Samu Valaranta takes over lead in Brunswick Ballmaster Open


    2014 European Bowling Tour #1

    Finn averages 232 in Squad 8 to lead the 336-player field with 1392; Olli Pakonen moves into third place with 1364; cut for 44th place improves by three pins to 1211 (201.83 average)

    2011EBT18SamuValaranta.jpgSamu Valaranta (pictured left) of Finland led the eighth qualifying squad with 1392, an average of 232 for six games, to overtake the qualifying lead in the 44th Brunswick Ballmaster Open Monday at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland.

    Valaranta had games of 246, 189, 237, 256, 237 and 227 to overtake previous leader Timo Alho, Finland, who led since Squad 2 with 1373, by 19 pins. Alho slipped to second place and is followed by Olli Pakonen, Finland, who leaped into third place behind a 1364 series. Alho had all games between 206 and 255.

    German national team member Patricia Luoto slipped two spots to fourth place with 1364 including 48 pins handicap and is the best of 28 women and the best foreigner in the 336-player field from four countries.

    Luoto's husband, former World Champion Mika Luoto, had the third-highest 1323 series in Squad 8 to sit in 10th place. ECC and World Games winner Krista Pöllänen was close behind with 1319 including handicap to move into 12th place.

    Jari Ratia, Finland, was the lone bowler in Squad 7 who averaged over 200 (1231). Ratia sits in 29th place with his high series of 1246.

    Tero Virtanen, Finland, currently holds the 44th and last place to advance with 1211 and an average of 201.83.

    Qualifying takes a brief hiatus and continues on Thursday, January 9, with Squads 9 & 10 scheduled to start at 3 and 7 p.m. local time (CET +1).

    2014BallmasterLogo_small.jpg The 44th Brunswick Ballmaster Open is the opening event of the 2014 European Bowling Tour and the first of six "EBT Gold" events this season, the second-highest of the four EBT categories. The tournament will be held from Friday, Jan. 3, through Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 at 36-lane Tali Bowling Center in Finland's capital city Helsinki.

    Players will compete for total prize money of 90.300 Euro with 12.000 Euro going to the winner, 8.000 to the runner-up and 4.000 and 3.000 to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively. Low to cash is 48th place, worth 1.100 Euro.

    According to an agreement between the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), the Ballmaster will award a PBA international title, if won by a PBA member or a PBA international member.

    Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) of the Brunswick Ballmaster Open runs through Saturday, Jan. 11, and ends with Squad 17 followed by the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad slated for 11.30 p.m. local time (CET +1).

    Women will receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 - maximum score is 300), a standard for women on the European Bowling Tour.

    A total of 48 players - the top 44 from the overall qualifying standings plus the top 4 from the Desperado Squad - qualify for the finals on Sunday, Jan. 13. The qualifying winner receives a 2.000 Euro bonus. The first and second runner-up get 1.000 and 500 Euro, respectively.

    All 48 finalists bowl eight games scratch with the top 16 advancing to the match play portion. Those 16 bowl further 15 games of round robin match play (no position round) with the Round 1 total carried over.

    Players earn 30 bonus pins for each match won and 15 for a tie. The top 4 players after 23 games including bonus pins determine the champion in a traditional stepladder final.

    The No. 4 seed meets the No. 3 in the opening match. The winner takes on the No. 2 seed for the right to bowl the top seed for the title, the 12.000 Euro top prize and 150 EBT and 50 WBT ranking points.


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    Qualifying Standings after Squad 8/17