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Huhta, Greulich conclude 2015 ISBT with victory in French Senior Open


Hillevi Huhta of Finland and Germany’s Carlo Greulich concluded the 2015 International Seniors Bowling Tour with victory in the French Senior Open Sunday Oct. 4 at Planet Bowling in Lomme, France. It was the first ISBT title for Huhta, while Greulich became the only multiple men’s champion this season.

There is always a strong entry for this tournament, and as the ISBT Masters event was being held at the same time, the numbers were even higher than normal, with 92 men and 25 ladies taking part.

The format for the tournament was a single six games qualifying block, with unlimited re-entries. For those not able to qualify through the main leaderboard, there were additional opportunities through Scratch score, Turbo games and a Desperado squad.

Age bonus started at age 51 (1 pin per game), then increased a pin for every additional year of age with no limit. As with all ISBT events, there was a separate division for ladies.

From the first squad, it was clear that good scores could be achieved. André Geelen of Belgium led the way with 1453 including age bonus. In the ladies section, Sylvette Lassal of France was top with 1104. A small squad two was led by Be Van Denzel of Netherlands with 1322, with Nadine Robert of France leading the squad with 1156.

Squad three had a full complement of 32 bowlers, and was comfortably won by Hermann Wimmer of Germany with 1524, with Hillevi Huhta having a strong 1304 block to easily lead in the ladies section. In the next squad, Ron Oldfield of England was top with 1391 and Liliane Vintens of Belgium had 1212 to finish top lady.

There were three further squads on Friday. Berny Stockl of Germany took the first with 1400. Huhta was again top lady, this time with 1302, just 2 pins lower than her previous entry. In the next, Patrick Rolland of France almost made 1400, finishing just short on 1395, despite a first game of 149. Alessandra Morra of Italy was the top lady with 1201, but failed to improve on her earlier score. The final squad of the day saw Claude Escarguel of France, lead with 1393, ahead of Morra, with a greatly improved score of 1350.

With just the Saturday squads remaining, Wimmer led the men’s rankings with 1524, ahead of Geelen of Belgium of 1453, and Giorgio Desimio of Italy with 1419. Morra led the women’s rankings with 1350, ahead of Huhta of 1304, and Chantel Vanbesien of France with 1231.

There were three final squads on Saturday and the first saw the first 300 game of the tournament going to Manuel Petit of France. Unfortunately, he had not entered the Turbo completion, and his other games were not enough to secure a top position, so he did not proceed to the finals.

The high scoring pace was led by Lol Ellis of England, who shot 1610, one of the highest six games blocks in any ISBT tournament. Martina Beckel of Germany took the ladies section with a steady 1345.

The second squad of the day was won by Carlo Greulich of Germany with 1510 to ensure he would achieve a top eight position. Ruth Stander of England was top lady with 1136, but this would not be enough to make the finals.

In the final qualifying squad, Mike Halliwell of England finished strongly to ensure his place in the finals with 1388. Kimberly Oakley of England started her block strongly and finished with 1247 to also book her place in the finals.

At the end of qualification, Ellis had a substantial lead over the rest of the field with 1610, ahead of Wimmer of 1524, Greulich of 1510, and Geelen. These four would miss the first two finals rounds, players in positions five to eight would miss one round, with eighth place going to Santo Provenzi of Italy with 1414.

The qualification cut for the top 24 was Mo Singleton of England with 1365. Three more players qualified through high Scratch scores, and a further three through Turbo games, leaving just two places to fill in the Desperado squad.

In the ladies division, Morra with 1350 had a slim lead over Beckel, with Huhta and Oakley making up the four who would miss the first final round. Last qualifier was Vintens with 1212.

The highest Scratch score, and two Turbo qualifiers would also make the finals, with just one place available in the Desperado squad.

11 men and 4 women took part in the 1 game Desperado shootout. Jean Marc Marin and Helmut Ulber of Germany booked their places with games of 248 and 243, some distance ahead of the rest of the bowlers. An excellent game from Dutch Henny van der Jagt of 233 ensured she would be the last lady to make the finals.

 The men in positions 9 to 24, plus the other qualifiers had an early start on Sunday morning in the first finals round of four games. Alan Keddie of Scotland, bowled well, and had an easy win with 997, ahead of Claude Genest of France. The top twelve would go into the next round, twelfth place was Alan Jenkins of England.

Pictured are the men’s semi-finalists. Click image to enlarge.

In the next round, the twelve qualifiers would be joined by qualifiers five to eight for a further four game block. Ron Oldfield of England led this block with 961, ahead of Giorgio Desimio of Italy. Only the top eight would progress further, this place going to Jacques Navarro of France, with 891.

 The ladies outside of the top four bowled their first final round at the same time, a very strong start by Angie Brown of England, gave her a comfortable top place with 916 over the four games, ahead of Vintens. Jan Hodge of England and Petra Richter of Germany made up the four who would bowl in the final round.

Pictured are the men’s semi-finalists. Click image to enlarge.

In the men’s final (finalists are pictured above), the English trio of Oldfield, Ellis and Halliwell started strongest and by the third game, Halliwell had a slight lead ahead of Wimmer and Ellis.

A good game of 246 looked like giving the win to Ellis, but an excellent last game of 279 from Greulich jumped him from fourth place into the winning position. He finished with 985, just two pins ahead of Ellis, with Wimmer finishing in third place.


In the women’s final (finalists are pictured above), Huhta started strongest with a 233 game. She struggled a little in the second game, but finished with scratch games of 258 and 259 to win by over 100 pins for her first ISBT title.

After three games it was very close for the minor placings between five of the other bowlers, but Oakley struck out in her last game to just push Beckel into third place.

Full details are available at ISBTBowlingTour.eu.
Report and results by Tony Brown.

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2015 International Seniors Bowling Tour Schedule & Champions

2015 French Senior Open – Men’s Finals

2015 French Senior Open – Women’s Finals

2015 French Senior Open – Men’s Round Two

Top 8 advance to the finals.

2015 French Senior Open – Men’s Round One

Top 12 advance to the second round.

2015 French Senior Open – Women’s Round One

Top 4 advance to the finals.

2015 French Senior Open – Men’s Qualifying

Top 24 qualifiers plus three Scratch qualifiers (places 25, 26 and 30), three Turbo qualifiers (places 29, 32 and 51) and the top two of the Desperado Squad (places 56 & 91), advance to the finals. Top 8 qualifiers receive one bye.

2015 French Senior Open – Women’s Qualifying

Top 8 qualifiers plus one Scratch qualifier (12th place), two Turbo qualifiers (places 9 & 13) and the leader of the Desperado Squad (20th place), advance to the finals. Top 4 qualifiers receive one bye.

Herbert Bickel

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