Another first for Liz Johnson, wins Viernheim Open and 25.000 Euro


    European Bowling Tour #15

    Bowling Center Viernheim, Germany (Sept. 9-17, 2006)

    2006EBT16ChampionLizJohnson.jpg Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., defeated Yoan Alix from France, two-games-to-one in the championship match of the 2nd Gutperle Viernheim Open 2006 presented by Storm to become the first American woman to win a European Bowling Tour tournament.

    Johnson made PBA history, when she became the first woman to appear in a championship round in a PBA Tour event and the first woman to win a PBA Regional event.

    Johnson started the first game with three strikes and never looked back winning the game 239 (including eight pins handicap) to 215.

     The second game was a close one that was decided in the 10th frame. Alix opened the door for Johnson when he failed to convert the 6-9 combination in the 9th, but rebounded with a double in the 10th frame to force Johnson to spare the bucket (2-4-5-8).

    The 11-time PWBA champion came up light again but the shot resulted in a spare which sealed the victory. Johnson pocketed the huge 25.000 Euro first-place check (approx. $31,700), while Yoan Alix (right) was consoled with 12.500. Euro. Sean Rash (left), United States received 5.500 Euro for finishing third. The picture shows the top 3. Click on the imaga to enlarge it.

    Match Play Results

    2006 Viernheim Open - Final Standings

    1. Liz Johnson, United States, 25.000 €
    2. Yoan Alix, France, 12.500 €
    3. Sean Rash, United States, 5.500 €
    4. Rainer Puisis, Germany, 5.500 €
    5. Pasi Uotila, Finland, 2.600 €
    6. Jesper Agerbo, Denmark, 2.600 €
    7. Brian Voss, United States, 2.600 €
    8. Martin Larsen, Sweden, 2.600 €
    9. Melissa Bellinder, United States, 1.300 €
    10. Tanja Theißen, Germany, 1.300 €
    11. Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1.300 €
    12. Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1.300 €
    13. Kai Virtanen, Finland, 1.300 €
    14. Zara Glover, England, 1.300 €
    15. Dirk Dreyer, Germany, 1.300 €
    16. Jimmy Mortensen, Denmark, 1.300 €
    17. Nina Flack, Sweden, 700 €
    18. Britt Brøndsted, Denmark, 700 €
    19. Or Aviram, Israel, 700 €
    20. Isabelle Saldjian, France, 700 €
    21. Lonnie Waliczek, United States, 700 €
    22. Mika Luoto, Finland, 700 €
    23. Uwe Tscharke, Germany, 700 €
    24. Michael Mullin, United States, 700 €
    25. Jouni Helminen, Finland, 550 €
    26. Maurizio Celli, Italy, 550 €
    27. Michael Grabovac, Austria, 550 €
    28. Martina Beckel, Germany, 550 €
    29. Michael Fagan, United States, 550 €
    30. Tim Mack, United States, 550 €
    31. Habib Dogan, Turkey, 550 €
    32. Kirsten Penny, England, 550 €
    33. Amedeo Spada, Italy, 550 €
    34. Danyck Briere, Canada, 550 €
    35. Hank Boomershine, United States, 550 €
    36. Oliver Blase, Germany, 550 €
    37. Nicole Sanders, Netherlands, 550 €
    38. Åsa Wetterlund, Sweden, 550 €
    39. Peter Knopp, Germany, 550 €
    40. Peter Ljung, Sweden, 550 €
    41. Carsten Grieving, Germany, 450 €
    42. Chris Van Damme, Belgium, 450 €
    43. Lisa Gardner, England, 450 €
    44. Robert Kendall, England, 450 €
    45. Ty Rose, Canada, 450 €
    46. Nick Froggatt, England, 450 €
    47. Ron van den Bogaard, Netherlands, 450 €
    48. Vincent Cayez, France, 450 €
    49. Patricia Schwarz, Germany, 350 €
    50. Karsten Aust, Germany, 350 €
    51. Amanda Beck, United States, 350 €
    52. Mark Buffa, Canada, 350 €
    53. Andres Gomez, Colombia, 350 €
    54. Stuart Williams, England, 350 €
    55. Taco Verhoef, Netherlands, 350 €
    56. Teemu Raatikainen, Finland, 350 €
    57. Rhys Parfitt, England, 300 €
    58. Lars Nielsen, Denmark, 300 €
    59. Joanne Allsebrook, England, 300 €
    60. Christian Gräber, Germany, 300 €
    61. Markus Häuser, Germany, 300 €
    62. Andreas Boesiger, Switzerland, 300 €
    63. Ryan Abel, United States, 300 €
    64. Ari Halme, Finland, 300 €

