Brown, Vandamme win their second ISBT title in French Senior Open


    2010 International Seniors Bowling Tour #7

    Planet Bowling in Lomme, France (September 1-5, 2010)


    Angie Brown (right), England, and Chris Vandamme (left), Belgium captured their second on the inaugural International Seniors Bowling Tour when they claimed the women's and men's title in the French Senior Open Sunday, Sept. 5 at Planet Bowling in Lomme, France.

    As the 7th stop on the popular ISBT clashed with the Irish Senior Open, only 53 men and 13 women traveled to northern France to take part in the French Senior Open. 50 to 55 year-old players did not receive any age bonus, a 56-year-old got 1 pin handicap per game, a 57 year-old got 2 pins, and so on. Maximum handicap was 20 pins per game.

    Scores from the early squads surprised many, when compared to the free scoring conditions of previous ISBT events. The pattern put down by the host center was shorter than expected, and most bowlers struggled to find any consistency.

    2010ISBT07ChrisVandamme.jpgAs a result, experience would be required to generate good scores. This was clearly shown in the men’s division by Chris Vandamme (pictured right), who coasted to a 230 average over his 12 qualifying games, leaving him almost 200 pins clear of Yves Van Damme in second place. The cut for the top 28 fell at U.S. player Danny Berardi on 2329.

    In the women’s division, high scores were also difficult to find. As the top 16 were scheduled to progress to the second round, and only 13 had entered, qualification was never an issue. The last squad on Saturday night had re-entries from three women who had already qualified, but were all searching for a way to score on the difficult conditions.

    Maybe the conditions in the squad were a little easier, or perhaps they had learnt from their earlier entries, but all three improved significantly to finish qualification in second (Liliane Vintens, Belgium), third (Brown) and 6th place (Bev Tolman, England).

    Top qualifier was Farida Pascoal Blom, Netherlands, who shows no sign of slowing down with age, shooting a fine 2352. The former Dutch national team member had been the only woman to post three consistent blocks all around 1200 with age bonus.

    The tournament in Lomme is unusual in that both Turbo and Desperado games are available to progress into the next round. ISBT Secretary Ad van der Jagt, Netherlands, and Thierry Thomaes, Belgium, qualified through the Turbo games, with Angelo Leone, France, and Frederick Lagrou, Belgium, progressing through the Desperado.

    Sunday morning was an early start for the men, with an 8:30 start. 6 games at doubles pace were bowled starting again from scratch.

    Once again, Chris Vandamme showed he was at home on the lanes, scoring 1420 scratch for a 236 average. Trailing behind by almost 100 pins were again Yves Van Damme in second place, and Dominique De Nolf in third place.

    Behind these three, there was a further 60 pins to Arlene Engels. The cut fell to Jacky Perignon, all from Belgium, on 1209.

    2010ISBT07AngieBrown.jpgPlay resumed with the top 16 men and all 13 women bowling a further 4 games. For the men, scores carried forward, and the top three continued to be a class apart, with Chris Vandamme increasing his lead to over 230 pins. The cut again fell at Perignon, thanks to a 267 in the third game.

    In the women’s semifinals, with only 4 games before the cut to the final, Farida Pascoal again showed her class, averaging 213 scratch, without her 10 pins a game age bonus. In second place on 207 average was Angie Brown (pictured left), closely followed by Bev Tolman. The cut for the top 8 fell to Stacy Berardi, United States, who couldn’t believe she had made it through, and had to send husband Danny back to the car to fetch her balls.

    The round robin finals of the top 8 men and the top 8 women started with 50% of their previous pinfall. The total pinfall after seven match play games including age bonus, bonus for games over 200 and over 250 and 20 pins bonus per win decided the winner.

    This cut Chris Vandamme’s lead to only 118 pins, but he maintained his lead through the early matches. In the 4th game Dominique De Nolf came closest to anyone in achieving a 300 game. The first ten strikes were followed by a single pin leave to end up with 289, the high game of the tournament.

    2010ISBT07DominiqueDeNolfChrisVandammeUlfLonngren2.jpgHowever, at the end, Chris Vandamme (center) was the worthy champion, having lead from start to finish. "Although the lanes were quite dry, I was able to keep the power and revolutions on the ball so it was actually not too difficult to keep striking in the pocket", Vandamme said afterwards. It was Vandamme's second title after winning the second stop, the Italy Senior Open, in June.

    Dominique De Nolf (left) gained a worth second place, with Swede Ulf Lönngren (right) taking third place.

    2010ISBT07LilianeVintensAngieBrownJanHodge2.jpgIn the women's round robin, Farida Pascoal Blom was unable to maintain her momentum, and the lead passed to Liliane Vintens, who was targeting to win her third consecutive title. Vintens started to open a sizeable advantage.

    However, a final 3-game block of 671 by Angie Brown i(center) ncluding a six-bagger to finish her last game was just enough to take the title by mere 11 pins from Vintens (left). Jan Hodge (right), England, also re-found her earlier good form with 850 over the last four games to easily hold onto third position.

    The inaugural International Seniors Bowling Tour season continues with the Schillerpark Senior Open from Sept. 30 - Oct. 3, 2010 at bowling center Schillerpark in Berlin, Germany.


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    Men's Division - Round Robin (Final Standings after 7 games)


    Women's Division - Round Robin (Final Standings after 7 games)


    Men's Division - Semifinals (Top 8 advance)


    Women's Division - Semifinals (Top 8 advance)


    Men's Division - Quarterfinals (Top 16 advance)