Three players crack the top in Wednesday's Squad 12 at Ballmaster Open

    01/08/16

    2016 European Bowling Tour #1

    Sweden's Pontus Andersson paces all bowlers on Wednesday to move into third place with 1396; tournament organizer Kai Virtanen remains atop the 473-player leaderboard on 1432; No. 44 score to beat to advance is 1268, a 211.33 average

    2016EBT01PontusAndersson.jpgForeign bowlers dominated the sixth qualifying day of the 46th Brunswick Ballmaster Open at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland. World Youth Doubles champions Pontus Andersson and Markus Jansson from Sweden and PBA legend Parker Bohn III, United States, cracked the top 10 in the 12th squad on Thursday evening.

    2016EBT01KaiVirtanen2.jpgAndersson (pictured left) started his six-game block with 243, 224, 189 and 215 and closed out with two big games, 258 and 267, to jump into third place with 1396 and an average of 232.67.

    Kai Virtanen (right) and Ville Rajala of Finland continued to lead the field of 473 bowlers from 14 countries with 1432 and 1399, respectively.

    2016EBT01ParkerBohn.jpgBohn (left), who owns 35 PBA titles along one European Bowling Tour title, started the day in 28th place and improved his previous high series by 102 pins. The lefthander, who is in fifth place on PBA's all-time PBA Tour titles list after winning the PBA Cheetah Championship, used high games of 269 and 255 to leap into seventh place with 1386 (231 average).

    As the Ballmaster Open is not part of the 2016 World Bowling Tour, the winner will not be awarded a PBA title.

    2015BWCMarkusJansson3.jpgJansson (left) 2016EBT01CarstenWarmingHansen.jpgwas mere two pins behind Bohn with 1384 (230.67) to take eighth place. He rebounded from a slow start (192, 198) with 237 before he became the second bowler to roll a 299 game (Finn Olli Pakonen was the first). Jansson closed with 211 and 247. If there will be no 300 game in the tournament, all bowlers with a 299 game will split a 5.000 Euro bonus.

    World trios champion Carsten Warming Hansen (right) of Denmark led squad 11 with 1360 (226.67) to sit in 11th place in the overall standings. Martin Larsen (below left), Sweden, was eight pins behind with 1352 to move into 14th place.

    2016EBT01MartinLarsen2.jpg2015BWCSannaPasanen2.jpgFinnish national team member Sanna Pasanen (right) is still the best of 61 women in the field but slipped to 21st place with 1324 total, including 48 pins handicap.

    With 12 of 18 squads in the books, Mika Heino holds 44th and last place to advance with 1268 or an average of 211.33.

    Qualifying commences on Friday, January 8, with squads 13, 14 and 15 scheduled to start at 10 a.m., 2 and 6 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.

    The 46th Brunswick Ballmaster Open is not part of the 2016 World Bowling Tour and therefore the winner will not be awarded a Professional Bowlers Association Tour title.

    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 12/18


    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.