Big closing games propel Jaroslav Lorenc into qualifying lead in Helsinki


    2016 European Bowling Tour #1

    Czech Republic bowler rolls 1433 series to lead the 514-player field into the final qualifying day; No. 44 score to beat to advance is 1305, a 217.50 average



    2016EBT01KaiVirtanen2.jpgJaroslav Lorenc (pictured above) of the Czech Republic averaged 238.83 in Friday's squad 14 to take the pole position in the qualifying of the 46th Brunswick Ballmaster Open and leads the 514-player field into the last qualifying day at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland.

    2016EBT01MagnusJohnson.jpgLorenc started his six-game block with games of 255, 206, 180 and 235 before he closed out with 288 and 269 for 1433 to overtake previous leader Kai Virtanen (left) of Finland by just one pin. The organizer of the Ballmaster Open slipped to second place with 1432.

    Magnus Johnson Jr. (right) led the last squad on Friday (#15) with 1416, including games of 233, 204, 228, 266, 241 and 244 to tie 35-time PBA champion Parker Bohn III, United States. Bohn was ranked third and Johnson fourth according to the EBT tie rules.

    2016EBT01JesperSvensson.jpg2016EBT01DJArcher.jpgTwo-handed Swedish lefty Jesper Svensson (left), who won his second PBA title in the PBA Chameleon Championship last month, was just tem pins behind Johnson with 1406, including six games between 215 and 257, to leap into sixth place.

    Two-time PBA champion DJ Archer (right), United States, was the seventh and last player who surpassed the 1400-mark with 1404.

    Robin Persson (below left) of Sweden led the first squad Friday (#13) with 1369, closely followed by 4-time PBA and 11-time European Bowling Tour titlist Dominic Barrett of England (1368) and Daria Kovalova of Ukraine (1366), good for 18th thru 20th place.

    2016EBT01RobinPersson.jpg2016EBT01DariaKovalova.jpgEuropean champion Kovalova (right) is currently the best of 68 women in the field and one of five above the cut line.

    With 15 of 18 squads completed, Jesse Kallio of Finland holds 44th and last place to advance with 1305 or an average of 217.50 (in 2015 the cut was 1342; 223.67 average).

    Former world champion Tim Mack, United States (64th; 1282), brought the number of 299 games to three (Olli Pakonen, Finland, and Markus Jansson, Sweden, had the others). If there will be no 300 game in the tournament, all bowlers with a 299 game will split a 5.000 Euro bonus.

    Qualifying commences on Saturday, January 9, with squads 16, 17 and 18 scheduled to start at 9 a.m., 1 and 5 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET) and concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad slated for 8 p.m.

    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 15/18

    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.