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Joonas Jähi rolls first 300 game in 47th Brunswick Ballmaster Open


Joonas Jähi rolled the first 300 game in the 47th annual Brunswick Ballmaster Open Sunday afternoon at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland, to secure the Finnish national team member at least a 3.000 Euro bonus.

If Jähi remains the only bowler who achieves perfection he will receive a 5.000 Euro bonus. If there will be more than one 300 game, Jähi will earn 3.000 Euro for the first perfecto and he and the other players who were perfect will square off in a roll-off for 2.000 Euro.

Jähi (pictured left and above) started in the sixth of 18 qualifying squads with 190, followed by 235 and 224 before he connected for twelve consecutive strikes in game four. Jähi closed his set with 235 and 226 and 1410, an average of 235, which propelled him into fourth place in the overall standings.

Squad 1 leaders Juho Rissanen and Juhani Tonteri (right) continued to lead the 332-player field, 298 men and 34 women, with 1467 and 1442, respectively. Jari Ratia remained in third place with 1411.

The field consists of 321 bowlers from the host country, 10 from Estonia, Lithuania and Russia, and defending champion Parker Bohn III of the United States. Finnish bowlers hold the top 33 spots in the overall standings.

Rounding out the top 6 were two-time Ballmaster Open champion Kimmo Lehtonen (2002 and ’07) and three-time winner Pasi Uotila (2000, ’04 and ’09) with 1397 and 1394, respectively.

The top 6 from a separate leaderboard of the first eight squads will earn automatic berths into the finals if they don’t finish in the top 44 in the overall qualifying standings.

Olli Pakonen was second to Jähi in squad 6 with 1393 and moved into seventh place, just one pin outside the top 6.

Reija Lundén was the best woman in the field in eighth place with 1356, including eight games handicap per game. Petri Keituri led the first squad on Sunday and fifth overall with 1296, including a high game of 286, to move into 25th place in the standings.

Kert Truus of Estonia and Donatas Lengvinas of Lithuania are the only non-Finish bowlers in the top 44 in 34 and 40th place with 1274 and 1256, resp.

Olli Hossi of Finland holds the 44th and last place to advance with 1253, a 208.83 average. PBA and USBC Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III bowled both squad on Sunday, 1193 in squad 5 and 1241 in squad 6, to finish the third qualifying day in 52nd position, 12 pins below the cut line.

Qualifying takes a two-day break and will continue on Wednesday, January 11, with squads 7 and 8 scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET).

Photos Seija Lankinen.

The Brunswick Ballmaster Open, the season-opening event on the European Bowling Tour, will be held from January 6-15 at 36-lane Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland.

The BBO is one of two “EBT Platinum” events this season, the highest of five EBT categories, and offers total prize money of 100.300 Euro, including all extra prizes, with 12.000 Euro going to the winner, 8.000 to the runner-up and 5.000 and 4.000 to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively. Low to cash is 54th place, worth 1.000 Euro.

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) begins Friday, Jan. 6, with squads 1 & 2 and concludes Saturday, Jan. 14, with squad 16 followed by the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad slated for 7 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET).

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

Total 54 players – the top 44 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 6 from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-9 who are not among the top 44 and the top 4 from the Desperado Squad – qualify for the finals.

All 54 finalists bowl two blocks of five games with the top 12 advancing to round robin match play. Those 12 bowl further 11 games of round robin match play (no position round) with the previous pinfall total carried over. During match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie.

The top 4 players after 21 games including bonus pins determine the champion in a traditional stepladder final. The No. 4 seed meets the No. 3 in the opening match. The winner takes on the No. 2 seed for the right to bowl the top seed for the title.

The 2017 European Bowling Tour features 12 tournaments in 10 countries including two “Platinum”, three “Gold”, three “Bronze” and four “Satellite” events (no silver tournament this season), which offer total prize fund of 574.000 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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2017 Brunswick Ballmaster Open – Qualifying Standings after Squad 6/16

Top 44 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 6 from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-9 who are not among the top 44 and the top 4 from the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals on Sunday, Jan. 15.

300 games (1) – Joonas Jähi.

Herbert Bickel

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