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Germany’s Oliver Morig leads in Qatar Open after Day 1 Qualifying


Oliver Morig of Germany averaged 239 to take the early lead in the Qatar Bowling Open after the opening qualifying day at the Qatar Bowling Center in Doha Saturday.

Morig (pictured right and above) rolled games of 244, 247, 278, 178, 243 and 244 in squad 1 to lead the 81-player field from 31 countries with 1434 six-game series and to pocket a $300 bonus for the highest series of the day awarded by the Qatar Bowling Federation.

Morig beat out squad 2 leader Mika Koivuniemi (left) of Finland for the top spot and the bonus by just five pins. The two-time PBA Player of the Year, now the head coach of the UAE national team, was second with 1429, including games of 231, 268, 215, 241, 240 and 234, an average of 238.17.

Placed 3-5 belonged to Malaysian bowlers. Two-time world champion Esther Cheah (right) was the best of seven women on the first day with 1371 scratch (228.50 average) and 1419 total, including eight games handicap each game.

Her fellow countrywoman Sin Li Jane (left) toppled 1348 pins and added 48 pins handicap to sit in fifth place with 1396. Sandwiched between the two women was World Singles Championships silver medalist Rafiq Ismail who hit 1400 on the nose.

World Singles champion Jesper Agerbo (right) of Denmark was 24 pins behind Ismail in seventh place with 1376, including a 290, the highest game of the opening day. Agerbo was sandwiched between Swedes Martin Paulsson and Peter Hellstrøm in sixth and eighth place with 1381 and 1373, respectively.

Kendle Miles, United States, was ninth with 1361. The best Qatari bowler, Jassim Al-Muraikhi (left), rounds out the top 10 with 1353, including high games of 280 and 257. The top 10 at the end of the qualifying will receive a first-round bye.

With only two out of 17 qualifying squads in the books, Yaqoub Al-Shatti of Kuwait holds the 34th and last spot to advance from the overall standing with 1215 or an average of 202.50. For comparison, last year’s qualifying cut was 1355 (225.83).

Qualifying continues on Sunday, Dec. 11, with squads 3, 4 and 5 scheduled to start at noon, 4 and 8 p.m. Arabia Standard Time (AST).

Photos courtesy of Asian Bowling Federation (ABF).

2016EBT16QatarOpenLogoThe 2016 Qatar Bowling Open is the 16th and last stop of the 2016 European Bowling Tour and also the 6th and last event of 2016 World Bowling Tour. The EBT “Platinum” tournament, the highest of four categories, will be held from Dec. 10-16, 2016, at the Qatar Bowling Center, a 32-laner in Doha, Qatar.

The tournament offers total prize fund of 155,000 U.S. Dollars with $40,000 going to the winner, $20,000 to the runner-up and a last-to-cash payout of $1,200 for 43rd place.

Qualifying (6 games, unlimited re-entries) runs from Saturday, Dec. 10 through Thursday, Dec. 15 with the final Squad 17 scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Arabia Standard Time (AST). Qualifying will conclude with the one-game Desperado Squad slated for 11 p.m.

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

Total 43 players will advance to the finals on Friday, Dec. 11, including the top 34 in the overall qualifying standings, the top 2 each of the Dec 10 (#1 & 2), Dec. 11 (#3-5) and Dec. 12 squads (#6-8) and the top 3 of the Desperado Squad. The top 10 qualifiers will receive a first-round bye.

The other 33 finalists will bowl six games scratch with the top 18 advancing to the second round. Those 18 and the 10 qualifying leaders will roll another six-game block from scratch to cut to the top 4, who will advance to the semifinals.

No. 1 bowls No. 4 and No. 2 bowls No. 3 with the two-game total pinfall determining the winner. The two semifinal winners will bowl for the title in the championship match, also over two games total pins.

2016EBTLogo2The 2016 European Bowling Tour currently consists of 16 tournaments in 11 countries featuring three “Platinum” events, three “Gold”, four “Silver” and six “Satellite” events. All tournaments together offer total prize fund of roughly 850.000 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 12 men and top 12 women, who will be eligible to compete in the 10th EBT Masters May 29, 2017, at Lovvang Bowling Center in Aalborg, Denmark.

The 2016 World Bowling Tour consists of only five regular tournaments, including three in the Middle East, and one each in Germany and Thailand, plus one “major”, which is the PBA World Series of Bowling VIII in the United States.

If a member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) wins a World Bowling Tour event, it counts as a PBA title as well.

Players earn ranking points based on how they finish in each event. “Majors” award double points. The points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle.

Based on the scores from the 2016 events, the top three men and top three women in the points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 at the Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

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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2016 Qatar Bowling Open – Qualifying Standings after Squad 2/17

Total 43 players, including the top 34 in the overall qualifying standings, will advance to the finals on Friday, Dec. 16

Herbert Bickel

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