No changes atop the leaderboard after the Seniors Squad in Helsinki


    2010 European Bowling Tour #1

    Squad 5 leader Timo Muto moves into 20th place

    BallmasterOpenLogo.jpgA full squad of 72 players over 50 years of age, all from Finland, took to the 36 lanes at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland, on Wednesday morning at 11am local time for the fifth out of 15 qualifying squads in the Brunswick Ballmaster Open, the season-opening event of the 2010 European Bowling Tour.

    Timo Murto finished his six-game series with a 256 game en route to lead the seniors with 1303 pinfall total and an average of 217.17. Murto is tied with former world champion Mika Luoto, Finland, but overtook the 20th place from Luoto due to the higher last game.

    2010EBT01MattiKnutar.jpgYouth Squad 1 leader Matti Knutar (pictured right) remained unchallenged atop the qualifying leaderboard with 1416 (236 avg.).

    With 287 players in the books (registered are more than 500 players and over 1,000 entries), Squad 4 leader Veli-Matti Tissarinen sits in second place with 1388. However it is said that Tissarinen will not bowl in the finals as he has to take care of his four children next weekend.

    Squad 2 leader Jesse Lindholm sits in third place with 1379 and is followed by Squad 3 leader Ville Häggman with 1362.

    Defending champion and 3-time Ballmaster Open winner Pasi Uotila currently has a high series of 1343, good for 6th place. Reija Lundén is the top-ranked woman in the field in 12th place with 1329 including 48 pins handicap, a standard for women on the European Bowling Tour.

    Long-time Finnish women's national team member Piritta Kantola holds the 44th and final place to advance with 1252 including handicap.

    2010BallmasterOpenBanner.jpg The 40th Brunswick Ballmaster Open will be held from Saturday, Jan. 2 through Sunday Jan. 10 at the 36-lane Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland. Pasi Uotila, Finland, is the defending champion. Norwegian Tore Torgersen was the last non-Finnish winner back in 1996.

    About 500 players will compete for increased total prize money of 105.000 Euro or approximately 150.000 USD. The champion will walk away with the 15.000 Euro top prize. In addition the Ballmaster offers a 10.000 Euro extra prize for a 300-game.

    Qualifying continues on Wednesday, Jan. 6, with Squads 6 and runs through Saturday Jan. 9 with the final qualifying squad scheduled for 8pm. The ultimate one-game Desperado Squad will conclude the qualifying at 11.30pm. Women will receive 8 pins handicap each game.

    Squad 1 was reserved youth bowlers, who must not have reached the age of 24 on Jan. 2, and Squad 5 was reserved for senior bowlers, who must have reached the age of 50 on Jan. 6.

    A total of 48 players - the top 44 from the overall qualifying standings plus the top 4 from the Desperado Squad - will qualify for the finals on Sunday, Jan. 10. No byes are given in this tournament.

    The finals will be contested in a format similar to the old PBA tournaments. All 48 finalists will bowl 8 games starting from scratch to cut to the top 16 who will advance to match play portion. Those 16 will bowl 15 games of round robin match play plus one game position round with the pinfall of Round 1 being carried forward to determine the top 4 players for the stepladder finals.

    The No. 4 seed meets the No. 3 in the opening match and the winner takes on the No. 2 seed for the right to bowl the top seed for the title, the 15.000 Euro top prize and 250 ranking points. (Note: The winner of a Satellite tournament gets 50, the winner of a Silver tournament gets 100, and the winner of a Gold tournament gets 150 ranking points.)


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    Brunswick Ballmaster Open - Qualifying Standings after Squad 5/15

    The top 44 qualifiers plus the top 4 from the Desperado Squad will qualify for the finals on Sunday, Jan. 10.