    Alix and Johnson to bowl for the title and 25.000 Euro top prize in Viernheim

    2006EBT15YoanAlix_small.jpg The fans were on their feet when local favorite Rainer Puisis started his semi-final match against Yoan Alix from France with a four-bagger. Alix, seeded first after yesterday's Round of 64, managed to win the game 231-186 to take a 1-0 lead. Alix really silenced the crowd when he started the second game with strike-spare and then went off the sheet to win the game and match 280-178.

    2006EBT15LizJohnson_small.jpg Alix will bowl 11-time PWBA champion Liz Johnson for the title and the 25.000 Euro top prize. Johnson defeated PBA champion Sean Rash, two-games-to-one. Rash won the first game, 233-192, to take a 1-0 lead Johnson was unable to shut Rash out in the second game, so Rash got up in his 10th frame needing to strike on his first ball. Rash threw the ball in the pocket, but left a solid 9-pin and lost the game 209-193. Johnson used the momentum to win the third game 235-203 and to advance to the finals with a 2-1 victory.

    Rash beats Voss to meet Johnson in the semi-finals in Viernheim

    2006EBT15LizJohnson_small.jpg 2006EBT15SeanRash_small.jpg Sean Rash, who won his first PBA title earlier this year, defeated 24-time PBA champion Brian Voss 205-203 and 277-257 to set up a semi-final match with 11-time PWBA champion Liz Johnson, all United States. Johnson swept Dane Jesper Agerbo, two-games-to-none.

    2006EBT15RainerPuisis_small.jpg 2006EBT15YoanAlix_small.jpg Yoan Alix (left), the No. 1 seed eliminated Swede Martin Larsen in two games to bowl local favorite Rainer Puisis (right) from nearby Mannheim. Puisis battled it out against Finn Pasi Uotila and delighted the crowd in the packed Bowling Center Viernheim with a 213-194 victory in the decider.

    Rash and Voss to clash in the Round of 8 in Viernheim Open

    2006EBT15SeanRash_small.jpg Brian Voss.jpg PBA Hall of Famer Brian Voss (left) will take on PBA champion Sean Rash (right) in the Round of 8 in the 100.000 Euro Viernheim Open.

    Voss started with a 279-game en route to defeat Tanja Theissen, Germany, two-games-to-none in the best-of-three games format. Rash opened his match against Dirk Dreyer, Germany, with 269 and won the second game in a one-ball roff-off 10-8 after a 200-200 tie.

    2006EBT15LizJohnson_small.jpg 2006EBT15JesperAgerbo_small.jpg 11-time PWBA champion Liz Johnson (left) posted two big scores, 245 and 289 (plus 8 pins handicap each game) to eliminate Jason Belmonte from Australia. Johnson will meet Dane Jesper Agerbo, Denmark (2-0 vs. Kai Virtanen, Finland).

    2006EBT15RainerPuisis_small.jpg Pasi_Uotila_5525.jpg Rainer Puisis (left) swept Osku Palermaa, Finland, and will bowl another Finn, Pasi Uotila in Round 4. Uotila came back from being down 0-1 against England's Zara Glover to win the match 2-1.

