Koivuniemi $250,000 richer
Finnish native Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., defeated top qualifier Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., 269-207, Saturday to win the $250,000 first prize in the $1 million Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas.
After rolling a 299 game against Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., in the semifinal match, Koivuniemi threw another 10 strikes on 12 tries against Smallwood to become the first international player ever to win the PBA's signature tournament.
In the semifinal match, Koivuniemi came within a wobbling 10 pin of becoming the first player in PBA history to shoot two nationally-televised 300 games. The 42-year-old right-hander rolled a perfect game on TV in 2003.
Koivuniemi easily defeated Daugherty, 299-100, because Daugherty's television debut was a disaster. The 35-year-old Floridian left seven difficult -- if not unmakeable -- splits in rolling the lowest nationally-televised game in PBA history. Daugherty converted two pins after leaving the 4-6-7-10 split in the 10th frame to shoot an even 100, erasing the 129 bowled by Steve Jaros in Lake Zurich, Ill., in 1992. Despite his record low score, Daugherty took home $50,000 for third place.
"I can't even say what this title means right now," Koivuniemi said. "I hope I can win a few more and secure a spot in the hall of fame."
Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga collected $18,000 when he finished in 14th place after the completion of match-play late Friday.
Carter an MVP at Shrine Game
Syracuse running back Delone Carter ran for a touchdown and was selected the offensive MVP in the East's 25-8 victory over the West in the East-West Shrine Game in Orlando.
The East dominated the yearly showcase for college seniors looking to impress NFL scouts, scoring 19 points in the first half and recovering three fumbles.
Richmond defensive tackle Martin Parker had a pair of sacks and a forced fumble to take defensive MVP honors for the East. The East had two defensive scores, a team safety and North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin's fumble recovery in the end zone.
Carter finished with 54 yards on 11 carries, while Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor had the best passing day for the East, completing 4 of 5 for 59 yards.
Swiss skier oldest to win race
Didier Cuche of Switzerland became the oldest man at 36 to win a World Cup race in Kitzbuehel, Austria, claiming the downhill on the Streif course. American Bode Miller was second.
Cuche broke Marco Buechel's record by 85 days. The Liechtenstein skier was 36 years, 74 days old when he won his last race, a super-G in Kitzbuehel in 2008.
The downhill champion was nearly flawless on the lower portion to finish the run in 1 minute, 57.72 seconds. Miller was 0.98 seconds back and Adrien Theaux of France was third.
In a women's race in Italy, Lindsey Vonn missed a turn and nearly crashed, still winding up third but handing victory to overall World Cup rival Maria Riesch in the traditional downhill. American Julia Mancuso was second.
Tigers to retire Sparky's No. 11
The Detroit Tigers will retire Sparky Anderson's No. 11 this year, one of several gestures the team is planning to honor the late manager.
The Tigers also will wear a commemorative patch to honor the Hall of Fame manager who led them to the World Series title in 1984, and raise a flag with his name on it at their home opener.
Anderson, who also won the World Series twice as Cincinnati's manager, died Nov. 4.
From News and wire service reports.