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Nadia Goron, Roger Pieters win inaugural ISBT Paris Senior Open


Nadia Goron of France and Belgium’s Roger Pieters became the first women’s and men’s champions in the Paris Senior Open 2017, a newcomer on the International Seniors Bowling Tour schedule, which ran from May 24-28. The third stop on the 2017 ISBT was again France, this time at a new location, La Factory in Moussy Le Neuf, near Paris. 84 men and 18 women competed, including a strong French entry.

The format for the qualifying was two blocks of six games, with the lowest block optionally being replaced by a better re-entry score.

For those not able to qualify through the main leaderboard, there were additional opportunities through Turbo games and a Desperado squad. Age bonus started at age 51 (1 pin per game), then increased by a pin for every additional year of age with no limit. As with all ISBT events, there was a separate division for ladies.

The first two squads were won by French bowlers. Gérard Calonnec took the first with 1335, including age bonus, and the second went to Roger Froloff with 1379. In the ladies section, the scores were quite low with Véronique Boulot taking the first squad with 1136 and the second going to Claudie Lenfant with 1114.

Squad three saw the first non-French winners, the first 1400+ men’s series going to Belgian Georgio Desimio with 1422, and in the ladies Farida Pascoal-Blom of Netherlands had a fine 1274. Squad four saw the first 300 game of the tournament going to Lionel Thomas (left) of France. Roger Pieters took the squad win with 1419, while Fatima Sancho of France had a steady block to finish with 1217.

There were very few German competitors at this tournament, due to a clash with their National Championships. However, Hermann Wimmer had a huge 1565 block to take squad five, with Navine Lavrut of France posting the highest ladies series with 1329.

Squad six was won by Lol Ellis of England with 1480, while Sancho had another fine block of 1289 to be well placed in the overall standings.

There were three squads remaining on Saturday, the first was again won by Ellis, this time with 1443. Lavrut was again top lady with 1232. The second squad of the day was won by two French players, Patrick Rolland with another high total of 1563 and Nadine Robert with 1106.

The final squad saw players trying to improve their places. Top of the pile was Alan Keddie of Scotland with 1413, looking to achieve a top 4 place and miss the first final round. Although this got him close, it left him in fifth place overall. In the ladies section, Angie Brown of England had her best block with 1246 to remain in a qualification position.

Rolland led the men’s qualifying with 3012, ahead of Wimmer, Ellis and Mo Singleton of England. The cut for the final was Jacques Brunet of France with 2618. Two Turbo and two Scratch qualifiers would join them in the finals, with the remainder having to compete in the Desperado if the wished to continue in the tournament.

In the ladies division (pictured above are the eight finalists), Lavrut led the way with 2381, ahead of Sancho and Brown. Only the top five would qualify from the overall list, and in fifth place was Pascoal-Blom. One Turbo and one Scratch qualifier would join them in the final, leaving one place to be filled from the Desperado squad.

Ten men and two women took part in the Desperado, and the high scores all came from the right hand lanes. On lanes 19 and 20 Eric Huyghe of Belgium and Laurent Matiere of France both started strongly, and left the remainder of the field behind to easy qualify for the finals. The women’s competition was very close throughout, but a double towards the end of the game sealed qualification for Triss Carman of England.

Later that evening, it was realized that the comprehensive results being provided by the Lexer system were not correct. The qualification rules required that one of the first two blocks bowled were retained in the final total, and this hadn’t happened.

Re-calculation of the scores showed that two bowlers had been incorrectly given top 30 places – Gabrielle Benvenuti of Italy and Valentin Fatu of Romania. However, as the Desperado had now completed, they had missed their chance to make the finals through the Desperado.

The organizers decided that the only fair solution was to allow them to participate in the finals, but also include the two bowlers who had been incorrectly excluded – Frank Stander and Jack Smith, both from England. Fortunately, both were still in the area, and could take up their rightful places on Sunday morning.

The first final round for the men took place early on Sunday morning, with 34 men taking part. The top 20 would go forward to the next round after a four game block, starting from zero.

Fatu took advantage of his unusual qualification route to win the squad by a long way with 1000, 80 pins ahead of Loris Masetti (right) of Italy. After two games, Alan Keddie was towards the bottom of the field, but games of 237 and a magic 300 meant he easily qualified in eighth place.

The next round saw 24 bowlers playing for a place in the eight person final. Jack Smith bowled well and finished with a 279 to win the round from Mo Singleton. Ron Oldfield of England just made the cut with 924.

Both the men and women now had an eight-person Round Robin final (pictured above are the top 8 men).

In the men’s division, the lead changed hands several times, before two final games of 254 and 247 gave Roger Pieters a clear win over Ron Oldfield (left) in second place and and Jack Smith (right) in third.

In the women’s final, Fatima Sancho (below right) looked unbeatable, starting with games of 247 and 226 to open up a significant lead, but she could not maintain this pace, and was slowly overtaken by Nadia Goron and Angie Brown.

The final game was between these two, with Angie Brown (left) needing to win by 32 to secure the title, in the end, a win by 14 pins was enough to secure her second place.

The next stop is the Italy Senior Open at Reno Bowling, Bologna, Italy. The tournament runs from the June 2-11. Full details are available at the ISBT website.

Story and Results courtesy of Tony Brown.

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2017 Paris Senior Open – Men’s Match Play Finals

2017 Paris Senior Open – Women’s Match Play Finals

2017 Paris Senior Open – Men’s Round Two

Top 8 advance to the finals.

2017 Paris Senior Open – Men’s Round One

Top 20 advance to the second round.

300 games (1) – Alan Keddie.

2017 Paris Senior Open – Men’s Qualifying

Top 28 qualifiers plus two players each from Turbo Games (places 29-30), Scratch (31-32) and Desperado Squad (place 33-34) advance to the finals. The top 8 players received one bye. Due to scoring problems, 39th place Gabriele Benvenuti and 42nd place Valentin Fatu also advanced.

300 games (1) – Lionel Thomas.

2017 Paris Senior Open – Women’s Qualifying

Top 5 qualifiers plus one player each from Turbo (6th place), Scratch (7th place) and Desperado Squad (8th place) advanced to the finals.

Herbert Bickel

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