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16-year-old Jesse Ahokas rises to the top in Brunswick Ballmaster Open


16-year-old Jesse Ahokas of Finland averaged 255.50 in the 14th qualifying squad of the Brunswick Ballmaster Open to rise to the top of the leaderboard with 1533 total Saturday morning at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland.

The son of Finnish coach Jarmo Ahokas (right) had games of 236, 257, 243, 256, 263 and 278 and became the first of 548 players who cracked the 1500-mark.

Malaysia’s Timmy Tan overtook previous leader Shayna Ng of Singapore by just one pin to leap into second place with 1498. Tan started his series with 208 then reeled off 24 consecutive strikes for back-to-back 300 games before he closed with 202, 222 and 266.

Tan, who had a 300 game in squad in squad 9 on Wednesday, now owns three of the eight perfectos this week. Tan will join Finns Timi Taalas (right; received 3.000 Euro for the first 300), Lauri Sipilä, Tomas Käyhkö and Matias Luosujärvi as well as Swede Martin Paulsson and any other bowler who achieves perfection in a winner-takes-all roll-off for 2.000 Euro at the end the tournament.

Besides Ahokas and Tan, another eight players of squad 14 surpassed the 1400-mark, which is necessary to survive the qualifying cut.

Starting the day in 40th and last place to advance to Sunday’s finals, Glenn Morten Pedersen (left) of Norway used high games of 279, 278 and 260 to leap 32 spots into eighth place with 1483.

Rounding out the top 12, who will receive a first-round bye, were pros Jake Peters (right) and Danielle McEwan, USA, with 1459 and 1458. Two-time USBC Queens winner Diana Zavjalova of Latvia, was two pins behind McEwan to sit in 13th place with 1456.

Also joining the 1400-club were Jesper Svensson (left) of Sweden (22nd, 1440), Gaëtan Mouveroux of France (26th, 1436), Sin Li Jane of Malaysia (28th, 1428) and Tannya Roumimper of Indonesia (37th, 1409).

Eliisa Hiltunen (right) of Finland is the cut with 1404 or an average of 234.00, including handicap.

Qualifying commences Saturday, January 13 with squads 15 and 16 scheduled to start at noon and 4 p.m. and concludes with the Desperado Squad slated for 7 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET).

Photos courtesy of Seija Lankinen.

The 48th Brunswick Ballmaster Open will be held from January 5-14 at 36-lane Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, the capital and largest city of Finland. Other than last year, when the BBO was a “platinum” level tournament, the 48th edition of the prestigious event is one of two “gold” events this season, the second highest of five EBT categories (satellite, bronze, silver, gold and platinum).

The BBO offers total prize money of 83.700 Euro, including all extra prizes, with 10.000 Euro going to the winner, 6.000 Euro to the runner-up and 4.000 Euro apiece to the third and fourth place finishers. Low to cash is 48th place, worth 800 Euro.

The tournament offers 3.000 Euro for the first 300 game, or for the highest game if there will be no 300 game.

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) begins Friday, Jan. 5, with squads 1 & 2 and concludes Saturday, Jan. 13, with squad 16 followed by the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad slated for 7 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET).

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

Total 48 players, including the top 40 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 2 from a separate leaderboard of squads 9-10 and the top 3 of squads 1-8, who are not among the top 40 plus the top 3 from the Desperado Squad, qualify for the finals. The top 12 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

The other 36 finalists bowl six games starting from scratch with the top 24 advancing to the second round. Those 24 join the top 12 qualifiers to bowl eight games starting from scratch.

The top 16 players will be seeded into two groups according to their positions: Group A (1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 16) and Group B (2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 and 15). Round 2 pins carry over. The group phase features seven games of round robin match play (no position round). During match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie.

The 15-game totals, including all bonus pins, will determine the top two players in each group who advance to the semi-finals (B1 vs. A2 and A1 vs. B2). The semi-final winners will bowl for the title (all one-game head-to-head matches).

The 2018 European Bowling Tour features 13 tournaments in 10 countries including two “platinum”, two “gold”, three “silver”, three “bronze” and three “satellite” events, which will offer total prize fund of more than 560.000 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 12th EBT Masters July 8, 2019 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.

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2018 Ballmaster Open – Qualifying Standings after Squad 14/16

Top 40 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 2 from a separate leaderboard of squads 9-10 (places 41 & 42) and the top 3 of squads 1-8 (place 43-45) , plus the top 3 from the Desperado Squad (places 46-48) advance to the finals. The top 12 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

300 games (8) – Timmy Tan (3), Timi Taalas, Lauri Sipilä, Tomas Käyhkö, Martin Paulsson, Matias Luosujärvi.

Herbert Bickel

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