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Finland’s Niko Oksanen adds his name to the leaderboard in Helsinki

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Niko Oksanen of Finland averaged 244 in squad 13 to jump from 74 to third place in the overall qualifying standings of the 47th Brunswick Ballmaster Open.

Oksanen (pictured above) rolled games of 234, 259, 266, 256, 202 and 247 in the last of three squads on Friday for 1464 total. He only trails tournament leader Markus Jansson (right) of Sweden (1491) and squad 1 leader Juho Rissanen, Finland (1467).

Sanna Pasanen (left) of Finland is the best of 63 women in the 474-player field from 18 countries in fourth place with 1449. Her compatriot Juhani Tonteri, who had 1442 in squad 1, slipped to fifth place.

Mikael Roos of Sweden and USA’s Cameron Weier (right) finished squad 12 with 257 games to overtake Shayna Ng of Singapore and Sweden’s Ida Andersson and to win the bragging rights with 1435 and 1434, respectively. The duo moved into sixth place and seventh place in the standings.

Though Ng (left) improved her previous high series (1422, including handicap) by six pins, she fell from fifth to eighth place with 1428 total. Andersson chalked up 1416 after closing her set with 176. She leaped into 10th place, just one pin behind another Singaporean women’s national team member, Cherie Tan (9th, 1417).

Four-time European Bowling Tour titlist Thomas Larsen (right) of Denmark, who also has two PBA titles under his belt thanks to victories in World Bowling Tour events in Abu Dhabi (2013) and Kuwait (2014), led the first squad on Friday, 11th overall, with 1372 to jump from 135th to 29th place.

Heading into the final qualifying day, the cut to the top 44 is 1348 or an average of 224.67. Five Finns are tied at 1348, Linus Boström, Santtu Tahvanainen, tournament organizer Kai Virtanen, national coach Sami Konsteri and 13-time European Bowling Tour titlist Osku Palermaa. All ties will be broken by the highest last game.

Qualifying continues on Saturday, January 14, with squads 14, 15 and 16 scheduled to start at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. and concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad slated for 7 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET).

Photos Seija Lankinen.

The Brunswick Ballmaster Open, the season-opening event on the European Bowling Tour, will be held from January 6-15 at 36-lane Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland.

The BBO is one of two “EBT Platinum” events this season, the highest of five EBT categories, and offers total prize money of 100.300 Euro, including all extra prizes, with 12.000 Euro going to the winner, 8.000 to the runner-up and 5.000 and 4.000 to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively. Low to cash is 54th place, worth 1.000 Euro.

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) begins Friday, Jan. 6, with squads 1 & 2 and concludes Saturday, Jan. 14, with squad 16 followed by the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad slated for 7 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET).

Women will receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 – maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 54 players – the top 44 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 6 from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-9 who are not among the top 44 and the top 4 from the Desperado Squad – qualify for the finals.

All 54 finalists bowl two blocks of five games with the top 12 advancing to round robin match play. Those 12 bowl further 11 games of round robin match play (no position round) with the previous pinfall total carried over. During match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie.

The top 4 players after 21 games including bonus pins determine the champion in a traditional stepladder final. The No. 4 seed meets the No. 3 in the opening match. The winner takes on the No. 2 seed for the right to bowl the top seed for the title.

The 2017 European Bowling Tour features 11 tournaments in 9 countries including two “Platinum”, two “Gold”, three “Bronze” and four “Satellite” events (no silver tournament this season), which offer total prize fund of roughly 500.000 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 8 men and top 8 women, who will be eligible to compete in the 11th EBT Masters in February 2018 in Tilburg, Netherlands.

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2017 Brunswick Ballmaster Open – Qualifying Standings after Squad 13/16

Top 44 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 6 from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-9 who are not among the top 44 and the top 4 from the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals on Sunday, Jan. 15.

300 games (4) – Joonas Jähi, Parker Bohn III, Teemu Raatikainen, Marshall Kent.

Author: Herbert Bickel
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