Strong finish propels Tomas Leandersson into the lead in Helsinki


    2014 European Bowling Tour #1

    Leandersson, Wetterberg, Hansen crack the 1400-mark in Brunswick Ballmaster Open; Mika Koivuniemi earns 3.000 bonus for the tournament's first 300 game; cut for 44th is 1280 (213.33 average)

    2014EBT01TomasLeandersson.jpg2014EBT01MatthiasWetterberg.jpgClosing games of 288 and 267 propelled Tomas Leandersson (pictured left) of Sweden into the qualifying lead in the 44th Brunswick Ballmaster Open at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland Thursday.

    The former World and European champion, who started his series with 213, 235, 186 and 231, totaled 1420 pins, an average of 236.67, in Squad 10 en route to position himself atop the 436-player leaderboard.

    Fellow Swede Mattias Wetterberg (right), who overtook the lead in Squad 9 with 1411, slipped to second place. Defending champion Jesper Svensson, Sweden, was mere twelve pins behind Leandersson to moive into third place in the overall standings with 1408.

    2013EBT10CarstenWarmingHansen.jpg2014EBT01MikaKoivuniemi300.jpgDane Carsten Warming Hansen (left) was further 13 pins behind to sit in fourth place with 1395. Previous leader Samu Valaranta of Finland slipped to fifth place with 1392.

    Three-time Ballmaster Open champion Mika Koivuniemi (right; 1998, 2010 & '11), Finland, started Squad 10 with the tournament's first 300 game and earned a 3.000 Euro bonus for accomplishing the feat. The eight-time European Bowling Tour titlist finished with 1340, good for 18th place overall.

    The cut raised by 69 pins Thursday. Jarkko Pirhonen, Finland, currently holds the 44th and last place to advance with 1280 and an average of 213.33.

    Qualifying continues on Friday, January 10, with Squads 11-13 scheduled to start at 11 a.m., 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 10/17