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Cut to top 50 players surpasses 1400-mark at Brunswick Euro Challenge


Although there were no changes at the top of the leaderboard in Friday’s squads 12, 13 and 14, several competitors found their way into the top 12 at the Brunswick Euro Challenge in suburban Munich, Germany. Meanwhile, the cut to the top 50 players surpassed the 1400-mark.

Shayna Ng (pictured right with Jazreel Tan, left, who had the only other 300 game by a woman) of Singapore continued to lead the 345-player field from 37 countries, 284 men and 61 women, with 1539 total, including handicap. Ng’s 1499 scratch series, an average of 249.83 for six games, included one of ten 300 games this week. Last year’s BEC also featured 10 perfect games, nine in qualifying and one in Final Round 1.

Ahmad Muaz (left) of Malaysia was second with 1533, including a 300 game, and the field-best 255.50 average. South Africa’s Francois Louw remained in third place with 1524 and was followed by Pontus Andersson of Sweden in fourth place with 1522 and Syafiq Ridhwan of Malaysia in fifth place with 1500.

Tomas Käyhkö (right and above) of Finland led the 12th squad with 1489 (248.17) powered by the eighth 300 game of the tournament. Käyhkö, who started the day in 85th place with 1332, came out of the gates with a huge 287, then sandwiched 212 games around a 255 before he achieved perfection in game 5. He closed his set with 223.

Two games earlier than Käyhkö’s 300, his compatriot Joonas Jähi (left) posted the seventh 300 game followed by a 280 in game six on his way to a 1478 series. Jähi finished the day in 14th place.

Consistency was the name of the game for Stuart Williams (right) of England, who owns six European Bowling Tour titles and one Professional Bowlers Association title. Williams started his set with four games between 243 and 248 before he closed with a low game of 238 and a high game of 258 for 1478, good for eighth place overall.

World Trios champion Carsten Warming Hansen of Denmark slipped to seventh place with 1483, also including a 300.

2014 Brunswick Euro Challenge runner-up Daniel Fransson (left) of Sweden paced squad 13 with 1469 (244.83), including five games between 215 and 258 and a high game of 279 to leap into ninth place and to push Thailand’s Yannaphon Larp-apharat to 10th place with 1460.

Birgit Pöppler (right) of Germany was mere 16 pins behind Fransson with 1453, including eight pins handicap each game. The 2012 EBT women’s point ranking leader is the best German bowler in the field in 11th place and one of 13 women in the top 50.

Rounding out the 12, who will receive a first-round bye for Sunday’s finals was Mexican Arturo Quintero (left), who toppled 1453 pins, an average of 242.17 (cut to top 12 in 2016 was 1457).

In the second game of squad 13, Irish two-hander Chris Sloan and one-time EBT champion Markus Jansson of Sweden brought the number of 300 games to 10. Jansson finished his set with 276 and 258 to sit in 13th place with 1449 and Sloan was just four pins behind in 15th place with 1445 after finishing with 262.

Multiple Asian champion Michael Mak (right) of Hong Kong was the lone player of squad 14 on Friday evening who surpassed the cutoff number. Mak, who started the day in 22nd place with 1425 improved by two pins only to fall six spots to 28th place with 1427.

Among the competitors who are in serious danger to miss the cut is 11-time PBA champion and 2011-12 PBA Player of the Year, Sean Rash, United States (48th, 1406), Brunswick Ballmaster Open champion Daphne Tan of Singapore (49th, 1406) and two-time World Bowling Tour women’s finals champion Danielle McEwan (left), United States, who is “on the bubble” with 1405 and an average of 234.17 scratch.

Qualifying continues on Saturday, March 25, with squads 15-18 starting at 8 a.m., noon, 4 and 8 p.m. Central European Time (CET) and concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad slated for 11.30 p.m.

The 14th Brunswick Euro Challenge is the third stop on the 2017 European Bowling Tour and the second and last EBT “Platinum” events this season, the highest of the five EBT tournament categories (platinum, gold, silver, bronze and satellite).

The BEC, which also kicks off the World Bowling Tour 2017, will be held from March 18-26 at Dream-Bowl Palace in Unterföhring in suburban Munich, Germany, the biggest bowling center in Europe with 52 lanes.

Players will compete for total prize fund of 104.000 Euro with 11.400 Euro going to the winner, 8.500 Euro to the first runner-up and 5.500 Euro to the third place finisher. Low to cash is 64th place, worth 800 Euro.

Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 – maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events. The top three women after qualifying receive 1.200, 700 and 500 Euro bonuses, respectively.

Qualifying kicks off Saturday, March 18, and runs through Saturday, March 25, with the final Squad 18 slated for 8 p.m. Central European Time (CET). Qualifying concludes with the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad at 11.30 p.m.

Total 64 players qualify for the finals on Sunday, March 26, including the top 50 in the overall qualifying standings, the top 5 each from a separate leaderboard of the squads conducted March 21-22 and 18-19, and the top 4 of the Desperado Squad.

The top 12 qualifiers receive a first-round bye. The other 52 players bowl six games scratch to cut to the top 16 who will join the top 12 qualifiers in Round Two. Those 28 bowl another six games scratch after which the field is trimmed to the top 8 for match play.

Round Two pinfall will be carried forward. During the seven games of match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie.

The top 3 players with the highest 13-game total, including bonus pins, will determine the champion in a stepladder final. The No. 3 seed bowls the No. 2 seed and the winner of the semifinal match takes on the No. 1 seed for the title and the 11.300 Euro top prize.

The 2017 European Bowling Tour features 11 tournaments in 9 countries including two “Platinum”, two “Gold”, one “Silver”, three “Bronze” and three “Satellite” events, which offer total prize fund of roughly 560.000 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 8 men and top 8 women, who will be eligible to compete in the 11th EBT Masters February 12, 2018 in Tilburg, Netherlands.

The World Bowling Tour is sanctioned by World Bowling, the governing body for the sport of bowling. The tour is the premier international bowling series that is hosted in numerous, unique cities around the globe.

Due to an agreement between World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), World Bowling Tour tournaments will award a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member who doesn’t accept handicap pins.

The World Bowling Tour 2017 consists of nine stops in Bahrain, Germany, Kuwait (2), Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and USA (2).

Men and women compete for points to earn places on the World Bowling Tour rankings. The points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle, where points include every event from the previous two year format. “Majors” award double points.

The top three men and top three women in the annual points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals (date and venue tba).

World Bowling provides governance to international bowling and is made up of 134 bowling international federations. For more information on the World Bowling Tour, click here.

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2017 Brunswick Euro Challenge – Qualifying Standings after Squad 14/18

Top 50 qualifiers, top 5 from March 21-22 squads (places 51-55), top 5 from March 18-19 squads (places 56-60), and top 4 of the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals on Sunday, March 26.

300 games (10) – Muhd Jaris Goh, Shayna Ng, Jazreel Tan, Kuek Qi En, Ahmad Muaz, Carsten Warming Hansen, Joonas Jähi, Tomas Käyhkö, Chris Sloan, Markus Jansson.

Herbert Bickel

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