Marianne Pelz, Luciano Lambertini take the titles at Italian Senior Open


    2013 ISBT #5

    Gisela Insinger, Ron Oldfield win ISBT Masters 2012

    2013ISBT05LucianoLambertiniMariannePelz.jpgMarianne Pelz of Germany and Italy's Luciano Lambertini (pictured left, r-l) took the women's and men's title at the Italian Senior Open, the fifth stop on the 2013 International Seniors Bowling Tour, which was held at Reno Bowling in Bologna, Italy, from June 1-9, 2013.

    Gisela Insinger of Germany and Ron Oldfield of England walked away the winners of the ISBT Masters for the 2012 season, which was held in conjunction with the ISO.

    The opportunity to cash in both events drew more international players than last year, resulting in an excellent entry of 166 bowlers from around Europe and beyond. As with all ISBT events, there was a separate division for women.

    The format for the tournament was 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.

    The tournament then departed from the usual ISBT format, with the final stages being decided over a number of head-to-head elimination matches. Age bonus started at age 51 (one pin per game), then increased a pin for every additional year of age with no limit.

    The first four squads all ran through the weekend before the finals, with a large number of Italian bowlers competing. The opening squad saw Santo Provenzi storm into an early lead with a 1450 six-game total including bonus.

    Claudio Zucconi was not too far behind on 1382. The second squad was won by Daniele Bronzetti with 1325. Leading the women's section at this point was Maria Grazia Locatelli with scores of 1084 and 1074.

    The third squad on Sunday morning was won by Dionisio Cantele with 1269, and the fourth by Santo Provinenzi with 1283. Locatelli continued to improve with a score of 1187 to remain top woman.

    The fifth squad saw a number of high scores, led by Loris Masetti on 1343, followed by Luciano Lambertini (1336) and Gastone Pertegato (1333). The sixth squad was the first to be won by a non-Italian bowler as Germany's Arthur Dähn posted 1281.

    By the seventh squad, the number of bowlers in each squad was continuing to rise, in total 32 took part with Pertegato leading the way on 1374. The last squad on Wednesday saw Franco Zambon take the top spot with 1410.

    At this point, the overall leader board was starting to take shape, with Zambon now leading with 2749, just ahead of Provenzi and Pertegato. The women's division was led by Concettina Gagliolo on 2319, followed by Locatelli.

    Wednesday saw the arrival of many of the overseas competitors, and Swede Ulf Lönngren was early squad winner with 1518, just ahead of Ron Oldfield of England on 1499. Germany's Marianne Pelz set a new high score in the women's section with 1275. Wednesday's final squad saw Frank Lindsay of England take top spot with 1398.

    This totally changed the position on the men's leaderboard, with all three places now occupied by non-Italians, with Lönngren in first place on 2867, followed by the English pairing of Lindsay and Oldfield in second and third places. In the women's section, Yvette Murrath of Belgium now held top spot with 2380, ahead of Gagliolo.

    Thursday saw two more squads, the first being led by Giuseppe Ronconi of Italy with 1436, a few pins ahead of Chris Vandamme of Belgium. In the women's section, Pelz set comfortably the highest score with 1274 putting her into a clear lead overall. The last squad on Thursday saw Vandamme take top spot with 1405.

    Friday was mostly taken up with the Masters finals from the 2012 season, but there was a single squad in the evening which was won by Rejo Saarinen from Finland with 1433. In the women's section, Alessandra Morra of Italy led with 1224.

    Saturday provided the last four qualifying squads. The first squad of the day was led by Saarinen with 1394. Hermann "the German" Wimmer lead the second with 1467, and Sweden's Christer Danielsson the third with 1430.

    The final squad saw 33 bowlers all trying to secure good qualification positions. Vittore Rescazzi won the squad with 1365. Lönngren finished atop the men's leaderboard with 2867 total and was followed by Oldfield and Wimmer. The cut in 24th position was Jack Smith of England with 2666. The top 24 were joined by six "early birds" and two turbo qualifiers in the final rounds.

    2013ISBT05WomenFinalists.jpgOn the women's side, Gisela Insinger of Germany led the final squad with 1262, which moved her into the top three places. Petra Duplois of Germany and Rafaella Fusco of Italy also hit over 1200 to secure the last two main qualification places. Top qualifier was Pelz on 2549, followed by Rosaria Matrullo of Italy. Those five were joined by two early bird qualifiers and a final turbo qualifier. Pictured right are the eight women's finalists.

    Sunday saw the final stages, all rounds being decided by best-of-three games knockout matches. The top 8 men had byes for the first round, so positions 9 to 32 played to see who would progress to the next round.

    The first knockout round saw only three of the eight matches go to the full three games, with good wins for Frank Stander of England with games of 249 and 246, and Italian Dante Didonfrancesco with 259 and 231.

    The next round saw Stander maintain his form, but was outscored by Guiseppe Ronconi of Italy with 252, 276 and 258. High score of the round was former World Champion Roger Pieters of Belgium with a fine 299 scratch to help him into the next round.

    The third final round saw a tie between Ronconi and Saarinen, who both managed 233 in the third game. Ronconi emerged as the victor, and progressed into the last eight. The last eight saw wins for the top qualifiers, Lönngren, Lambertini, Oldfield and Wimmer.

    2013ISBT05MenTop4.jpgThese four (pictured left) then all had close battles, with both matches running the full three-game distance. Once again there was a tie, this time between Lönngren and Lambertini, this time the Italian progressed to the final. In the other match, Oldfield lost the second game, but took a 2-1 win over Wimmer to make the final.

    The final was convincingly won by Lambertini, who defeated Oldfield in two games, 264-218 and 227-199, to become the men's Italian Senior Open champion.

    In the women's section, all first-round matches went to three games, and the winners were Pelz, Duplois, Morra and Murrath. In the semi-finals, both matches were decided in just two games, with Pelz defeating Duplois and Morra beating Murrath.

    The final was close, but Marianne Pelz the form she had shown throughout the tournament, to wrap up the women's title with 171-157 and 200-191.

    The top 32 men and the top 12 women from the 2012 ISBT rankings were invited to compete in the ISBT Masters event. Entry was free to those who had qualified, and the prize fund totaled 10,000 Euro.

    The finals were based on a round robin format. Four groups of eight men bowled round robin match play with the top two advancing to the eight-player round robin final. For the women, two groups of six bowled a round robin qualifier, with the top three from each group making the six-person final.

    In the first round, Ron Oldfield and Gunther Schollen of Belgium qualified from the Blue Group, Loris Masetti of Italy and Ulf L√∂nngren from the Red Group, Hermann Wimmer and his compatriot Jochen Diekhoff from the Yellow Group, as well as Andre Geelen of Belgium and J√ľrgen Preuss of Germany from the Green Group.

    In the men's final, Oldfield stormed to victory winning six of his seven matches including a 290 in the third match, which put him out of reach of the rest of the field. In second place was Geelen followed by Preuss in third place.

    In the women's Masters finals, Gisela Insinger and Uschi Diekhoff, both Germany, and England's Angie Brown qualified from the Pink Group and were joined in the final by England's Jan Hodge and Ruth Stander and Yvette Murrath from the White Group.

    In the final, the lead changed hands several times, but finally Insinger triumphed, some distance ahead of Brown who climbed several places thanks to a final last game of 246.

    The next stop on the International Seniors Bowling Tour is a return to Stuttgart in Germany for the Böblingen Senior Open July 3-7 at Dream Bowl. Full details are available at the ISBT website.

    Report by Tony Brown.


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