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Denmark’s Thomas Larsen takes second-round lead in PBA Oklahoma Open

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Denmark’s Thomas Larsen proved to be the most versatile player after two rounds averaging 226 on two different PBA lane condition patterns to take the lead in the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open Wednesday at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Still trying for his first PBA Tour title on U.S. soil, Larsen (above) leads after the second round with a 3,619 16-game pinfall total. He bowled a 1,826 pinfall total in Tuesday’s first eight-game round on the 32-foot Wolf pattern lane condition and followed it up with 1,793 in Wednesday’s second round bowling games of 219, 226, 257, 193, 253, 194 and 217 and 234 on the 40-foot Bear lane condition pattern.

“I was nervous about today,” Larsen said. “In practice on Monday on this lane condition, everything was good for the first 20 frames but then all of the sudden the lanes started hooking a ton.

“The (lane condition) transition was quick so I ended up using a few balls in the round and kept moving left. I was fortunate that I was able to keep up with the quick-changing lane conditions.

Larsen (left) owns two PBA Tour titles which came in PBA/World Bowling Tour events – the 2013 Abu Dhabi Open and 2014 Kuwait International Open. His best U.S. finishes have been third-place finishes in the 2015 and 2016 Chameleon Championships.

“I’ve done well in tournaments where you have to be versatile,” the 27-year-old Larsen added. “When you bowl all over the world you have to learn to bowl on everything.” Larsen’s home country of Denmark is one of 16 nations represented in the Oklahoma Open.

Larsen holds a 57-pin lead over 18-time Tour winner Chris Barnes (right) of Double Oak, Texas, in second with a 3,562 pinfall. First-round co-leader three-time Tour winner Marshall Kent of Yakama, Wash., finished the day in third with 3,558.

Reigning PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett (left) of Huntington, Ind., moved from seventh in the first round to fourth with 3,516. Tackett won the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions which was held in Shawnee in February. He won the inaugural Main Event PBA Tour Finals which aired on the CBS Sports Network Tuesday evening to become the season’s first three-time winner.

Trey Ford III, a 16-year-old PBA member from Bartlesville, Okla., rounded out the top five with a 3,511 pinfall total. The high school sophomore, who is competing in a field of 90 of the best bowlers in the world bowled games of 226, 174, 231, 191, 233, 223, 266 before faltering in the final game with 133. Ford, who has been a PBA member since age 13, has best finishes of sixth, seventh and ninth in PBA regional competition.

Malaysia’s Zulmazran Zulkifli (right), who held the first round lead with Kent, finished the day in sixth with a 3,504 pinfall total.

Qualifying continues Thursday with another eight-game round on PBA’s 52-foot Badger lane conditioning pattern.

The top 33 players based on 24-game pinfall totals will advance to another eight-game qualifying round on the Oklahoma Open lane condition Friday which will determine nine players who will compete in the live ESPN stepladder finals at the Grand Casino Hotel Event Center Saturday and Sunday at noon CDT (1 p.m. ET).

Saturday’s stepladder round will feature players who qualified fifth through ninth with the winner advancing to the no. 5 qualifying position for Sunday’s stepladder finals.

All qualifying rounds are streamed live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame. For subscription and schedule information click here.

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PBA Oklahoma Open – Second Round Standings

Players with position, hometown and 16-game total

1, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 3,619
2, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3,562
3, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 3,558
4, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 3,516
5, Trey Ford III, Bartlesville, Okla., 3,511
6, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Malaysia, 3,504
7, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3,479
8, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3,466
9, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3,458
10, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 3,449
11, Sam Cooley, Australia, 3,443
12, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 3,414
13, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 3,402
14, (tie) Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., and
Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 3,383
16, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 3,380
17, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3,374
18, Dom Barrett, England, 3,373
19, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 3,366
20, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 3,363
21, Richie Teece, England, 3,347
22, Ahmed Alawadhi, Bahrain, 3,344
23, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 3,342
24, J.R. Raymond, Clinton Twp., Mich., 3,330
25, (tie) John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., and
Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,327
27, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 3,323
28, (tie) Stuart Williams, England, and
Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,321
30, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3,319
31, James Cantere, Oklahoma City, 3,311
32, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,310
33, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,304
34, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 3,302
35, (tie) Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., and
Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 3,297
37, (tie) AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., and
Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3,289
39, Dylan Burns, Lawrence, Kan., 3,274
40, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 3,268
41, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 3,266
42, (tie) DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, and
Francois Louw, South Africa, 3,264
44, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 3,262
45, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 3,247
46, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 3,246
47, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 3,243
48, AJ Chapman, Wichita, Kan., 3,241
49, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 3,239
50, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3,233
51, (tie) Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev.,
Gabriel Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla., and
Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 3,230
54, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 3,217
55, (tie) Osama Hassan, Bahrain, and
Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 3,214
57, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,202
58, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 3,196
59, Brian LeClair, Athens, NY, 3,185
60, Patrick Allen, Elmwood Park, N.J., 3,183
61, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 3,177
62, (tie) Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., and
Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 3,173
64, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 3,171
65, Isaac Russell, Malaysia, 3,162
66, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 3,160
67, Matthew Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 3,155
68, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 3,131
69, Tom Sorce, Blasdell, N.Y., 3,128
70, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 3,124
71, Ramon Hilferink, Netherlands, 3,121
72, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3,119
73, Michael Houtz, Myerstown, Pa., 3,104
74, Dylan Macon, Lubbock, Texas, 3,100
75, Isaac Kim, Lebanon, Pa., 3,098
76, Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., 3,093
77, Paul Brewbaker, Midwest City, Okla., 3,092
78, Dino Castillo, Highland Village, Texas, 3,084
79, Graham Fach, Canada, 3,081
80, Omar Rashid, Bahrain, 3,071
81, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 3,042
82, Jeff Hatt, Oklahoma City, 2,988
83, Kenneth Bland Jr., Jacksonville, Texas, 2,950
84, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 2,937
85, Tyson Branagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 2,882
86, Cody Shoemaker, Hanover, Pa., 2,824
87, Armando Santacruz, Ecuador, 2,799
88, Jose Rosero, Ecuador, 2,715
89, William Tarpein, McDonough, Ga., 2,669
90, Yebgueni Velez, Ecuador, 2,502

Herbert Bickel

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