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Belmonte, Cain crack the top 8 at Lucky Larsen Masters

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Three-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia and former Team USA member Andrew Cain posted six-game series of 1323 and 1309, respectively, Thursday at Baltiska Bowlinghallen to crack the top 8 at the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters in Malmö, Sweden.

Belmonte (above) averaged 220.50 in the last squad on Thursday (17b), including games of 198, 217, 268, 243, 190 and 207 to leap into fifth place in the overall standings.

Pontus Andersson (right) of Sweden, who won the Track Dream-Bowl Palace Open in July for his first European Bowling Tour title, held on to the lead as the field surpassed the 400-player mark.

Andersson leads the 422 players from 21 countries, 358 men and 64 women, since squad 10 with 1372 and an average of 228.67. His compatriot Victoria Johansson and Britt Brøndsted of Denmark are the best women in second place with 1367 and 1354, respectively, including 48 pins women’s handicap.

Fourth place belonged to Bader Alshaikh of Saudi Arabia, with 1342. Cain (left), a former president of the United States Bowling Congress, toppled 1309 pins in squad 16 to currently hold eighth place. The top 8 players at the end of the qualifying portion, will receive a first-round bye for the finals.

Nathan Ruest-Lajoie of Canada and two-time PWBA champion Danielle McEwan (right), United States, were second and third to Belmonte with 1307 and 1300, to move into ninth and eleventh place, resp. Only the top 11 have reached the 1300-plateau on the challenging lane condition.

Christer Danielsson of Sweden led squad 17a with 1291, good for 16th place overall. Tournament namesake Martin (Lucky) Larsen (left) the first squad on Thursday morning with 1269 and finished the day in 32nd place.

With two more qualifying days to go, Mattias Wetterberg of Sweden holds the 38th and last spot to advance from the overall standings with 1252 or an average of 208.67. Osku Palermaa of Finland tied Wetterberg at 1252, but is the first player out due to the lower last game.

Qualifying continues on Friday, August 25, with squads 18, 19, 20a and 20b scheduled to start at 9 a.m., 1, 5 and 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST).

A newcomer on the European Bowling Tour, the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters is the 8th stop and the second and last EBT “Gold” tournament this season, the second-highest EBT category.

The tournament is also the third event of the 2017 World Bowling Tour, which is sanctioned by World Bowling, the governing body for the sport of bowling.

The inaugural LL Masters will be held August 13-27 at 22-lane Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmö, Sweden and offers total prize fund of 912.000 Swedish Kronor (SEK), or approximately 95.415 Euro, with 160.000 SEK (€16.740) going to the winner.

All rounds can be watched live on the internet, featuring four different cameras covering 16 lanes. The Lucky Larsen Masters will be live streamed Aug. 13-25 on luckylarsenmasters.com and Aug. 26-27 on worldbowling.org. For more information, click here.

Qualifying of the Lucky Larsen Masters (six-game series, unlimited re-entries) runs from Sunday, August 13, through Saturday, August 26, with the last qualifying squad 23 scheduled for 6 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). Qualifying concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad scheduled to start at 9.30 p.m.

Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum is 300) throughout the entire tournament, an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 44 players will advance to the finals on Sunday, August 27, including the top 38 qualifiers, the top 2 from the “Early Bird Competition” (squads 1, 2 and 4-11), the highest senior bowler (born in 1967 or earlier) and the highest junior bowler (born in 1999 or later), all not among the top 38, plus the top 2 from the Desperado Squad. The top 8 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

The other 36 players bowl six games from scratch before the field is cut to the top 16 who join the top 8 qualifiers in the second round featuring eight games from scratch. The top 8 bowl an additional four games with the pinfall from round two being carried forward. The top 4 with the highest 12-game total determine the champion in a traditional stepladder finals.

The 2017 European Bowling Tour features 11 tournaments in 9 countries including two “Platinum”, two “Gold”, one “Silver”, three “Bronze” and three “Satellite” events, which offer total prize fund of roughly 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 11th EBT Masters February 12, 2018 in Tilburg, Netherlands.

The World Bowling Tour is the premier international bowling series that is hosted in numerous, unique cities around the globe.

Due to an agreement between World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), World Bowling Tour tournaments award a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member who doesn’t accept handicap pins.

Men and women compete for points to earn places on the World Bowling Tour rankings. The points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle, where points include every event from the previous two year format. “Majors” award double points.

The top three men and top three women in the annual points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals, which will be held November 19th at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno., Nevada, in conjunction with the PBA World Series of Bowling IX (Nov. 7-19, 2017).

World Bowling provides governance to international bowling and is made up of 134 bowling international federations. For more information on the World Bowling Tour, click here.

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2017 Lucky Larsen Masters – Standings after Qualifying Squad 17/23

Top 38 qualifiers, the top 2 from the “Early Bird Competition” (places 39-40), the highest senior bowler (41st place) and the highest junior bowler (42nd place) plus the top 2 from the Desperado Squad (places 43-44) advance to the finals. The top 8 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

Herbert Bickel

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