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Croatia’s Zoran Banjac becomes first player to crack the 1300-bar in Sofia

2016SIOZoranBanjacStarting in the 9th qualifying squad of the 7th Sofia International Open 2016, Zoran Banjac of Croatia became the first player who cracked the 1300-bar Monday at bowling center Joy Station in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Banjac (right) had games of 216, 258, 233, 223, 206 and 176 to lead the 100-player field from 12 countries after the third qualifying day with 1312 and an average of 218.67 for six games.

2016SIOKarstenAustOvernight leader Karsten Aust (left) of Germany led squad 10 but was unable to improve his high series of 1287 and slipped to second place.

2016SIOSanttuTahvanainenYavor Milanov is the best Bulgarian bowlers in third place with 1283. Santtu Tahvanainen (right) of Finland led the last two squads on Monday, including his high series of 1282 in squad 12, to leap into fourth place in the overall qualifying standings.

2016SIODianDinevDian Dinev (left) of Bulgaria, who led the qualifying after the first day with 1282, slipped two spots to fifth place due to Tahvanainen’s higher last game, which breaks the tie.

Kaaron Salomaa of Finland averaged 212.67 to round out the top 6 with 1276. The top 6 from a separate leaderboard of the squads conducted Oct. 29 thru Nov. 1 (squads 1-16) will earn automatic berths into Sunday’s finals in case they don’t finish in the top 44 of the overall qualifying standings.

Didi Ilieva was the best of 13 women in the field in eighth place with 1255, including 8 pins handicap each game. With 12 out of 35 squads completed, Pavel Viorel of Romania holds the 44th place and last place to advance with 1141 or an average of 190.17.

Qualifying continues Tuesday, Nov. 1, with squads 13-16 scheduled to start at 10 a.m., 2, 6 and 9.30 p.m. Central European Time (CET).

2016SofiaOpenLogoThe 7th Sofia International Open 2016, a popular but non-European Bowling Tour event, will be held from Oct. 29 to Nov. 6 at bowling center Joy Station, a 20-laner in the capital city of Bulgaria. The tournament offers total prize fund of 55.000 Euro with 7.000 Euro going to the winner and a last-to-cash payout of 350 Euro for 56th place.

Qualifying of the Sofia Open starts on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 10 a.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST), and runs through Saturday, Nov. 5, with the final squad 35 scheduled for 9.30 p.m. Central European Time (CET). Qualifying concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum is 300).

Total 56 players will advance to the finals on Sunday, Nov 6, including top 44 qualifiers, top 6 from squads 1-16, top 2 from squads 17-25, and top 4 of the Desperado Squad. Top 8 qualifiers will earn two byes and qualifiers 9-16 receive a first-round bye.

The other 40 players will advance to the first of four 4-game rounds (rounds 1-3 starting from scratch). The field will be trimmed to 36, 20, and then 10 players who will determine the finalists in the last four-game round with the pinfall from Round 3 being carried forward. The top 4 after eight games will bowl for the title in a traditional stepladder final.

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Top 44 qualifiers, top 6 from squads 1-16, top 2 from squads 17-25, and top 4 of the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals.

Author: Herbert Bickel
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