    2006EBT15YoanAlix_small.jpg 2006EBT15MartinLarsen_small.jpg No. 1 seed Yoan Alix (left) from France won in three games against Jimmy Mortensen Denmark to meet the  "womanizer" in Round 4. Swede Martin Larsen. (right) was given the nickname when he eliminated three women, Martina Beckel, Britt Brøndsted and Missy Bellinder in the first three rounds. Bellinder shot a 247 (255 including handicap) to take a 1-0 lead but Larsen rebounded with back-to-back victories (220-191 and 279-220) to advance.

    Glover shoots two big games to beat Waliczek in Round 2

    2006EBT15ZaraGlover_small.jpg 2006EBT15LonnieWaliczek_small.jpg Zara Glover from England put on a show in the second match play round in the finals of the 2006 Viernheim Open. The 3-time World Champion flew past PBA champion Lonnie Waliczek, two-games to-none with games of 272 and 279 (scratch).

    2006EBT15JasonBelmonte_small.jpg 2006EBT15JimmyMortensen_small.jpg Two more matches were decided in two games: Jason Belmonte from Australia had back-to-back 240-plus games to eliminated Mike Mullin, United States, and Dirk Dreyer, Germany, won two close matches against Or Aviram from Israel.

    Jimmy Mortensen (right), Denmark, Rainer Puisis, Germany, Kai Virtanen, Finland and Brian Voss, United States came back from a 0-1 deficit to win their matches two-games-to-one.

    2006EBT15MartinLarsen_small.jpg 2006EBT15BrittBrondsted_small.jpg After a tough 2-1 victory over Martina Beckel, Swede Martin Larsen (left) went the distance against 2-time defending women's ranking champion Britt Bröndsted (right), Denmark. Larsen won the decider 248-230 only to set up a third round match against another woman, Miss Bellinder, United States.

    Defending champion Fagan eliminated in the first round of the single-elimination finals in Viernheim

    2006EBT15ViernheimLogo200.jpg Players seeded 9-40 after the semi-finals took on the lanes at Bowling Center Viernheim for the first round of single-elimination match play in best-of-three games format Sunday morning at 8 and 10am.

    2006EBT15RainerPuisis_small.jpg 2006EBT15OrAviram_small.jpg Round 1 First Half:
    Five of the eight matches on early Sunday morning went in quick 2-0. Winners were Rainer Puisis (left), Germany, Britt Bröndsted, Denmark, Kai Virtanen, Finland, Or Aviram, Israel and Zara Glover, England.

    2006EBT15MikeMullin_small.jpg 2006EBT15NinaFlack_small.jpg Jason Belmonte
    from Australia flew past Peter Ljung, Sweden in the decisive third game, 257-258. Former U.S. National Amateur champion Mike Mullin (left) used a four-bagger to beat Jouni Helminen, Finland, in the decider 229-203. Nina Flack (right), Sweden, posted games of 234, 244 and 225 (including 8 pins handicap each game) to beat Peter Knopp, Germany, 2-1. Knopp tied the match with a 276 in game two.

    2006EBT15MikaLuoto_small.jpg 2006EBT15MichaelFagan_small.jpg Round 1 Second Half: PBA Hall of Famer Brian Voss made quick work of Amedeo Spada from Italy. Mika Luoto (left), Finland, ended the winning streak of defending champion Michael Fagan (right), 2-0.

    Uwe Tscharke, Germany and Isabelle Saldjian, France also swept their opponents. Dirk Dreyer stunned American Tim Mack, 2-1.

    2006EBT15HabibDogan_small.jpg 2006EBT15LonnieWaliczek_small.jpg PBA champion Lonnie Waliczek (left) won a tough match against Habib Dogan (right), Turkey, in the decider, 255-235. Dane Jimmy Mortensen came back from being down 1-0 against Mauricio Celli, and men's World Doubles champion Martin Larsen, Sweden defeated women's World Doubles champion Martina Beckel, Germany, 2-1.

    With total prize fund of 100.000 Euro or more than US$125,000 the Viernheim Open is the "richest event" on the European Bowling Tour for the second consecutive year. The winner will walk away with the huge 25.000 Euro first-place check (approx. $31,700).

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