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Juho Rissanen sets the pace in 47th Brunswick Ballmaster Open

Juho Rissanen of Finland paced a field of 130 bowlers Friday at Tali Bowling Center to take the early lead in the 47th edition of the Brunswick Ballmaster Open.

Rissanen (pictured above) rolled games of 216, 287, 257, 224, 247 and 236 in squad 1 for 1467 total and an average of 244.50. He held a 25-pin lead over Juhani Tonteri (right), who was second with 1442, including back-to-back 279 in games four and five.

Two-time Ballmaster Open champion Kimmo Lehtonen (2002 and ’07) led squad 2 with 1397 to position himself in third place. Three-time Ballmaster Open winner Pasi Uotila (2000, ’04 and ’09) was three pins behind to sit in fourth place with 1394.

Rounding out the top 5 was Linus Boström with 1348. Former Finnish national Reija Lundén was the best of eight women in the field so far in 30th place with 1212, including 48 pins handicap each game.

With two of 16 squads in the books, Aki Hurri holds the 44th and last place to advance from the overall qualifying standings with 1166 or an average of 194.33 for six games.

Qualifying continues on Saturday, January 7, with squads 3 and 4 scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET).

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 12 tournaments in 10 countries including two “Platinum”, three “Gold”, three “Bronze” and four “Satellite” events (no silver tournament this season), which offer total prize fund of 574.000 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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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.

Author: Herbert Bickel
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