Greek's Giannis Stathatos takes lead as qualifying at Bucharest Open reaches halfway point



    Stathatos, local bowler Gagenoiu, PBA's Russell and England's Miller are automatically qualified for the Sunday's finals; cut for 22nd place surpasses 1200-mark (1202, 200.33 ave.)

    2012BOGiannisStathatos.jpg201213PBARonnieRussell.jpgGiannis Stathatos (pictured left) of Greece led a field of 104 players from 14 countries at the 3rd IDM Bucharest International Bowling Open as qualifying has reached its half way point Thursday at IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania.

    Stathatos averaged 229.17 in the 13th of 24 qualifying squads Thursday morning featuring games of 216, 231, 241, 251, 210 and 226 to move to the top of the leaderboard with 1375 six-game total.

    Previous leader Romeo Gagenoiu of Romania slipped to second place with 1323. Only two other players cracked the 1300-bar on the fourth day of qualifying. Ronnie Russell (right) of the United States and Matt Miller (below left) of England led Squad 15 with 1323 and 1311, respectively, to help grab third and fourth place in overall qualifying standings.

    2012BOMattMiller.jpg2012EBT17ChrisSloan.jpgBy virtue of finishing 1-4 at the end of Thursday's qualifying, Stathatos, Gagenoiu, Russell and Miller are automatically qualified for Sunday's finals.

    Day one leader Marius Piticariu of Romania missed the top 4 by 13 pins to sit in fifth place with 1298.

    Chris Sloan (right) of Ireland made a run for the top 4 in the 16th and last squad on Thursday night. The two-handed player, who had high games of 254, 246 and 241, finished with 192 to fall 17 pins short and to settle for sixth place with 1294.

    2012EBT18BettinaLund.jpg2012BOCatalinGheorghe.jpgFormer European Bowling Tour's women's point ranking leader, Bettina Lund (left), Denmark, was right behind Russell and Miller in Squad 15 with 1275 including 48 pins handicap to leap into seventh place. Lund is the best of ten women in the tournament and the lone in the top 22.

    Rounding out the top 8 was Catalin Gheorghe (right) of Romania with 1274. The top 8 at the end of the qualifying will earn one bye for the finals.

    The cutoff number for 22nd place (including the top 4 of Squads 1-16) surpassed the 1200-mark. David Orlanda, Romania, is "on the bubble" with 1202 and an average of 200.33.

    Qualifying continues Friday with Squads 17-20 scheduled for 10.30 a.m., 2.30, 6.30 and 10.30 p.m. CET+1.

    2012BucharestOpenLogo_small.jpg The 3rd IDM Bucharest International Bowling Open will be held Nov. 19-25 at 14-lane IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania (Oil Pattern). The tournament offers total prize fund of 15.000 Euro in the open division and additional 1.800 Euro for bowlers with less than 180 average.

    The tournament winner will receive the 2.500 Euro top prize, the runner-up earns 1.500 Euro and the third and fourth place finishers get 1.000 Euro apiece.

    The qualifying of the Bucharest Open runs from Monday, Nov. 19 through Saturday, Nov. 24 and concludes with Squad 24 scheduled for 10.30 p.m. local time CET+1 and the Desperado Squad following immediately. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game.

    A total of 24 players will qualify for the finals on Sunday, Nov. 25 including the top 4 of a separate leaderboard of the squads on Monday through Thursday, the top 18 of the overall qualifying standings and the top 2 of the one-game Desperado Squad.

    Players seeded 9th to 24th will bowl six games scratch with the top 8 advancing to the second round. The remaining 16 players will bowl another six games scratch to cut to the top eight, who will determine the champion in best-of-three games match play format.


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    Marius Piticariu sets the pace in 3rd IDM Bucharest International Bowling Open


    Qualifying Standings after Squad 16/24