Agerbo, Koivuniemi, Barrett crack top 10 in Brunswick Ballmaster Open


    2010 European Bowling Tour #1

    Koivuniemi shoots the second 300 game of the EBT Platinum event

    2010EBT01JesperAgerbo.jpg2010EBT01MikeFagan.jpgThree players cracked the top 10 in the qualifying of the Brunswick Ballmaster Open in the 11th out of 15 qualifying squads Saturday night at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland.

    Danish national team member Jesper Agerbo (pictured left) led another full squad, which brought the total number of participants to 479, with 1469 six game total en route to jump into third place in the overall standings. The silver medalist in Masters at the 2008 Men's World Championship had games of 219, 256, 222, 247, 255 and 270, or an average of 244.83 over six games.

    PBA champion and two-time EBT winner Mike Fagan (right), United States, and 3-time World Champion Martin Larsen, Sweden, remained unchallenged atop the leaderboard with 1572 and 1505, respectively.

    2010EBT01MikaKoivuniemi.jpg2009EBT14DominicBarrett2.jpg8-time PBA champion and 2003-04 PBA Player of the Year Mika Koivuniemi (left) had 1141 after five games and needed a 225 game to improve on his previous high of 1365. The "big Finn" closed out his series with the second 300 game of the tournament to move to 7th place on the leaderboard with 1441 (240.17).

    As Koivuniemi has paid the extra fee for the 300-game award opposite to Karl Wahlgren, Sweden, who rolled the first perfecto, Koivuniemi is currently targeting an extra prize of 7.000 Euro.

    Last year's Ballmaster runner-up, Dominic Barrett (right), England, used high games of 278 and 258 for a 1410 series, to overtake 10th place heading into the final qualifying day.

    2009EBT12PasiUotila.jpg2009KimmoLehtonen.jpgDefending champion Pasi Uotila (left), Finland, who defeated Barrett in last year's title match, 214-212, to claim his third Ballmaster win, sits in 32nd place with 1343. Lasse Lintilä, one of the two other 3-time winners, rolled a 1388 series in Squad 11 to move into 14th place. Simo Vähäkorpela, the third member of the elite club, has to make up some ground to make the finals as he is currently in 224th place with 1182.

    Two-time winner and last year's third-place finisher, Kimmo Lehtonen (right), the organizer of the Ballmaster Open, started the 11th squad as the "man on the bubble" in 44th place with 1322 (220,33 avg.). The lefty rollercoastered his way to a 1367 total (197, 267, 194, 245, 214, 250) to leap into 20th place.

    2009DHCCherieTan.jpg2009VOTinaHulsch.jpgTwo-time Ballmaster champ Mats Karlsson, the only foreigner, who has won the Ballmaster Open more than once (1980, 1992), started into the tournament Saturday night with 1141 and 297th place.

    Cherie Tan (left) is the top-ranked woman in the field and one of three inside the cut in 16th place with 1379 including 48 pins handicap, a standard for women on the European Bowling Tour. Tina Hulsch, Germany,(right, 21st, 1366), and Nina Manninen, Finland (26th, 1358) are the others.

    With the final four qualifying squads to go, Kim Ojala, Sweden, holds the 44th and final place to advance with 1330 or an average of 221.67.

    2010BallmasterOpenBanner.jpg 2009VOToreTorgersen.jpgThe 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 (right) 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 ends on Saturday Jan. 9 with the final qualifying squad 15 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 11/15

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