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Ireland’s Alan Bride leads opening squad at 30th Anniversary Irish Open

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Thirty-two bowlers from Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Ireland and the host country Ireland kicked off the 30th Anniversary Irish Open Tenpin Bowling Championships 2018, in association with Storm Sunday at Leisureplex Stillorgan in Dublin.

Alan Bride (pictured right and above) of Ireland came out of the gates with 260 and 262 and added games of 207, 227, 214 and 236 to lead the opening squad with a six-game total of 1426 and an average of 237.67. As a squad leader, Bride received a 100 Euro bonus.

His compatriot Colm Cloake was 78 pins back in second place with 1348, including five games between 244 and 211, and a low game of 188. Barry Foley, who is the only ever Irish male winner of the tournament after his victory back in 2013, was further 10 pins back in third place with 1338, including a high game of 279.

Paul McAuley of Northern Ireland was fourth with 1317 and was followed by David Ryan of Ireland in fifth place with 1301. Rounding out the top 6 was Normundas Dacis of Latvia with 1276.

The top 6 from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-4 who will not finish in the top 53 will earn automatic berths in the finals.

Jason Byrnes of Ireland was seventh with 1263 and Lauren Dugan (left) of Northern Ireland was the best of six women in eighth place with 1262, including 48 pins handicap.

Qualifying continues Wednesday, January 17 with squads 2 & 3 scheduled to start at 5.15 and 9.15 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

The 30th Irish Open Championships in association with Storm is the third tournament on the 2018 European Bowling Tour and the first of three “EBT Satellite” events this season, the lowest of five EBT tournament categories (platinum, gold, silver, bronze and satellite).

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 4.000 Euro going to the winner, 2.000 to the runner-up and 1.500 and 1.250 to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively.

Low to cash is 36th 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, extra prizes for the top woman and the top 4 seniors (must be born on Jan. 1, 1968, or earlier) as well as a 100 Euro bonus for each of the 14 squad winners.

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) started on Sunday, Jan. 14, and concludes Saturday, Jan. 20, with squad 14 followed by the 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 including 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 get 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 4.000 Euro top prize.

The 2018 European Bowling Tour features 13 tournaments in 10 countries including two “platinum”, two “gold”, three “silver”, three “bronze” and three “satellite” events, which will offer total prize fund of more than 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 12th EBT Masters July 8, 2019 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.

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2018 Irish Open – Qualifying Standings after Squad 1/14

Top 53 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 6 from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-4 and the top 3 from the Desperado Squad advance to the finals. The top four qualifiers receive two byes, qualifiers 5-8 get a first-round bye.

Herbert Bickel

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