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Jason Belmonte wins qualifying at Storm Lucky Larsen Masters


Jason Belmonte of Australia won the qualifying of the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters and leads 60 players, 55 men and five women, into Sunday’s finals at Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmö, Sweden.

The four-time PBA Player of the Year is the defending champion and is aiming at his 19th Professional Bowlers Association title and his third on the European Bowling Tour.

The two-hander Featured photo and right), who delivers the bowling ball from the right-hand side, led three of the 33 qualifying squads and averaged 249.50 in squad 27 to lead the 388-player field from 25 countries with 1497 total.

Jimmy Mortensen (left) of Denmark, who led the field since day two qualifying, finished in second place on 1451, with former PBA Player of the Year, Sean Rash (right), United States, in third place with 1444.

Fellow PBA champion Kyle Troup (left), USA, posted the highest 1437 series in the penultimate squad Saturday, including games of 224, 248, 257, 193, 249 and 266, to improve his previous best set of 1374 by 63 pins and to leap from 11th into fourth place.

Places five to seven belonged to eight-time EBT and seven-time PBA champion Jesper Svensson (right) of Sweden (1411), Teemu Putkisto of Finland (1408) andWilliam Svensson of Sweden (1407).

Mattias Wetterberg (left) became the eighth and last member of the elite 1400-club when the Swede averaged 233.50 to lead the penultimate qualifying squad and to take the eighth and last spot to earn two byes for the finals with 1401.

Three-time Professional Women’s Bowling Association Player of the Year Liz Johnson (right), USA, and 2017 PWBA Rookie of the Year Daria Pajak (below left) of Poland, were next to Wetterberg with 1383 and 1379 pinfall total, including handicap, to jump into 11th and 14th place, respectively.

Joining the two PWBA champions in the finals from the 55 women in the field were two-time EBT and one-time PWBA titlist Sin Li Jane of Malaysia (25th, 1353), Sandra Gongora of Mexico (29th, 1346) and one-time EBT champion Jenny Wegner of Sweden (37th, 1337).

Kim Andersson (right) of Sweden led squad 30 on Saturday morning with 1364 and finished the day in 18th place. Qualifiers 9 to 33 will miss the first round of the finals. His compatriot James Blomgren led the last squad 33 with 1306 but fell 13 short to finish in 58th position.

Rasmus Edvall, also of Sweden, took the 46th and last spot to advance from the overall qualifying standings with 1319 and an average of 219.83. Qualifiers 34 to 46 will be joined in the first round by 14 players from Early Bird, Senior, Junior and Turbo Games 4-6 standings.

The Storm Lucky Larsen Masters is the 9th stop of the World Bowling Tour 2018 and the 10th stop of the European Bowling Tour 2018. The tournament is a WBT “tier 2” event and second and last EBT “platinum” event this season, the highest of the five EBT categories (platinum, gold, silver, bronze and satellite).

The second Storm Lucky Larsen Masters will be held from August 25 to September 9 at Baltiska Bowlinghallen, a 22-laner in Malmö, Sweden and offers an increased total prize fund of 1.038.000 Swedish Kronor (SEK), or approximately 98.600 Euro, with 150.000 SEK (€14.250) going to the winner, 110.000 SEK to the runner-up and 80.000 and 60.000 SEK to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively. Low to cash is 60th place worth 3.500 SEK or 333 Euro.

All rounds can be watched live on SolidSport, featuring four different cameras covering 16 lanes. For more information, click here.

Qualifying of the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters (six-game series, unlimited re-entries) ran from Aug. 25 through Sept. 8.

Women receive 8 pins handicap each game throughout the entire tournament, an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events. Maximum score is 300.

Total 60 players advanced to the finals on Sunday, September 9, including the top 46 qualifiers, top 7 from an “Early Bird” competition (squads 1-16), top 2 senior bowlers (born in 1968 or earlier), top 2 U21 bowlers (born in 1997 or later), all not among the top 46, plus one player each from Turbo 4, 5 and 6 ranking (highest scores in game, 4, 5 and 6 (no extra entry fee required).

The top 8 qualifiers receive two byes for the finals, while qualifiers 9-33 get a first-round bye.

The other 27 players bowl four games from scratch before the field is cut to the top 11 who join qualifiers 9-33 in the second round featuring another four-game block from scratch. The top 16 meet qualifiers 1-8 in the third round to bowl eight games starting from scratch. The top 4 advance to the stepladder finals.

The 2018 European Bowling Tour features 12 tournaments in 10 countries including two “platinum”, two “gold”, three “silver”, two “bronze” and three “satellite” events, which offer total prize fund of roughly 625.000 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.

The World Bowling Tour 2018 currently features also twelve stops, one each in Germany, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand and Hong Kong and seven stops on U.S. soil. More events may be added, at least 3 months’ notice provided.

The Storm Lucky Larsen Masters is the 9th stop of the WBT 2018 and one of the tier 2 events this season. WBT tier 2 events award bowlers with four times the number of base WBT Rankings points (tier 1 six times and tier 3 two times).

The World Bowling Tour is sanctioned by World Bowling, the governing body for the sport of bowling. The tour is the premier international bowling series that is hosted in numerous, unique cities around the globe.

Due to an agreement between World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), World Bowling Tour tournaments will award a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member (who doesn’t accept handicap pins). However, when an event is U.S. based and not a PBA event (such as the New Mexico Open), no PBA title can be granted.

Men and women compete for points to earn places on the World Bowling Tour rankings. The points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle, where points include every event from the previous two year format.

The top three men and top three women in the annual points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals (date and venue tba).

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.

The 10th stop of the 2018 World Bowling Tour season is the WBT/PBA World Bowling Tour Thailand, a tier 2 event, which will be held Sept. 22-28 at Blu–O Rhythm & Bowl Ratchayothin in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Storm Lucky Larsen Masters – Standings after Qualifying (33 squads)

Total 60 players will advance to the finals on Sunday, September 9, including the top 46 qualifiers, top 7 from an “Early Bird” competition (positions 47-53), top 2 senior bowlers (positions 54 & 55), top 2 U21 bowlers (positions 56 & 57), all not among the top 46, plus one player each from Turbo 4, 5 and 6 ranking (positions 58-60).

300 games (1) – Gaëtan Mouveroux.

Herbert Bickel

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