Patrick Rolland, Angie Brown victorious at French Senior Open


    2012 ISBT #9

    Report by Tony Brown



    2012ISBT09AngieBrownPatrickRolland.jpgFormer World Champion Patrick Rolland (pictured right) captured his first title on the 2012 International Seniors Bowling Tour and England's Angie Brown (left) won her third title of the season in the French Senior Open in Lille, France.

    The photo shows the men's and women's finalists of the French Senior Open.

    The ninth stop on the 2012 Tour was held from Sept. 19-23 at Planet Bowling, just outside of Lille in France. This was the third running of this tournament, which becomes more popular year by year.

    This year it attracted 91 men and 17 women. The format for the tournament was two blocks of 6 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 Turbo entries, and a desperado squad. The top eight men would have a bye for the first finals round, so securing a top eight place meant not only a later start on Sunday, but guaranteed higher place money.

    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, there was a separate division for ladies.

    The first squad was very close with Daniel Dubart of France emerging the leader with 1350 including bonus, just 1 pin ahead of 11Marco Samsatli of Belgium. It was clear from these early scores that the condition was not easy, with consistency across all 6 games being difficult to achieve as the lanes transitioned.

    The second squad saw the arrival of Chris Vandamme of Belgium, who was the squad leader on 1328, but not enough to take the lead. The third squad saw a new high squad total posted by Jean-Jacques Dairay of France with 1359, and Samsatli hit a second good series of 1336 to be well positioned on the overall leader table. The ladies in particular were finding the condition challenging, with no scores posted over 1100 at this stage.

    The fourth squad saw an improvement in both the men's and ladies sections. Leif Jansen of Denmark was the first to break 1400 with 1403, while Erna Buysse of Belgium had a very consistent series to total 1166. In the fifth squad, Joël Rost of France was leader on 1350, while Buysse had another solid set with 1150.

    The sixth squad on Friday afternoon saw the arrival of some of the top players. Roger Pieters of Belgium led the squad on 1361, with England's Ron Oldfield second on 1349. In the women's section Yvette Murrath of Belgium now had the highest six game block with 1177, but still no woman had managed to break par.

    The seventh squad to finish Friday's qualifying brought a new level to the scoring from two of England's established bowlers. Oldfield had learnt from his first entry, and now posted a total of 1484 (1358 scratch) to be the highest total by some margin.

    In the ladies section, scores also took a step forward. Murrath improved with the first entry of 1200, totaling 1250. This squad also saw England's Angie Brown's first entry of the tournament, and it looked like her final game was going to bring the first 300 of the tournament.

    The first 10 shots all carried perfectly, however the eleventh went high, resulting in a 288 scratch game, the highest qualification game of both sections. Her final total was 1255, just passing Yvette's total.

    The eighth squad showed the Pieters also learnt from his first entry, now making 1404 on his second attempt. He was closely followed in this squad by Ion Grecu of Romania. The women's squad leader was Liliane Vintens of Belgium with 1235, closely followed by the winner of the last tour stop Christiane Kühn of Germany.

    The ninth squad saw another 1400+ series from Pieters, moving him into second position in the overall rankings behind Oldfield. In the ladies section, another solid series of 1274 from Brown established her in a clear lead at the top of the rankings, which was never beaten.

    The last two squads saw bowlers trying to either make the qualifying positions, or get into the top eight to gain a bye through the first qualifying round. Squad ten was led by Patrick Rolland of France on 1359, with Andre Geelan of Belgium close behind on 1344.

    Jan Hodge of England led the women in this squad on 1181. The last squad was won by Laya Djouad of France on 1431. In the women's section, Brown had a third series over par with 1250, but failed to increase her overall lead.

    The efficient scoring quickly showed the top men three qualifiers were Oldfield (2833), Pieters (2813), and Barry Horne, United States (2762). The cut for the eight who would miss the first qualifying round was Alain Aubert of France on 2691. The qualification cut was Laurent Quittelier of France on 2528.

    Top lady qualifier was Brown with 2529, over 100 pins ahead of Murrath, these two being the only ones who were over par. The cut for the last automatic place went to Ruth Stander of England on 2325.

    Two men and one woman then qualified through the Turbo games, these being Eric Beaujot of France and Alan Bennett of England for the men, and Karen Barfoot of England in the ladies section.

