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Five players crack 1400-mark at 29th Irish Open


Four men and one women cracked the 1400-bar in the qualifying of the Irish Open Championships Friday, which saw the first 300 game Friday in the 29th edition of the event at Leisureplex Stillorgan in Dublin.

Chris Sloan (right) of Ireland and Finland’s Tomas Kayhko (below left) continued to lead the field of 193 players from 17 countries with 1527 and 1524, an average of more than 254 over six games.

Kayhko’s fellow countryman Santtu Tahvanainen (pictured above) improved his previous high score of 1394 by 105 pins in the last squad on Friday, 11th overall, to leap from 10th to third place. Tahvanainen had games of 279, 236, 258, 235, 243 and 248.

Starting the day in fifth place with 1421, Squad 1 leader Barry Foley of Ireland was 39 pins behind with 1460 including five games between 246 and 259 to leap one spot into fourth place.

Petri Keituri (left) of Finland fell two spots to fifth place with 1460, due to the lower last game to Foley which breaks the tie. Perttu Jussila became the fourth Finn in the top 10 when he toppled 1446 pins, including games between 224 and 258, to leap into sixth place in the overall standings.

Squad 10 leader Jo Allsebrook (right) of England was the best of 44 women in the field with 1392 scratch, an average of 232.00, and 1440 total, including 48 pins handicap. Seventh place Allsebrook is the best of seven women in the top 53, who will make the first cut.

Former world and European champion Tore Torgersen of Norway, who won his fourth career European Bowling Tour in the 2014 Norwegian Open finished squad 9 with 254 to improve his high series of 1399 by one pin and to become the 12th player in this year’s event who reached the 1400-plateau.

After a slow start in squad 8 (191, 173), Patrick Jannik Sörensen of Denmark reeled off twelve consecutive strikes for the first 300 game of the tournament and will be awarded a high performance ball for accomplishing the feat. Sörensen closed his set with 217, 244 and 222 to sit in 25th place with 1347.

With 11 out 14 qualifying squads in the books, Dutchman William van Poeteren holds the 53rd and last place to advance with 1291 or an average of 215.17.

Qualifying continues on Saturday, January 21, with squads 12, 13 and 14 scheduled to start at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. and concludes with the Desperado Squad slated for 7.30 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

The 29th Irish Open Championships in association with Storm is the second tournament on the 2017 European Bowling Tour and the first of four “EBT Satellite” events this season, the lowest of five EBT tournament categories.

The Irish Open takes place from January 15-22 at 18-lane Leisureplex Stillorgan in Dublin, Ireland, and offers total prize money of 20.000 Euro with 5.000 Euro going to the winner, 2.500 to the runner-up and 1.500 and 1.250 to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively.

Low to cash is 32nd place, worth 120 Euro. The tournament also offers a high performance bowling ball for the first 300 game, High Game awards for men and women as well as extra prizes for the top woman and the top 4 seniors (must be born on Jan. 1, 1967, or earlier), who have their own shoot-out finale.

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) starts on Sunday, Jan. 15, and concludes Saturday, Jan. 21, with squad 14 followed by the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad slated for 7.30 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 – maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 62 athletes will advance to the finals, including the top 53 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 6 in a separate standing of squads 1-4 who are not among the top 53, plus the top 3 from the Desperado Squad.

The top four qualifiers receive two byes while qualifiers 5-8 earn a first-round bye. The remaining 54 finalists bowl three games, starting from scratch, with the top 28 advancing to the second round.

32 players bowl another three-game block, starting from scratch, after which the field is cut to the top 12. Those 12, seeded 5-16, and the top four qualifiers, seeded 1-4, bowl four rounds of single-elimination match play with the two-game total determining the winner.

In each round, the highest seeded player bowls the lowest seeded player, the second highest seeded player bowls the second lowest seeded player, and so on. The field is trimmed to eight, four and then two players who bowl for the title and the 5.000 Euro top prize.

The 2017 European Bowling Tour features 11 tournaments in 9 countries including two “Platinum”, two “Gold”, three “Bronze” and four “Satellite” events (no silver tournament this season), which offer total prize fund of roughly 500.000 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 in February 2018 in Tilburg, Netherlands.

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29th Irish Open – Qualifying Standings after Squad 11/14

Top 53 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 6 in a separate standing of squads 1-4 who are not among the top 53, plus the top 3 from the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals.

300 games (1) – Patrick Jannik Sörensen.

Herbert Bickel

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