Mohammed Al-Merekhi takes over qualifying lead in Qatar Open


    2015 European Bowling Tour #16

    Qatari averages 235.50 in Squad 4 to lead the field of 89 players from 17 countries with 1413; Zakareya Al-Zoqari (QAT) shoots the first 300 game; Sweden's Jenny Wegner moves into the top 10; No. 34 score to beat to advance is 1199 (199.83 average)

    2015EBT16MohammadJanahi.jpg2015EBT16GhanimMAboujassoum.jpgMohammed H Al-Merekhi of Qatar rolled the field-best 1413 series in Friday's squad 4 to move to the top of the leaderboard in the qualifying of the Qatar Bowling Open at Qatar Bowling Center in Doha, Qatar.

    Al-Merekhi started his series with 251, 267 and 254 (772), slowed down the next two games (202, 205) before he closed things out with 234, an average of 235.50, to overtake previous leader Mohammad Janahi (pictured left) of Bahrain by eight pins.

    Janahi slipped to second place with 1405. Ghanim M Aboujassoum (right) was next to Al-Merekhi in Squad 4 with 1387, including high games of 278 and 267, to leap into third place in the overall qualifying standings after 5 of 17 squads.

    2015EBT16HazeemAlMuraikhi.jpg2015EBT16ZakareyaAlZoqari.jpgAs the player with the highest series on Friday, Al-Merekhi received a 250 Dollar bonus. As the top two players from the combined standings of squads 3, 4 and 5, Al-Merekhi and Aboujassoum earned automatic spots for the finals.

    If any of them finish in the top 43 in qualifying, the automatic spot goes to the next qualifier in order.

    Hazeem H Al-Muraikhi (left), Qatar, slipped to fourth place with 1338. His compatriot Zakareya Al-Zoqari (right) rolled the first 300 game of the tournament in the second game of squad 4 and rounds out the top 5 with 1335.

    2015EBT16AbdullahAbdulkarim.jpg2015EBT15JennyWegner.jpgAbdullah Abdulkarim (left) of Bahrain led the opening squad on Friday (#3) with 1308 and finished the day in 10th place. Adel Al-Barqi of Saudi Arabia paced Squad 5 with 1304, but sits in 8th place with his high series of 1321.

    Sandwiched between Al-Barqi and Abdulkarim was Jenny Wegner (right) of Sweden, who is the best of six women in the field in 9th place with 1309 including 48 pins handicap, a standard for women on the European Bowling Tour.

    Wegner, currently the No. 2 on the European Bowling Tour women's point list, needs to earn 21 points in Qatar to overtake her fellow Team Sweden member Ida Andersson and to win the rankings.

    Andersson told Bowlingdigital that she will not compete in the season-ending Qatar Open because she thinks the tournament is too close to the Women's World Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE (December 5-14).

    As one of three EBT "platinum" events, the highest tournament category in Europe, the Qatar Open offers five times as much ranking points as a "satellite" tournament, the lowest category.

    This means Wegner has to finish not lower than in 30th place in the women's ranking (30 points) to finish the season atop the women's ranking. In the past five years, the highest number of female participants in Qatar was 16 (2010).

    Qualifying continues on Saturday, Nov. 28, with squads 6-8 scheduled to start at noon, 4 and 8 p.m. Arabia Standard Time (AST).

    2015EBT16QatarOpenLogo_small.jpg The 2015 Qatar Bowling Open is the 16th and last stop of the 2015 European Bowling Tour and also the 16th event of 2015 World Bowling Tour. The EBT "Platinum" tournament, the highest of four categories, will be held from Nov. 26 - Dec. 2, 2015, in Doha, Qatar.

    The tournament offers total prize fund of 161,000 U.S. Dollars with $40,000 going to the winner, $20,000 to the runner-up and a last-to-cash payout of $1,300 for 43rd place.

    Qualifying (6 games, unlimited re-entries) runs from Thursday, Nov. 26 through Tuesday, Dec. 1 with the final Squad 17 scheduled to start at 8 p.m. local time. Qualifying will conclude with the one-game Desperado Squad slated for 11 p.m.

    Local Time is Arabia Standard Time (AST) - Central European Time (-2 hours), Eastern Standard Time (-8 hours) and Hong Kong Time (+5 hours).

    Total 43 players including the top 34 in the overall qualifying standings, the top 2 each of the Nov. 26 (#1 & 2), Nov. 27 (#3-5) and Nov. 28 squads (#6-8) and the top 3 of the Desperado Squad advance to the finals on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The top 10 qualifiers will receive a first-round bye.

    The other 33 finalists will bowl six games scratch with the top 18 advancing to the second round. Those 18 and the 10 qualifying leaders will roll another six-game block scratch to cut to the top 4, who will advance to the semifinals.

    The No. 1 bowls No. 4 and the No. 2 bowls No. 3 with the two-game total pinfall determining the winner. The two semifinal winners will bowl for the title in the championship match over two games total pins.

    2015EBTLogo_small.jpg The 2015 European Bowling Tour consists of 16 tournaments in 12 countries featuring three "Platinum" events, three "Gold", three "Silver" and seven "Satellite" events. All 16 tournaments together offer total prize fund of 850.000 Euro.

    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 12th San Marino Open.

    WBTLogo_small.jpg The 2015 World Bowling Tour, which actually got underway in November 2014, consists of 19 tournaments in 12 countries, eight in the Middle East, seven in the U.S., and two each in Asia and Europe, including seven "majors" (double ranking points) and 12 regular tournaments.

    If a member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) wins a World Bowling Tour event, it counts as a PBA title.

    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 all points from the 2014 and 2015 are added to determine the points list.

    The top three men and top three women in the points list will compete in the season-ending WBT Finals in Indianapolis on Feb. 13, 2016. The qualifying standings for the World Bowling Tour Finals are different to the WBT Ranking as they include all WBT events since Nov. 1, 2013.

    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.

    Photos courtesy of Asian Bowling Federation (ABF)


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    2015 Qatar Bowling Open - Qualifying Standings after Squad 5/17

    Total 43 players including the top 34 in the overall qualifying standings will advance to the finals on Wednesday, Dec. 2

    Tie Rule (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.