    The final qualification places would be decided by the Desperado squad. 10 men and two ladies took part, fighting for two final places in the men's division, and one in the ladies division.

    The men found the going hard, with few being able to string the strikes together. Mike Halliwell of England started well, but then a big split looked like ending his chances. However, a few more strikes secured his place with 234 with bonus, closely followed by Guiseppe Sciascia of Italy on 229.

    In the ladies section, Pepita Jacques of France had struggled to find high games during qualifying, but suddenly found her form and started with the first six strikes. She closed the game out well to finish with 258 scratch (261 with bonus) and secure the final qualification place.

    The men in positions 9 to 36 plus the turbo and desperado qualifiers then had an early start on Sunday morning to see who would progress further. Only eight would fall at this stage and the cut was a lowly 803 for Grecu.

    Top qualifier by some margin was Steve Carnall of England on 966, with Lol Ellis of England second on 925. However, scores would reset before the next round, so any advantage gained here was lost.

    The 24 top players from the first final round were then joined by the eight top players from qualification. However, immediately practice for this squad started, the players noticed a real problem with the lane conditioning on some of the lanes. A problem was found with the Phoenix lane machine, which the technicians worked hard to fix, however this delayed the start of the squad by around an hour.

    Only the top eight from this round would make the final, and this round was led by André Geelan of Belgium on 917. The cut for the top eight was Bill Goldwasser of Belgium on 880. The tournament high game was also recorded in this squad, with 290 for Giorgio Desimio of Belgium.

    On then to the finals, with eight women and eight men playing a seven-game Round Robin, again the scores resettet to zero. However, the problems with the Phoenix lane machine continued, and eventually the spare machine was brought into play.

    Unbelievably, this also broke down half way through dressing the lanes for the final, causing a further extensive delay. Again, the technicians worked tirelessly to get the machine working again, and provide an even playing condition for all the bowlers.

    As the condition for the finals was laid with a different machine, there was a possibility that the lanes might play slightly differently. Generally, it was felt that the technicians did a good job of replicating the earlier pattern, however some bowlers did feel the lanes were now slightly easier to play.

    In the men's section, Chris Vandamme, Ron Oldfield and Patrick Rolland were to dominate, Vandamme started off strongest, leading after three games. In the fourth game, he looked like easing away from the field after having the first nine strikes before leaving a single pin on the first ball in the tenth frame for a 279 game.

    This consolidated his position in the lead. However, all was to change in the fifth round, when Vandamme had a lowly 179 to lose to Rolland's 202, which put the 1987 World Champion in Singles only six pins behind overall.

    2012ISBT09Podium.jpgIn the final two rounds, both Rolland and Oldfield outscored Vandamme and moved past him, Oldfield ending up in second place, with Rolland providing a French winner for the French Senior Open by a mere 24 pins.

    In the women's section, Angie Brown started with 231 and 242 to create a substantial lead. She won the first six of her seven matches to have an almost unassailable lead before the last round. Behind her, Karen Barfoot bowled steadily to have a firm hold on second place, with Pepita Jacques bowling consistently to keep ahead of the rest.

    Throughout the round robin, Ruth Stander kept making the spares, and this coupled with her 28 pins a game age bonus made her difficult to beat. In the final game, she also inflicted the only defeat on Angie Brown to leap into a final fourth place.

    However, the loss of the last game made no difference to the top places, with Brown becoming ISBT champion for the third time in 2012, well over 100 pins ahead of Barfoot and Jacques.

    The final stop for 2012 is another new venue for the ISBT, first Bowl in Leeds, England for the Yorkshire Senior Open October 11-14, 2012.


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    2012 International Seniors Bowling Tour Schedule & Champions


    2012 French Senior Open - Men's Finals


    2012 French Senior Open - Women's Finals


    2012 French Senior Open - Men's Final Round Two

    The top 8 advance to the finals.


    2012 French Senior Open - Men's Final Round One

    The top 24 advance to the second round.


    2012 French Senior Open - Men's Qualifying

    The top 36 players plus the top two turbo and desperado qualifiers advance to the next round. The top eight receive one bye.


    2012 French Senior Open - Women's Qualifying

    The top 6 players plus the top turbo and desperado qualifier advance to the finals.