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Lynne Walker, Georgio Desimio notch their first ISBT win


Lynne Walker of Wales and Georgio Desimio of Belgium captured the women’s and men’s title in the French Senior Open last Sunday to notch their first win on the International Seniors Bowling Tour.

The ninth stop on the 2017 ISBT was a return to France, this time to Planet Bowling in Lomme. There is always a strong entry for this tournament, with 89 men and 25 ladies taking part.

The format for the tournament was a single six-game qualifying block with unlimited re-entries. For those not able to qualify through the main leaderboard there were additional opportunities through Scratch score, Turbo games and a Desperado Squad.

Age bonus started at age 51 (1 pin per game), then increased a pin for every additional year of age with no limit. As with all ISBT events, there was a separate division for ladies.

Squads started on Wednesday and scoring was led by Jean-Marc Lebon of Belgium with 1362, including age bonus, ahead of Arthur Dähn of Germany with 1307. Corinne Poux of France was top lady of the day with 1110.

Thursday’s squads were led by Roger Pieters of Belgium with 1401, just ahead of an improved block by Dähn of 1389. Poux was again top lady with 1155.

Friday saw Ulf Lönngren of Sweden post a great block of 1453, with two other bowlers, Ron Oldfield of England and Giorgio Desimio of Belgium, just breaking the 1400 mark. Top lady was Bianca Völkl-Brandt of Germany with 1216, just ahead of Claribel Muis of Netherlands.

There were three final squads on Saturday, and in the first Oldfield slightly improved with a score of 1419. Martina Beckel of Germany also made a good start with 1202. In the second squad, Patrick Rolland of France joined the 1400 club with a 1405 block, while Völkl-Brandt improved with 1254, just ahead of Liliane Vintens of Belgium with 1252.

With the top players getting byes through the first finals rounds, there were a number of players who had already qualified looking to improve their positions in the final squad.

André Geelen of Belgium was top, but his 1378 would not be enough for a top 8 place. Beckel booked her place in the top 4 with 1239 and an improved block of 1216 for Angie Brown of England left her in fifth place, just missing out on a top 4 place and direct entry to the final round.

At the end of qualification, Lönngren led with 1453, ahead of Oldfield, Rolland and Desimio. These four would go straight to the final. The next four places would go directly to the semi-final, with the remainder of the top 24 qualifying for the quarter final round. These were joined by three Scratch, three Turbo and two Desperado qualifiers.

Ladies qualification was led by Völkl-Brandt with 1254, ahead of Vintens, Beckel, and Nadia Goron of France, all of whom would go directly to the final round. The next four bowlers would go to the semi-final round, to be joined by two Turbo, one Scratch, and one Desperado bowlers.

10 men and 4 women took part in the one-game Desperado shootout. Ralf Hughes of England won this with 233, ahead of Uwe Tscharke of Germany. Odile Verlinde of France found a good game of 206 to gain the last place in the ladies’ finals.

The men in positions 9 to 24, plus the other qualifiers had an early start on Sunday morning in the quarterfinal round of four games. Alan Keddie of Scotland was clear winner of this round helped by a fine 299 in his last game. Gary Barlow of England was the twelfth placed bowler and last to make the next round with 879.

In the semi-final round (pictured left), the twelve qualifiers were joined by qualifiers five to eight for a further four game block. Lol Ellis of England was top with 1007 well clear of the rest of the field. The cut for the final was Dominique De Nolf of Belgium with 857.

The ladies outside of the top four bowled their semi-final round (right) at the same time and Karin Lischka of Germany was top with 810, ahead of Brown, Pépita Jacques of France, and Lynne Walker of Wales. These four would go forward to the final.

In the men’s final, Ian Buckland of England took a narrow lead after two games over Desimio and Peter Knopp of Germany, thanks to a fine 289 game. After three games, Buckland had opened up the lead to 11 pins over Desimio.

None of the top three players could find the really big game to seal the win, a 216 from Desimio left Buckland needing to double in the tenth frame to win. He made the first strike but couldn’t find the second, leaving Desimio as champion ahead of Buckland and Knopp. L-R Buckland, Desimio and Knopp.

In the women’s final, both Walker and Beckel started strongly with games of 257 and 247. Their second games were not as good, allowing the field to close up slightly. In the third game, Walker found yet another 257 for a 701 scratch three game block to now have a 32 pin lead over Beckel going into the last game.

A solid closed game of 214 secured the win for Walker, ahead of a fast improving Brown, who recovered from a 150 first game with 703 scratch over the final three games to gain second place. Beckel easily held on to third place. L-R Brown, Walker and Beckel.

The next stop on the 2017 International Seniors Bowling Tour is at the Flanders Senior Open at EuroBowling in Deurne, Belgium, France. The tournament runs from October 30 to November 5. Full details are available at the ISBT website.

Story and Results courtesy of Tony Brown.

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2017 ISBT Schedule & Champions

2017 French Senior Open – Men’s Finals

2017 French Senior Open – Women’s Finals

2017 French Senior Open – Men’s Semi-final

Top 8 advance to the finals.

2017 French Senior Open – Women’s Semi-final

Top 4 advance to the finals.

2017 French Senior Open – Men’s Quarterfinal

Top 12 advance to the second round.

2017 French Senior Open – Men’s Qualifying

Top 24 qualifiers plus three Scratch qualifiers (places 25-27), three Turbo qualifiers (places 28-30) and the top two of the Desperado Squad (places 31-32), advance to the finals. Top 4 qualifiers receive two byes, qualifiers 5-8 get one bye.

2017 French Senior Open – Women’s Qualifying

Top 8 qualifiers plus one Scratch qualifier (9th place), two Turbo qualifiers (places 10 & 11) and the leader of the Desperado Squad (12th place), advance to the finals. Top 4 qualifiers receive one bye.

Herbert Bickel

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