Born: April 6, 1967
Hometown: Hartland, Michigan (born in Tampere, Finland)
Joined Tour: 1999
Total Championships Won: 13
Major Championships Won (3):
- 2000 ABC Masters, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- 2001 U.S. Open, Fountain Valley, California
- 2011 Tournament of Champions, Las Vegas, Nevada
Awards and Honors:
Mika Koivuniemi, native to Finland and now residing in Hartland, Michigan is a two-time Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Award winner, earning his most recent award in the 2010-2011 season for one of the most impressive seasons in PBA Tour history, particularly in reference to his performance in major tournaments.
Major Mika’s 2010-2011 PBA Tour Season
The aptly named Major Mika was the first bowler to ever make it to the television finals of all four major events in one season. He finished second in the U.S. Open, third in the Bayer USBC Masters and sixth in the PBA World Championship, in addition to his victory in the PBA Tournament of Champions. The Player of the Year Award is voted on by the bowlers, and Koivuniemi’s 334 votes easily eclipsed runner-up Chris Barnes’ 63.
Only 11 bowlers have won the Player of the Year Award more than once.
Largely due to his excellence in major tournaments (and helped by the $250,000 first prize in the Tournament of Champions), he led all bowlers in earnings with $333,040, the third highest total in PBA Tour history. Over 292 games, he averaged 222.5, also best on Tour.
Throughout his PBA Tour career, Koivuniemi has nine titles, including three majors, to his credit, five PBA Regional titles and also became the first ever World Bowling Tour men’s champion, defeating Sean Rash in the finals during the 2011 World Series of Bowling.
Koivuniemi has won many titles outside the PBA, and has won a championship in 15 different countries.
Bowling Style and Attributes
Koivuniemi is known as a tweener with the ability to loft the ball when necessary, giving him a reputation for being extremely versatile and able to adapt to any lane conditions.
Famous PBA Tour Moments
Some of Koivuniemi's most famous (or infamous) moments came during his historic 2010-2011 season. He defeated Tom Daugherty in the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions by a score of 299-100, the largest margin of victory in Tour history. He went on to win the tournament and a quarter of a million dollars, which was the richest prize in PBA Tour history.
A less entertaining moment for Koivuniemi came during the U.S. Open finals. He missed the 10 pin in the final frame of the championship, essentially handing the tournament to a shocked Norm Duke.