Germany's Patricia Luoto totals 1428 to take the lead in 45th Brunswick Ballmaster Open


    2015 European Bowling Tour #1

    Finn Kimmo Lehtonen also cracks the 1400-mark in Squad 8 to stay in second place; score to make the cut in 44th place is 1231 (205.17)

    2015EBT01PatriciaLuoto.jpgGerman-Finnish Patricia Luoto (pictured left; all photos Seija Lankinen) averaged 230 and totaled 1428 pins Tuesday afternoon at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland, to take the lead as the qualifying of the 45th Brunswick Ballmaster Open nears its halfway mark.

    The long-time German national team member, who lives in Finland, rolled games of 227, 255, 227, 242, 203 and 226 for 1380 scratch and 1428 total including eight pins handicap each game to lead the field of 361 players - 349 Finns and 12 players Estonia, Germany, Russia and Sweden - after eight of 17 squads.

    2015EBT01KimmoLehtonenLasseLintila.jpgLuoto is the best of 29 women and the lone foreign bowler in the top 44, who will survive the qualifying cut. Long-time Finnish national team member and former BBO organizer, Kimmo Lehtonen (pictured right with Lasse Lintilä, right), became the second bowler in this year's event, who cracked the 1400-mark.

    2015EBT01SamiLampo.jpgThe two-time Ballmaster champion (2002 & '07) toppled 1401 pins including games of 257, 207, 186, 268, 236 and 247 to stay in second place with the field-best 233.50 average.

    Sami Lampo (left) of Finland, who rolled the first 300 game in the event in Squad 5 slipped to third place with 1388. Lampo will receive a 3.000 bonus for the first perfecto. In case it will be the lone 300 game of the tournament, Lampo will be awarded another 2.000 Euro bonus.

    2015EBT01JariRatia.jpgJari Ratia (right) was third in Squad 8 en route to move into fourth place in the overall qualifying standings with 1359 (226.50). Three-time Ballmaster winner Lasse Lintilä (1988, 2003 & '06) slipped to fifth place with 1355 and was followed by another Finnish national team member, Petteri Salonen, who was five pins behind Ratia with 1354, good for sixth place.

    2015EBT01ReijaLunden.jpgEarly leaders Joonas Jehkinen (1346), Reija Lundén (left; 1346) and Magnus Lönnroth (1339) sit in seventh to ninth place. Rounding out the top 10 is Three-time Ballmaster champ Pasi Uotila (2000, '04 & '09), who chalked up 1309.

    Former Finnish national coach Sami Luoto used a high games of 255 and 233 for 1307 series to move into 12th place overall, just two pins ahead of Squad 7 leader Perttu Jussila, who sits in 13th place with 1305.

    Samuli Tiainen currently holds the 44th and last place to advance to the finals with 1231 and an average of 205.17. Qualifying continues on Thursday, January 8 with Squads 9 & 10 scheduled to start at 3 and 7 p.m. local time (CET +1).

    2015BallmasterLogo_small.jpg The 45th Brunswick Ballmaster Open is the opening event of the 2015 European Bowling Tour and the first of three "EBT Platinum" events this season, the highest of the four EBT categories.

    The BBO, which is also the sixth stop of the 2015 World Bowling Tour, will be held from Friday, January 2 through Sunday 11, 2015 at 36-lane Tali Bowling Center in Finland's capital city Helsinki.

    Players will compete for total prize money of up to 121.800 Euro including all extra prizes with 13.000 Euro going to the winner, 9.000 to the runner-up and 6.000 and 4.000 to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively. Low to cash is 48th place, worth 1.100 Euro.

    The 2015 BBO also offers a 3.000 Euro bonus for the first 300 game (5.000 if it is the only 300 game in the tournament) and a 20.000 Euro extra prize for a 300 game in Round Robin or the TV stepladder finals (300eXtra rules). The maximum a bowler can win in this year's event is 40.800 Euro.

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

    Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) runs through Saturday, Jan. 10, 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), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

    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. 11. The qualifying winner receives a 1.500 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 13.000 Euro top prize and 250 EBT and 50 WBT ranking points.

    The stepladder finals, which are supposed to start at 6 p.m. local time, will be broadcast by the national TV in Finland. A live stream will be available for international viewers.

    2015EBTLogo_small.jpg The 2015 European Bowling Tour currently consists of 21 tournaments in 15 countries featuring three "Platinum" events, four "Gold", three "Silver" and eleven "Satellite" events. All 21 tournaments together offer total prize fund of roughly 1 million Euro (approx. 1.22 million U.S. Dollar).

    The top 50 men and the top 50 women in each event receive ranking points. Those points will be tabulated throughout the season to determine the top 12 men and top 12 women, who will compete in the 9th EBT Masters July 25, 2016 at Rose'n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino following the San Marino Open.

    WBTLogo_small.jpg The 2015 World Bowling Tour, which actually got underway in 2014 with the PBA World Championship, currently consists of 20 tournaments including seven "majors" in the Middle East (9), United States (6), Asia (3), Europe (2).

    Players earn ranking points based on how they finish in each event. The current points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle, so some points earned in 2013 and all points from the 2014 and 2015 are added to determine the points list.

    The top three men and top three women in the WBT points list will be invited to compete in the 2015 World Bowling Tour Finals in the beginning of 2016.

    World Bowling provides governance to international bowling and is made up of 134 bowling international federations. For more information on the World Bowling Tour, click here.


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    Tie Rules (Qualifying)
    In case of a tie in the qualifying, "the highest positioned player will be the player scoring the highest total of all counting qualification games minus the score of the lowest game. If a tie still exists, the highest positioned player will be the player with the highest total of all counting qualification games minus the score of the two lowest games, etc."