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Larsen, Ratia, Teece move to the top in Wroclaw


2016EBT11JariRatia.jpg2016EBT11RichardTeece2.jpgThomas Larsen of Denmark used games of 299 and 279 to hold the lead as qualifying of the Polish Open presented by Roto Grip is heading into the final day at Sky Bowling in Wroclaw, Poland.

Larsen (pictured above), who owns four European Bowling Tour titles along with two World Bowling Tour titles which count as PBA tiles as well, sandwiched games of 224, 220 and 244, 204 around his near-perfect fourth game in squad 11 to lead the 102-player field from 14 countries.

One squad later, Jari Ratia (left) of Finland became the first player to roll a 300 game in the fourth game of a 1464 series to leap into second place. Ratia, whose lone EBT title came in the Catalonia Open in 2008, started his set with 245, 237 and 232 and closed with 248 and 202.

2016EBT11MarkusBergendorff2.jpg2016EBT11LauraBeuthner2.jpgTwo-time EBT titlist Richard Teece (above right), the No. 4 in the 2016 point ranking after cashing points in eight out of 10 events so far, was next to Larsen in squad 11 to finish the day in third place with 1406, including high games of 278, 268 and 256.

Previous Markus Bergendorff (left), a two-handed player from Denmark, fell three spots to fourth place with 1404. Current women’s point ranking leader Laura Beuthner (right) of Germany is the best of 17 women in the field in fifth place with 1402, including eight pins handicap each game.

Francois Louw of South Africa slipped to sixth place with 1363 and was followed by Irish two-hander Christopher Sloan in seventh place with 1357, Mikael Roos of Sweden in eighth place with 1340 and his fellow countrywoman and 2015 EBT point leader Jenny Wegner in ninth place with 1338, including handicap.

2016EBT11TimStampe.jpg2016EBT11JonasHofling.jpgRounding out the top 10 was Osku Palermaa, the number two on the all-time European Bowling Tour title list with 13 titles. The Finnish two-hander toppled 1329 pins in squad 11, including high games of 280 and 258.

Tim Stampe (left) of Denmark was second in squad 12 with 1317 after closing with huge 285 game to leap into 11th place. Jonas Hofling (right) of Sweden led the last squad on Friday (#13) with 1305, good for 14th place overall.

Lucy Charezińska is the best bowler from the host country Poland in 18th place with 1297, including handicap. England’s Paul Moor, the all-time EBT title leader with 17, sits in 19th place with 1293.

2015EBT15EmanuelJonsson2.jpgWith three more squads to go, Emanuel Jonsson (right) of Sweden is the man “on the bubble” in 30th place with 1235 or an average of 205.83.

Qualifying continues on Saturday, July 30, with Squads 14, 15 and 16 scheduled to start at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST) and concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad slated for 10 p.m.

2015EBT09PolishOpenLogo.jpgThe Roto Grip Polish Open is the 11th stop of the 2016 European Bowling Tour and the last of four EBT “Silver” tournaments this season. The inaugural Polish Open last year was conducted as “satellite” tournament. The second edition will be held from July 25-31 at 24-lane Sky Bowling in Wroclaw, Poland, host of the 2012 and 2014 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cups.

The prize fund increased by 10.200 Euro to total 40.200 Euro with 7.000 Euro going to the winner, 4.500 to the runner-up and 3.000 to the third place finisher. Last-to-cash payout (40th place) is 400 Euro.

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) gets underway on Monday, July 25, with Squads 1, 2 and 3 and runs through Saturday, July 30, with the final Squad 16 scheduled for 7 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). Qualifying concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad slated for 10 p.m.

Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events. Like last year, the 2016 Polish Open presented by Roto Grip features a 41-foot lane conditioning pattern with 24.435ml oil volume.

Total 40 players will qualify for the finals – the top 30 players from the overall qualifying standings, the top four players from a separate leaderboard of the squads on Tuesday and Wednesday (squads 4-7), who are not among the top 30, one player each from the Turbo Game 5 and Turbo Game 6 standings, and the top 4 players of the Desperado Squad.

The Turbo G5 and G6 winners are the players with the highest score in the fifth and sixth game in any of the qualifying series (extra entry fee required).

The top 10 qualifiers earn two byes, while qualifiers 11-20 get a first-round bye. The remaining 20 players advance to the first of two four-game rounds which will trim the field to 30 and then 20 players, who bowl a five-game round to cut to the top 9, who will be split into three groups (Group 1: 1, 6 and 7; Group 2: 2, 5 and 8; Group 3: 3, 4 and 9).

In each group the athletes will bowl two games with the total pinfall to determine the positions. The three group leaders will advance to the finals. The runner-ups will be ranked 4th to 6th according to the seeding after round three, while the second-runner-ups will be ranked 7th to 9th.

The three remaining players will bowl for the title using the same two games total pins format.

2016EBTLogo_small.jpgThe 2016 European Bowling Tour currently consists of 16 tournaments in 11 countries featuring three “Platinum” events, three “Gold”, four “Silver” and six “Satellite” events. All tournaments together offer total prize fund of roughly 850.000 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 12 men and top 12 women, who will be eligible to compete in the 10th EBT Masters May 29, 2017, at Lovvang Bowling Center in Aalborg, Denmark.

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Top 30 players from the qualifying standings, top four players from a separate leaderboard of squads 4-7 who are not among the top 30, one player each from the Turbo Game 5 and Turbo Game 6 standings, and the top 4 players of the Desperado Squad will advance to Sunday’s finals.

300 games (1) – Jari Ratia.

Herbert Bickel

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