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Larsen defeats Hansen to win his fifth EBT title in Brunswick Madrid Challenge


In a title match between two Danish national team members and fellow world champions, Thomas Larsen defeated Carsten Warming Hansen, 258-219, to win the VI Brunswick Madrid Challenge for his fifth career European Bowling Tour title.

Larsen, who owns two Professional Bowlers Association titles along with his five EBT titles, received 6.000 Euro for his first victory on the Tour since May 2014 (Istanbul Open). Hansen, the 21017 EBT point tanking leader who was looking to win his second EBT title, received 3.000 Euro for second place.

Featured photo: Maria Rodriguez (3rd), champion Thomas Larsen and Carsten Warming Hansen (2nd).

The Danes and their team Frederik Øhrgaard captured the gold medal in trios in the 2014 Men’s World Championships at Khalifa International Bowling Center in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Hansen and Larsen finished qualifying in second and eighth place with 1487 and 1429 six-game totals, to bypass the first round of the finals. In the rounds of 32, 16 and 8 in best-of-three games format, Hansen eliminated Ramon Hilferink, Netherlands (2-0); Sami Konsteri, Finland (2-1); and Pontus Andersson (left), Sweden (2-1), to advance to semi-finals, which were decided in one game.

Larsen ousted Julien Sermand, France (2-0); all-time EBT title leader Paul Moor (right), England (2-1); and Nicola Pongolini, Italy (2-1).

In the semi-finals, Hansen took down Chris Klerk, United States, 216-179, and Larsen held off Maria Jose Rodriguez (left) of Colombia, 233-196. Rodriguez, the no. 6 seed, was the best woman in the field and earned 2.000 Euro for third place. Klerk, seeded 26th, had to settle for fourth place worth 1.500 Euro.

In the round of 8, Klerk (right) sidelined tournament leader Jassim Al Muraikhi of Qatar, two-games-to-one, despite the Arab averaged 254 for his three games. Klerk won the first game, 269-258, but leveled the match with a 257-195 win in game two. The American won the deciding game 255-247, to advance to the semi-finals.

Al Muraikhi (left) had one of six 300 games in the tournament. His compatriot Nasser Al Sahoti had the first in squad 3; Markus Jansson of Sweden had two, the first in squad 13 and the second in the first game of the Round of 32; Al Muraikhi rolled his perfecto in squad 16 on the way to qualifying lead with 1534; Nathan Ruest-Lajoie of Canada achieved perfection in Round One and Tomas Käyhkö had the last in the second game of the Round of 32.

The VI Brunswick Madrid Challenge was the 6th stop of the 2018 European Bowling Tour season and the first out of two EBT “Bronze” tournaments this season. The tournament was held from July 1-8 at 20-lane Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.

Players competed for total prize money of 40.300 Euro with 6.000 Euro going to the winner, 3.000 to the runner-up and 2.000 to the third place finisher. Last-to-cash payout (48th place) was 300 Euro.

Qualifying got underway on Sunday, July 1, and ran through Saturday, July 7. The qualifying winner earned a 750 Euro bonus. Qualifying concluded with the Desperado Squad.

Women received 8 pins handicap each game (maximum score is 300), a standard on the European Bowling Tour. The top two women in qualifying (before Desperado Squad) earned 750 and 500 Euro, respectively.

Total 48 players qualified for the finals on Sunday, July 8, including the top 36 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 3 from the combined standings of July 1 squads and the top 5 of the squads conducted July 2 & 3, who were not in the top 36, plus four players from the Desperado Squad. The top 16 qualifiers received a first-round bye and were seeded 1-16 in match play.

The remaining 32 finalists bowled six games from scratch with the top 16 advancing to match play, seeded 17-32.

In each round of match play, the highest seeded player bowled against the lowest seeded player, the second-highest against the second-lowest, and so on. Match play rounds of 32, 16 and 8 consisted of best-of-three games while semi-finals and finals were decided in one game.

The field will be cut to 16, 8, 4 and then two players who bowled for the title and the 6.000 Euro top prize.

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 seventh stop of the 2018 Tour, the 14th Storm San Marino Open, an EBT “gold” tournament, already got underway on Saturday, July 7, at Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino, with the finals to be held on Sunday 15th.

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From left: Thomas Larsen, winner of the Brunswick Madrid Challenge 2018, and Jose Manuel Mandayo from Brunswick Spain.

VI Brunswick Madrid Challenge 2018

Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain (July 1-8, 2018)

Championship Round:
1. Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 6.000 Euro
2. Carsten Warming Hansen, Denmark, 3.000 Euro
3. Maria Jose Rodriguez, Colombia, 2.000 Euro
4. Chris Klerk, United States, 1.500 Euro

Playoff Results:
Semifinal Match 1: No. 2 Hansen def. No. 26 Klerk, 216-179
Semifinal Match 2: No. 8 Larsen def. No. 6 Rodriguez, 233-196
Championship: Larsen def. Hansen, 258-219.
Rodriguez received eight pins handicap.

From left: Chris Klerk, Carsten Warming Hansen, Jassim Al Muraikhi, Markus Jansson, Pontus Andersson, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Thomas Larsen and Nicola Pongolini.

2018 Brunswick Madrid Challenge – Match Play Round of 8

Best-of-three games; winners advance, losers eliminated. Women’s scores include eight pins handicap.

2018 Brunswick Madrid Challenge – Match Play Round of 16

Best-of-three games; winners advance, losers eliminated. Women’s scores include eight pins handicap.

2018 Brunswick Madrid Challenge – Match Play Round of 32

Best-of-three games; winners advance, losers eliminated. Women’s scores include eight pins handicap.

300 games (2) – Markus Jansson, Tomas Käyhkö.

2018 Brunswick Madrid Challenge – Final Round One

Top 16 advance to to match play and will be seeded 17-32.

300 games (1) – Nathan Ruest-Lajoie.

Herbert Bickel

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