Finnish youth national team member Tomas Käyhkö jumps into fourth place at Ballmaster Open


    2016 European Bowling Tour #1

    Käyhkö averages 229.17 to lead the first qualifying day in 2016 with 1375 pins; compatriot Juhani Tonteri continues to lead the 286-player field with 1396; No. 44 score to beat to advance surpasses the 1200-mark (1203)



    Finnish youth national team member Tomas Käyhkö (pictured above) paced the first qualifying day in the year 2016 at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland, en route to jump into fourth place in the overall standings in the 46th Brunswick Ballmaster Open.

    Käyhkö led the first qualifying squad on Saturday (fifth overall) behind games of 187, 260, 200, 233, 279 and 216, an average of 229.17, to improve on a 1264 series and to leap from 22nd to fourth place with 1375.

    Käyhkö played on the Finnish youth national team in the past two years, earning the coveted team gold and silver in doubles at the 2014 EYC in Odense, Denmark, and bronze medals in team and doubles at the 2015 EYC in Leipzig, Germany.

    2014BWCJuhaniTonteri.jpg2016EBT01PasiUotila2.jpgAfter three qualifying days, Finnish bowlers still hold the top 47 spots in the standings. Juhani Tonteri (left), who had games of 268, 220, 195, 220, 270 and 223 in squad 3, continued to lead the field of 286 players from Finland (282 players), Estonia (2), Germany and Russia (1 each), with 1396 and an average of 232.67.

    Three-time Ballmaster Open champion Pasi Uotila (right) was just two pins behind in second place with 1394 and was followed by Perttu Jussila, who was further two pins back in third place with 1392.

    Rounding out the top 5 was two-handed player, Osku Palermaa, who slipped one with 1369. The world traveler, a 13-time European Bowling Tour titlist and 5-time PBA champion, is still looking to win the most prestigious tournament in his native country.

    Jesse Kallio and Teemu Putkisto were next to Käyhkö in squad 5 with 1305 and 1302, respectively. Kallio, who had high games of 266 and 246, moved into 15th place, while Putkisto closed his set with a huge 277 game to take over 18 place.

    2016EBT01ReijaLunden2.jpg2015WWCMastersSannaPasanen.jpgLong-time Finnish women's national team member Reija Lundén (left) led squad 6 with 1304 total, including games of 242, 206, 212, 189, 212 and 195 (1256 scratch, an average of 209.33) and 48 pins women's handicap, good for 16th place.

    Lundén became just the second women who surpassed the 1300-mark. Current Finnish national team member Sanna Pasanen (right) was the first and remained the best of 42 women in the field in 13th place with 1324 total. No other player of squad 6 reached the 1300-mark.

    With 6 of 18 squads in the books, Nina Kovanen holds the 44th and last place to advance to the finals from the overall qualifying standings with 1203 or an average of 200.50, including handicap (cut in 2015 was 1342; 223.67 average).

    2015EBT14PatriciaLuoto.jpgGerman-Finnish Patricia Luoto (right) was the best of the four foreign bowlers in the field so far in 48th place with 1202, including handicap.

    Qualifying continues on Sunday, January 3, with squads 7 and 8 scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET).

    2015BallmasterLogo_small.jpg Since its inception in the year 2000, the European Bowling Tour kicks off with Brunswick Ballmaster Open in Helsinki, Finland. The 46th edition of Europe's most prestigious bowling tournament will kick off the 17th EBT season from Tuesday, December 29, 2015 through Sunday January 10, 2016 at 36-lane Tali Bowling Center.

    The BBO is the first of three "EBT Platinum" events this season, the highest of the four EBT categories, and offers total prize money of 103.300 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 54th place, worth 1.000 Euro.

    Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) starts on Dec. 29 with squads 1 & 2 and concludes Jan. 9 with squad 18 followed by the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad slated for 8 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET - one hour ahead of CET).

    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.

    Total 54 players - the top 44 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 6 from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-8 who are not among the top 44 and the top 4 from the Desperado Squad - qualify for the finals. There is no bonus for the qualifying leaders this year.

    All 54 finalists bowl two blocks of five games with the top 12 advancing to the round robin match play portion. Those 12 bowl further 11 games of round robin match play (no position round) with the previous pinfall total carried over. During match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie.

    The top 4 players after 21 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 and the 13.000 Euro top prize.

    Whether the 46th Brunswick Ballmaster Open will offer a World Bowling Tour and Professional Bowlers Association Tour title is still pending as World Bowling, bowling's governing body, has not yet published a schedule for the 2016 WBT season.

    2016EBTLogo_small.jpg After the withdrawal of the Russian Open and the cancelation of the Istanbul Open, the 2016 European Bowling Tour currently consists of 16 tournaments in 11 countries featuring three "Platinum" events, three "Gold", four "Silver" and six "Satellite" events. All tournaments together offer total prize fund of roughly 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 10th EBT Masters February 27, 2017, at Dolfijn Bowling in Tilburg, Netherlands.

    Photos by Seija Lankinen.


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    2016 Brunswick Ballmaster Open - Qualifying Standings after Squad 6/18

    Top 44, top 6 from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-8 who are not among the top 44 and the top 4 from the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals on Sunday, Jan. 10.