The 12th qualifying squad of the 14th Columbia 300 Vienna Open was, finally, a full squad with 60 bowlers and athletes from Denmark, Sweden, USA and England took control of the leaderboard Thursday a Plus Bowling in Vienna, Austria.
Danish national team members Mik Stampe (left) and Carsten Warming Hansen (right) averaged 240.50 over six games and tied at 1443. Stampe was seeded first and Hansen second due to Stampe’s higher five-game series (pinfall total minus the lowest game).
Three-time European Bowling Tour champion Stampe started his series with 224, 279, 223, 228 and 296 before he closed with a low game of 193. Hansen, a one-time EBT titlist and World Champion in trios, started with a huge 290 game, followed by 199 and four games between 234 and 247.
Previous leader Jaroslav Lorenc of the Czech Republic slipped to third place with 1412. Places 4 through 10 belonged to squad 12 bowlers.
Former World Youth champions in doubles, Markus Jansson (left) and Pontus Andersson (right) of Sweden leaped into fourth and fifth place with 199 and 1388, respectively.
Josh Blanchard, United States, who won his first EBT and PBA title in the 2015 Brunswick Euro Challenge rollercoastered his way into sixth place with 1374.
Jesper Agerbo (left) of Denmark, who won three gold medals at the European Championships this year, was one pin behind Blanchard in seventh place with 1373, including a near-perfect 299 in game 4.
All-time European Bowling Tour title leader Paul Moor (right; 17 titles) used five games between 237 and 224 and a low game of 204 for 1369, good for eighth place in the overall standings. The top 8 at the end of the qualifying portion will earn a first-round bye for the finals.
Rounding out the top 10 were Rasmus Edvall of Sweden and Dan Ostergaard of Denmark with 1362 and 1358, respectively. Tamara Adler of Austria fell from ninth to 21st place but is still the best of 25 women in the 186-player field from 19 countries with 1310, including 48 pins handicap.
The 11th qualifying squad, which featured only 14 bowlers, was in sharp contrast to the evening squad. Marcus Christensen of Denmark led the squad with 1167 (194.50 average) and finished the day in 85th place, 86 pins off the pace for the top 44 (Patrick Stiel, Austria, 1253).
Hansen and Agerbo joined forces to take the lead in doubles with 2816 total and an average of 234.67. Andersson and Jansson were 29 pins back in second place on 2787. Lorenc and his compatriot Marek Talpa, who previously held the lead with 2688, slipped to third place. The doubles competition offers extra prize money of 10.230 Euro for the top 20 duos during the qualifying.
Qualifying commences on Friday, Sept. 30, with Squads 13-16 scheduled to start at 9 a.m., 1, 5 and 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST).
The 14th Columbia 300 Vienna Open, which will be held from Sept. 24 through Oct. 2 at Plus Bowling, a 32-laner in Vienna, Austria, is the 13th tournament on the 2016 European Bowling Tour and the last EBT “gold” event this season.
For the 14th consecutive year, Bowlingdigital.com will provide onsite coverage of the Vienna Open commencing Thursday, Sept. 29, all the way through to the stepladder finals on Sunday, Oct. 2.
Players will compete for total prize fund of 73.180 Euro – 62.950 € in Singles and 10.230 € in Doubles. The singles champion will walk away with the 7.000 € top prize, the first runner-up earns 5.000 € and the third and fourth-place finishers get 3.500 € and 2.500 €, respectively.
56 players will cash in Singles, which has a last-to-cash payout of 600 Euro. The doubles tournament will pay a 1.600 € first prize and a 20-place prize list (300 € last-to-cash).
Qualifying is traditionally organized as a doubles tournament offering dedicated prize money. Each duo must register to roll at least one six-game block. Unlimited re-entries – with the same partner or with different partners – are allowed. However, each player can cash only once with the same partner.
Qualifying will kick off Saturday, Sept. 24, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 1, with the final Squad 20 slated for 8 p.m. CEST. Qualifying concludes with the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad scheduled for 11.30 p.m.
Women receive eight pins handicap each game (maximum is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.
Total 56 players will qualify for the Vienna Open finals on Sunday, Oct. 2: the top 44 players from the overall qualifying standings (squads 1-20), the highest-positioned player from each of the first eight squads, who is not among the top 44 (total 8 players), and the top 4 players of the Desperado Squad.
The top 8 qualifying leaders receive a first-round bye. The other 48 players bowl six games scratch. The top 22 join the top 8 qualifiers in Round Two.
Those 30 players bowl another six games scratch after which the field is trimmed to the top 18, who carry the pinfall forward into the third round. After another six-game block the top 4 players with the highest 12-game total advance to 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 7.000 Euro top prize and 150 European Bowling Tour ranking points (men and women in separate rankings).
The 2016 European Bowling Tour currently consists of 16 tournaments in 11 countries featuring three “Platinum” events, three “Gold”, four “Silver” and six “Satellite” events. All tournaments together offer total prize fund of roughly 850.000 Euro.
The top 50 men and the top 50 women in each event receive ranking points. Those points will be tabulated throughout the season to determine the top 12 men and top 12 women, who will be eligible to compete in the 10th EBT Masters May 29, 2017, at Lovvang Bowling Center in Aalborg, Denmark.
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2016 Vienna Open Singles – Qualifying Standings after Squad 12/20
56 players, including the top 44 qualifiers, the highest-positioned player from each of the first 8 squads who was not among the top 44, and the top 4 from the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals.
Doubles – Overall Standings
Singles Squad 11
Doubles Squad 11
Singles Squad 12
Doubles Squad 12
300 games (1) – Jan Macek.