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Anthony Simonsen takes first pole in Brunswick Euro Challenge

Two-time PBA champion Anthony Simonsen, United States, showed exceptional early pace in the Brunswick Euro Challenge leading both qualifying squads on the opening day to kick off the EBT Platinum event Sunday at Dream-Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany.

The 19-year-old two-handed player (pictured above) of Princeton, Texas, who led the first squad with 1365, posted the first 300 game and the first 1400 series in his second six-game block to pace the 53-player field from 11 countries with 1412 and an average of 235.33.

Simonsen, who had games of 181, 212, 300, 221, 278 and 220, won the 2016 USBC Masters in February to become the youngest player to win a major title on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour at 19 years and 39 days.

At age 18 Simonsen became second youngest to win a Tour title missing the record held by Hall of Famer Norm Duke by two days when he teamed with Connor Pickford to claim the PBA Doubles Championship.

2016BHRAnggieRamirez.jpg2015EBT14TobiasBording.jpgColombian National team member Anggie Ramirez (left) was the best of seven women in second place with 1315 scratch (219.74 average) and 1363 total, including eight pins handicap each game.

German national team member Tobias Börding (right) toppled 1333 pins to sit in third place and was followed by his fellow countryman Karlheinz Hofbauer, who was the only other player who surpassed the 1300 mark with 1308.

Qualifying continues on Monday, March 14, with squad 3 starting at 6 p.m. Central European Time (CET). The top 5 players from the standings after that squad who don’t finish in the top 50 in the overall standings will earn automatic spots in the finals. For the records, the score for 50th place in the 2015 BEC was 1382 or an average of 230.33.

2016BECLogo_small.jpgThe 13th Brunswick Euro Challenge is the fifth stop on the 2016 European Bowling Tour and the second of three EBT “Platinum” events this season, the highest of the four EBT tournament categories.

The BEC will be held from March 13-20 at Europe’s premier bowling center, Dream-Bowl Palace, a 52-laner in Unterföhring in suburban Munich, Germany.

Players will compete for total prize fund of 103.000 Euro with 11.700 Euro going to the winner, 8.500 Euro to the runner-up and 5.500 Euro to the third place finisher.

Women receive eight pins handicap each game, an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events. The top three women after qualifying receive 1.200, 700 and 500 Euro bonuses, respectively.

The BEC is also the third event of the 2016 World Bowling Tour. Due to an agreement between World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), World Bowling Tour tournaments will award a PBA title to the winner if he/she is a PBA member and bowls without accepting handicap pins.

Qualifying kicks off Sunday, March 13, and runs through Saturday, March 19, with the final Squad 17 slated for 8 p.m. CET. Qualifying concludes with the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad at 11.30 p.m.

Total 64 players qualify for the finals on Sunday, March 20, including the top 50 in the standings, the top 5 from a separate leaderboard of the squads conducted March 15-16, the top 5 from a separate leaderboard of the squads conducted March 13-14, and the top 4 of the Desperado Squad.

The top 12 qualifiers receive a first-round bye. The other 52 players bowl six games scratch to cut to the top 16 who will join the top 12 qualifiers in Round Two. Those 28 will bowl another six games scratch after which the field will be trimmed to the top 8 for match play.

Round Two pinfall will be carried forward. The top 3 players after seven games round robin match play including bonus pins (30 for a win; 15 for a tie) will determine the champion in a stepladder final. The No. 3 seed bowls the No. 2 seed and the winner of the semifinal match takes on the No. 1 seed for the title and the 11.300 Euro top prize.

2016WBTLogo_small.jpgThe 2016 World Bowling Tour currently consists of 8 tournaments, six in the Middle East and one each in Germany and Thailand. A ninth event and the only WBT “major” so far is planned for December 2016 during the PBA World Series of Bowling VIII in the USA.

Players earn ranking points based on how they finish in each event. “Majors” award double points. The current points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle. The top three men and top three women in the annual points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals (tbd).

After the conclusion of the Brunswick Euro Challenge, the World Bowling Tour will take a five-month break returning to competition with the World Bowling Tour Thailand event, which will be held from August 6-12 at Blu-O Paragon bowling center in Bangkok.

World Bowling provides governance to international bowling and is made up of 134 bowling international federations. For more information on the World Bowling Tour, click here.

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Top 50 qualifiers, top 5 from March 15-16 squads, top 5 from March 13-14 squads, and top 4 of the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals on Sunday, March 20.

300 games (1) – Anthony Simonsen.

Author: Herbert Bickel
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