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Madrid champion Francois Lavoie cracks top 10 at San Marino Open

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There was no lead change in the 13th Storm San Marino Open Tuesday, but several close calls at Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino, as six players moved into the top 10 in the overall qualifying standings.

Fresh off his victory in the V Brunswick Madrid Challenge, Francois Lavoie (above) of Canada averaged 229 in squad 7 to jump into seventh place with 1374.

Lavoie, PBA’s 2016 Rookie of the Year and the 2016 U.S. Open champion, had games of 228, 195, 211, 210, 263 and 267.

Andrea Mangiacotti (left) of Italy held onto the lead with 1427, an average of 237.83, and leads a field of 102 players from 14 countries into the fifth qualifying day Wednesday. His compatriot Nicola Pongolini (right) remained in second place with 1411.

Maurizio Celli (left) was the top scorer Wednesday missing the 1400-mark by just two pins. Celli started squad 8 with four games between 247 and 213. He fell in 191 hole in game five before bouncing back with a huge 288 game to jump into third place with 1398 (233 ave.).

Celli pushed back Ida Andersson of Sweden, who is the best of 13 women in the field with 1394, including handicap, and Tommaso Radi of Italy (1393) to fourth and fifth place.

By virtue of finishing in the top three of squads 5-8, Celli, Andersson and Radi (left) will earn automatic spots for Sunday’s finals in case they will drop out of the top 35 in the standings. If any from the list will finish in the top 35, the automatic spot goes to the next qualifier in order.

Reigning European Champions Cup winner Jaroslav Lorenc (right; 1389) of Czech Republic, England’s Stuart Williams (1373) and Alfred Berggren (1367), Sweden, were close behind Celli to leap into sixth, eighth and ninth place, respectively. Rounding out the top 10 was Chad Roberts (below left), United States, who was next to Lavoie in squad 7 with 1358.

The score to make the first cut in 35th place improved by almost 100 pins in a span of two squads. Renato Bortolon of Italy is the man “on the bubble” with 1268 and an average of 211.33.

Qualifying continues Wednesday, July 12, with squads 9, 10 and 11 scheduled to start at noon, 4 and 8 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST).

The Storm San Marino Open is the 6th stop of the 2017 European Bowling Tour and the first out of two EBT “Gold” tournaments this season.

The 13th edition will be held July 8-16 at 18-lane Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino and offers total prize fund of 62.100 Euro with 8.000 Euro going to the winner, 5.000 to the runner-up, 3.300 to the third and 2.400 to the fourth place finisher.

Qualifying of the San Marino Open (six-game series, unlimited re-entries) runs from Saturday, July 8, through Saturday, July 15, with the last qualifying squad 20 scheduled for 7 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). The qualifying winner will receive a 1.000 Euro bonus.

Qualifying concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum is 300) throughout the entire tournament, a standard for women on the European Bowling Tour. The top three women based on the final standings will receive 500, 350 and 200 Euro bonuses, respectively.

Total 48 players will advance to the finals on Sunday, July 16, including the top 35 qualifiers plus the top 3 from the squads conducted on July 8-9, the top 3 from the squads conducted on July 10-11, the top 4 from the squads conducted on July 12-13, and the top 3 from the Desperado Squad.

The top 8 qualifiers receive two byes and qualifiers 9-16 get a first-round bye. The other 32 players will bowl four games from scratch to cut to the top 16, who will meet qualifiers 9-16 in the second round. Those 24 bowl another four games from scratch to cut to the top 10, who will join the top eight in a six-game round before the cut to the top 4.

The four finalists will determine the winner in an eliminator-format finals which will feature three one-game rounds. All four players bowl the opening game, with the lowest-scoring player being eliminated. In the two rounds to follow, the same “low man out” format applies, with pinfall carrying over. The last man standing will be declared the champion.

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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2017 European Bowling Tour Schedule & Champions

13th Storm San Marino Open – Qualifying Standings after Squad 8/20

Top 35 qualifiers plus the top 3 from the squads conducted on July 8-9, the top 3 from the squads conducted on July 10-11, the top 4 from the squads conducted on July 12-13, and the top 3 from the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals.

Herbert Bickel

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