It was a long journey from the time we left camp and were selected for this event to the time that we’re standing here now.

“We had the team gold medal in mind all that time, and when we won that last game, it hit me that it had finally happened; I was overcome with emotion. When you’re wearing the Team USA logo on your back, everything means more. This is right up there with anything I’ve accomplished in my career. We couldn’t have asked for more.”

What stands out in Jakob Butturff’s mind is the amazing team chemistry among this foursome and how proud he is of the support that they showed one another no matter the situation or outcome on the lanes.

“Winning the IBF World Cup is an amazing feeling,” Butturff said. “We have such strong chemistry on this team; everyone just has that team mindset, so you know that the other guys have your back no matter what happens. That makes it a lot of fun to go out there and compete.”

Kris Prather was awestruck by the group’s ability to seamlessly flip the switch from being competitors week in and week out on the Professional Bowler’s Association Tour to being teammates when coming together to represent Team USA.

“Doing this for a living as we do, we’re singles competitors the overwhelming majority of the time, so to be able to come out here and accomplish a goal that the whole Team USA organization wants to achieve is huge for us,” Prather said. “Being a part of something like this is like being a part of a special fraternity; we’ll always have this and be able to talk about it and share it no matter where we go or how much time goes by. It’s almost surreal.”

Finally, A.J. Johnson will remember the unique feeling that only comes from finding success while competing for one’s country.

“I feel like there’s nothing better than bowling as a team, and when you get to do it for Team USA, the greatest team in the world, it’s that much sweeter,” Johnson said. “I felt like I didn’t have my best stuff today, but that’s why we’re a team; we pick each other up. We won gold, and there’s no better feeling; it never gets old.”

Even though the Team USA women narrowly missed out on a medal, Jordan Richard was proud of how she and her teammates competed throughout the event.

“We continue to put ourselves in position to win, and that’s really all you can do at the end of the day,” Richard said. “We fought our hardest until the final ball was thrown; we just came up on the wrong side a couple times today. Still, we continue to learn and grow so that the next time we find ourselves in that situation, we can be better.”

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