2004 Singapore

Finland's Virtanen, USA's Pluhowsky Win 40th AMF Bowling World Cup
Lydia Rypcinski
AMF Media Bureau

SINGAPORE – Kai Virtanen of Finland and Shannon Pluhowsky of the United States are the 2004 AMF Bowling World Cup champions.
 Virtanen went into the quarterfinals at Superbowl SAFRA Mount Faber as the No. 8 seed, but he deposed top-seeded Jason Belmonte of Australia and No. 5 seed Yahav Rabin of Israel to move into the title match. The 35-year-old computer engineer and World Cup rookie brought the title back to Finland after a one-year absence by overcoming No. 2 seed Petter Hansen of Norway, 2 games to 1 (258-208, 216-233, 258-242).

It was a successful comeback for Virtanen, who quit international bowling for five years but started training and competing again this past spring. “I bowled with Team Finland in Singapore in the 1991 World Championships and won a bronze medal, so I have good feelings about being here,” Virtanen said.
Hansen had a chance to win by getting either a strike or spare in the 10th frame of the final game, but he left a disastrous 2-8-10 split instead and failed to convert it. Virtanen admitted he was taken aback to win that way. “I had hoped he’d leave something on his first ball, to force him to shoot for a spare and make things a little harder for him. But I never hope for that kind of bad luck for anyone.”
Hansen ousted hometown favorite and No. 6 seed Remy Ong of Singapore in the first semifinal match, 2 games to 1 (259-279, 248-214, 257-210), to advance to the title bout. His wish to bowl Virtanen for the title came true when the Finn defeated Rabin in the other semifinal match, 2 games to 1 (200-215, 214-194, 238-220).
“The Finns are so good that if I beat one of them, then I will know I bowled very well indeed,” Hansen had said. “Kai and I had promised each other we’d be in the title match together, and here we were.”

Finland's Kai Virtanen won the men's AMF
Bowling World Cup
(photo credit Mr. Hero Noda)


In the womenÂ’s division, No. 2 seed Pluhowsky became the third woman ever to win the title twice by dethroning defending champion Kerrie Ryan-Ciach of Canada, 2 games to 0 (236-200, 234-185).

Pluhowsky advanced to the championship round by dismissing No. 3 seed Liza Del Rosario of the Philippines in the first semifinal match of the day, also by a 2-0 score (259-226, 269-169). Ryan-Ciach, the No. 8 seed, earned her berth by outlasting No. 5 seed Yoselin Leon of Puerto Rico, 2 games to 1 (279-190, 193-257, 208-193).  

Pluhowsky’s win avenged her loss to Ryan-Ciach in last year’s World Cup finals in Honduras. The 22-year-old U.S. national amateur champion admitted earlier in the week that the loss motivated her in Singapore. “I learned a lot from my performance last year. In fact, I think I could have bowled better the entire season. My loss last year was a driving force for this season.”

Ryan-Ciach, the 33-year-old Canadian national champion, could have become the second person in World Cup history to win back-to-back titles. “I thought I had an edge going into the finals right after the semifinals, because I was loose and warmed up,” she said. “For whatever reason, I didn’t have the same ball reaction today. I lost my pin carry in the second match with Shannon. I made good shots, but kept leaving 4-pins and 10-pins, and it ’s difficult to adjust for that kind of carry.”

Ryan-Ciach achieved some satisfaction, however, as she and Jack Guay won the Bent Petersen Trophy for best combined country performance. Guay finished tied for fifth in the menÂ’s division.

A record 95 nations competed in this yearÂ’s AMF World Cup (93 men, 73 women). The AMF World Cup is the worldÂ’s largest annual international sports championship in terms of number of participating countries.       

USA's Shannon Pluhowsky
defeated defending champion Kerrie
Ryan-Ciach of Canada to win the
women's AMF Bowling World Cup
(photo credit Mr. Hero Noda)

Championship Results
Men's Division Results
Women's Division Results


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.