1981 New York, USA

Sixteen years after beginning life as the International Masters, the AMF Bowling World Cup finally alighted in the United States. Adding to the excitement was the fact that No. 17 was held in New York City's Madison Square Garden, the most famous sports citadel in the world at the time.

Bob Worrall, the U.S. men's representative, had actually witnessed the first World Cup in Dublin. His father, a chief warrant officer in the U.S. Army, had been stationed there at the time. The 7-year-old Bob watched virtually every frame of the tournament, adopting Tom Hathaway as his personal favorite and becoming a bowling fanatic in the process.


Worrall bowled in the 1980 AMF Bowling World Cup after winning the ACU-I that year, but he finished a distant 17th in Jakarta. He won the ACU title again in 1981, getting himself a rematch at Madison Square Garden. This time, the American qualified first and, in his first-ever appearance before TV cameras, crushed Manny Magno of the Philippines, 221-179. (TV required that the format change from three games to one to decide the championship.)

Pauline Smith's triumph in the women's division was the non-surprise of the year. She had just been named England's Bowler of the Year and was an established threat in every major international tournament. Seeded fourth at Madison Square Garden, Smith climbed the stepladder and finally defeated Japan's Miyuki Motoi, 203-195, for the crown.

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Since the first event in 1965, winning AMF’s Bowling World Cup title has been the most coveted goal in amateur bowling. Whether held in the shadows of the Great Pyramids in or under the bright lights of , each tournament has provided unforgettable moments from competition that has spanned five decades.

Browse the archives to discover or revisit these moments, competitors, and the great champions that have made up the rich history of AMF’s Bowling World Cup.