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Lars Nielsen posts big number to kick off Odense International

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Lars Nielsen of Denmark averaged 233.17 in the opening squad of the Odense International, an European Bowling Tour “Satellite” tournament, to set the bar in the qualifying at Odense Bowling Center in Odense, Denmark.

Nielsen (right) posted games of 248, 216, 203, 217, 236 and 279 to lead 46 players from Denmark, Germany, Iceland and Qatar with 1399 six-game total.

With four of 13 squads in the books, Danish bowlers occupy the first nine places. Mikael Brændeskov was mere two pins behind Nielsen in second place with 1397, including a 276 opening game and a pair of 240s.

Four-time European Bowling Tour titlist Thomas Larsen (left) led squad 4 on Monday evening with 1366 after starting with a 290 game, the highest game of the tournament so far, to move into third place in the overall standings.

Larsen pushed back fellow national team members Jimmy Mortensen and Jesper Agerbo (right) to fourth and fifth place with 1351 and 1316, respectively.

Squad 2 leader Dan Østergaard-Poulsen sits in seventh place with 1295, while squad 3 leader Jonas Iversen (left) holds 20th place with 1182.

Maxime de Rooij (right) of Germany is the best woman and the best foreign bowler in the field in 10th place with 1236, including 48 pins women’s handicap.

Hazeem Al Muraikhi (left) of Qatar currently holds the 24th and last place to advance to the finals from the overall qualifying leaderboard with 1152 or an average of 192.

Qualifying continues on Tuesday, August 29, with squad 5 scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST).

The Odense International 2017 is the ninth stop of the 2017 European Bowling Tour and the second of three EBT “Satellite” tournaments this season, the lowest of the five EBT categories. The tournament will be held from August 27 through September 3 at 20-lane Odense Bowling Center in Odense, Denmark.

Players compete for total prize money of 113.000 Danish Kronor (DKK) or roughly 15.190 Euro with 25.000 DKK (3.360 Euro) going to the winner, 12.000 DKK to the runner-up and 6.000 apiece to the third and fourth place finishers. Low to cash is 32nd place worth 1.800 DKK or 242 Euro.

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) got underway on Sunday, August 27, and concludes Saturday, Sept. 2, with squad 13, followed by the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 32 players qualify for the finals, including the top 24 players from the overall qualifying standings, the top two players each from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-4 and 5-8, who are not among the top 24, one player each from the Turbo 1 and 2 list and the top 2 players of the Desperado Squad.

The Turbo 1 and 2 winners are the players with the highest score in the fifth (Turbo 1) and sixth (Turbo 2) game in any of the qualifying series (optional; extra entry fee required).

The top 10 qualifiers receive bonus pins for the first round of the finals as follows:
Qualifying winner: 140 pins; 2nd place: 120; 3rd place: 100; 4th place: 80; 5th place: 60; 6th place: 50; 7th place: 40; 8th place: 30; 9th place: 20; and 10th place: 10.

All 32 finalists bowl six games. The top 16 with the highest six-game total including bonus pins and women’s handicap advance to the second round with the total pinfall carried forward.

Those 16 bowl an additional four games to cut to the top 8 who will be seeded 1-8 for the match play finals featuring one-game rounds. In each round, the highest seeded player selects his opponent, then the second-highest seeded player, and so on.

The four winners of the Round of 8 plus two “lucky losers” (the two highest scoring players of the four losers) advance. The three winners of the Round of 6 plus one lucky loser go to the semifinals. The winners of that round bowl for the title.

The 2017 European Bowling Tour features 11 tournaments in 9 countries including two “Platinum”, two “Gold”, one “Silver”, three “Bronze” and three “Satellite” events, which offer total prize fund of roughly 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 11th EBT Masters February 12, 2018 in Tilburg, Netherlands.

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Top 24 players, the top two players each from a separate leaderboard of Squads 1-4 and 5-8, who are not among the top 24, one player each from the Turbo 1 and 2 list and the top 2 players of the Desperado Squad advance to the finals on Sunday, Sept. 3.

Herbert Bickel

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