Germans Martina Beckel & Carlo Greulich sweep titles at Schiedam Senior Open


    2013 ISBT #8

    Greulich shoots 300 on his way to the men's title

    2013ISBT08MartinaBeckelCarloGreulich.jpgGerman bowlers dominated the Schiedam Senior Open as Martina Beckel (pictured left) and defending champion Carlo Greulich (right) swept the women's and men's title. The eighth stop on the 2013 International Seniors Bowling Tour was held at the Chandra Bowling center in Schiedam, Netherlands.

    This is traditionally the most popular event on the tour, and this year it attracted 128 men and 30 women. The format for the tournament was a single eight-game qualifying block, with re-entries allowed.

     For those not able to qualify through the main leaderboard, there were additional opportunities through Turbo games. Age bonus started at age 51 of 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 photo on the right shows the top three men and the top three women of the 2013 Schiedam Senior Open. Click on the image to enlarge it.

    The previous ISBT tournament in Deurne proved challenging for the competitors due to the layout of the bowling center. Chandra Bowling presented a more conventional environment, however, this year it was the weather which was to provide an additional degree of difficulty.

    This event is generally associated with warm weather in this part of the Netherlands, but this year it was even hotter than usual.

    The Schiedam tournament generally offers a high scoring condition, and in the very first squad, Chris Vandamme of Belgium posted a 1942 scratch total and 1982 with age bonus for a 242 average and a narrow early lead, ahead of André Geelan of Belgium.

    In the women's section, Bea Creamer of Netherlands led the squad with 1508 including bonus. The second squad saw the scores go even higher, with Henk Wijker of Netherlands scoring 1955. The ladies section saw the first appearance of local favorite Farida Pascoal-Blom of Netherlands, who totaled 1645 to take a firm grip on the leaderboard.

    Good scores continued to be posted in both divisions, Sabina Leutwiler of Switzerland having 1571 in squad four, and Jürgen Preuss of Germany recording 1830 in squad six.

    Squads six, seven and eight took place on the Friday of the tournament, and by the afternoon, the temperature outside the bowl was around 36° Celsius. As the bowl has no air-conditioning, the internal temperatures were even higher, probably in excess of 40° C. They presented severe challenges to the bowlers, and was reflected in the generally lower scoring.

    Squad seven saw Steve Carnall of England beat the 1900 barrier by a single pin, to be followed in the next squad by fellow Englishman Al Jenkins on 1907. However, following completion of the last and hottest squad of the day, there was major drama, when popular English bowler Mick Ince collapsed shortly after finishing bowling.

    He received immediate attention from fellow bowlers, and was quickly whisked off to hospital in an ambulance. He was diagnosed with severe dehydration, and spent two nights in the local hospital recovering. Happily, he was released from hospital in time to return to the bowl to watch completion of the tournament.

    Squad nine the next morning saw the first appearance of Martina Beckel of Germany, whose total of 1718 set her clearly in the overall lead.

    Only two squads remained for those who were still not safely in the qualification zone. Carlo Greulich of Germany hit a new top score of 1990 to ensure his place in the finals, with Ernst Berndt of Austria not far behind on 1972.

    Ulla Caspari of Germany also booked her finals place in this squad with a fine 1658. The final squad saw yet more high scores, with Frank Lindsay of England, Mo Singleton of England and Harald Punessen of Germany all being over 1900 to have good qualification places.

    In the women's section, Liliane Vintens of Belgium looked to be heading for the overall lead in the last squad, but a disappointing last game meant she would qualify second, just behind Beckel.

    The top ten women would move forward to the finals, with the cut being Doris Bickmann of Germany on 1525, just five pins ahead of last year's winner Marianne Pelz of Germany. These top ten, with the two Turbo qualifiers would bowl again in Sunday's finals.

    The top four men, Greulich, Berny Stockl of Germany, Vandamme and Berndt, would miss the early morning Sunday round. The cut for the top 32 was Klass Gorter of Netherlands on 1718. Additionally, four Turbo qualifiers would make the final stages.

    There is always much debate about the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed. At Schiedam this year, six of the top seven men, and the top woman were all left handed.

    The first finals round for the men saw the 32 competitors starting early, with André Geelan winning the six game block with 1460, ahead of Hermann Wimmer of Germany. The cut at 16th place was Ben Penninkhof of Netherlands on 1295.

    These 16 were then joined by the top four from qualification, for a further four game block. This round was won by Al Jenkins with 944, a single pin ahead of Carlo Greulich. Only eight would go forward to the final, with the final place being taken by Geelan on 886.

    The 12 women qualifiers also played to determine the eight finalists, this round was won by Liliane Vintens on 856, followed by Martina Beckel and Angie Brown of England. Last placed qualifier was Sabine Leutwiler, who almost missed the round due to a mixup over the start time.

    In both the men's and women's sections, 50% of the pinfall from this final qualification round would carry forward into the eight person round robin final.

    In the women's section, Vintens carried on with her high scoring, and opened up a sizeable lead over the field. After four games she was over 100 pins ahead of Beckel. However, game five brought a big turnaround, with Vintens only scoring 155 and sustaining her first loss, with Martina Beckel hitting 253, plus 30 win bonus points to close the gap.

    2013ISBT08WomenTop3.jpgGoing into the final match, Vintens was just 13 pins ahead of Beckel, with Brown just 15 pins further adrift. Beckel had a good win against Leutwiler, which left Vintens needing a win against Christiane Kühn of Germany to remain in the lead.

    This was a really close match, with Kühn emerging the winner by a single pin, to rob Vintens of the tournament win. So Beckel (center) secured her second ISBT win of the season, with Vintens (left) in second place, and Brown (right) finishing in third.

    After four matches in the men's section, the top seven were separated by only 43 pins, and with 30 pins bonus for a win, it was still anyone's tournament to win.

    2013ISBT08MenTop3.jpgUp until this point, Greulich had averaged 228, including a 257 game without a single win. However, he then suddenly produced a magic 300 game, which not only propelled him to the top of the leader board, but also won him an extra 300 Euro.

    Greulich (center) then followed this with 259 to strengthen his position at the top. His final game was 255, unbelievably this was also a loss, by one pin to Geelan, but his exceptional high scoring had carried him through to victory at Schiedam for the second year in a row. Geelan (left) finished in second place, with Wimmer (right) finishing in third place.

    Check here for the complete tournament results.

    The next stop is the Belgium Senior Open, which will be held at Bowlmaster Bowling Club in Brussels from August 28 thru September 1. Full details are available at the ISBT website.

    Report by Tony Brown.


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