Chris Vandamme, Sabine Leutwiler take the titles in Alsace Senior Open


    2012 ISBT #3

    Cristal Bowling in Wittelsheim, France (April 11-15, 2012)

    2012ISBT03SabineLeutwilerChrisVandamme.jpgSabine Leutwiler of Switzerland and Belgium's Chris Vandamme (pictured l-r) walked away the winners in the Alsace Senior Open, the third stop on the 2012 International Seniors Bowling Tour, which took place at Cristal Bowling in Wittelsheim, France April 11-15.

    Vandamme posted the highest pinfall total and won five of seven games in match play to finish 49 pins ahead of Patrick Rolland, France, to claim the men's title. Leutwiler was able to weather a late charge by Yvette Murrath to finish 17 pins ahead of the Belgian to earn the women's title.

    57 players - 46 men and 11 women - bowled two blocks of six games qualifying, with the lowest block optionally being replaced by a better re-entry score. For those not able to qualify through the main leaderboard there were additional opportunities through Early Bird squads and Turbo games.

    Age bonus started at age 51 (1 pin per game), then increased a pin for every additional year of age with no limit. As with all ISBT events, men and women bowled in separate divisions.

    Past World Champion Patrick Rolland (1987, Singles) of France had sets of 1500 and 1418 for 2918 to lead the top 32 men into the finals. His compatriot Djouad Laya was second with 2888 with Vandamme and another past World Champion Roger Pieters (1987, Masters), Belgium tied for third place with 2866.

    These 32 were joined in the final by two ISBT tournament mangers, Arthur Dähn, Germany, and Gabriele Benvenuit, Italy, who both managed their high Turbo games of 268 and 252, respectively, in their final entries.

    England's Steve Wright (227) and Giogio Desimio (210), Belgium, led the Desperado Squad to gain the final two spots.

    2012ISBT03FinalistsWomen.jpgSabine Leutwiler and Angie Brown, England, who has won the women's titles in first two stops this season, battled it out for the women's qualifying lead. Leutwiler earned the bragging rights with 2566 behind series of 1305 and 1261. Brown was second with 2555 with Petra Duplois in third place at 2501.

    The top 6 women were joined by Uschi Diekhoff, Germany, who was the turbo qualifier with 224 and Liliane Vintens, Belgium, who was the lone woman in the Desperado Squad. The picture shows the top 8 women.

    The men bowled four games starting from scratch in the first final round with the top 20 progressing to the second final round, where they were joined by the top four qualifiers. The second four-game round was dominated by Roland with 993 and Vandamme with 983. These two were a clear 100 pins ahead of the rest of the field.

    2012ISBT03TDPauloVialGertGroepler.jpgHowever, the high spot of the round was a 300 game for Gert Groepler (right, with tournament manger Paulo Vial, left), Germany, who rolled his first-ever perfect game at the of 77.

    2012ISBT03FinalistsMen.jpgThe top eight (pictured right) determined the champion in seven games round robin match play with scores again starting from scratch. As with the previous round, Vandamme and Rolland ran away from the rest of the field, and in the end it was the Belgian, who claimed the title with a 49-pin advantage. Rolland finished second with Groepler in third place.

    The remaining eight women advanced straight to the match play finals. Leutwiler looked unbeatable, winning her first six games with scratch scores over 200 in each game. She lost her last game with a 193 and Yvette Murrath, Belgium, made a late run for the title and fired a 267 but fell 17 pins short to finish second.

    Brown started her last game with eight consecutive strikes and finished with 260 to leap into third place.

    The fourth stop of the 2012 ISBT is the Italian Senior Open, which will be held at Reno Bowling in Bologna, Italy, from May 26th to June third.


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