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No changes atop the leaderboard Tuesday at Brunswick Madrid Challenge


The scoring pace in the qualifying of the Brunswick Madrid Challenge slowed down in Tuesday’s squad 5 and 6 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.

Mohammed Al Merekhi (featured photo) of Qatar posted games of 277, 213, 203, 258, 232 and 178 to lead squad 5 with 1361 six-game total but failed to improve his previous high series of 1366 from squad 2 and remained in sixth place in the overall qualifying standings.

Thomas Larsen (left) of Denmark and Javier Moreno of Spain lead the now 73-player field from 11 countries with 1429 and 1405, respectively. Venezuela’s Ildemaro Ruiz Jr. is third with 1384. Rounding out the top 5 are Paco Rodriguez and Rubén Orche of the organizing committee with 1371 and 1368.

The lone player who moved into the top 10 Tuesday was Al Merekhi’s fellow countryman Ghanim Aboujassoum. Aboujassoum (right) was second in squad 5 with 1333, including games of 210, 193, 224, 226, 245 and 235, an average of 222.17, to leap from 18th to eighth place.

Luis Olivo (left) of Venezuela led the sixth squad with 1303, his second squad win, but slipped one spot to 10th place with his 1325 series of squad 4.

The top 5 from the combined standings of squads on Monday and Tuesday (squads 3 to 6) – Ruiz, Orche, Ali Al Jahani (Qatar), Aboujassoum and Olivo – will receive automatic berths in the finals if they do not finish in the top 36 in the overall qualifying standings. If any player finishes in the top 36, the automatic spot drops to the next player of the July 2 & 3 standings.

Steven Gill (right) of Scotland became the 15th player this year who surpassed the 1300 mark, sitting in 15th place with 1312.

With six out of 18 qualifying squads in the books, Inigo Garcia of Spain sits in 36th place with 1193 and an average of 198.83. It took a score 1396 (232.67) to make 36th place in last year’s BMC.

Qualifying continues on Wednesday, July 4, with squad 8 scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time. Squad 7 has been canceled.

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

Players will compete 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) is 300 Euro.

Qualifying gets underway on Sunday, July 1, and runs through Saturday, July 7, with the final squad 18 to start at 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). The qualifying winner earns a 750 Euro bonus. Qualifying concludes with the Desperado Squad slated for half past Midnight.

Women receive 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) earn 750 and 500 Euro, respectively.

Total 48 players qualify 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 receive a first-round bye and will be seeded 1-16 in match play.

The remaining 32 finalists will bowl 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 will bowl against the lowest seeded player, the second-highest against the second-lowest, and so on. Match play rounds of 32, 16 and 8 consist of best-of-three games while semi-finals and finals will be decided in one game.

The field will be cut to 16, 8, 4 and then two players who will bowl 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.

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Total 48 players, including the top 36 players from the overall qualifying standings, the top 3 players from the combined standings of squads 1 & 2 (position 37-39) and the top 5 of squads 3-6 (position 40-44) who are not among the top 36, and the top four players of the Desperado Squad (position 45-48), will advance to the finals.

300 games (1) – Nasser Al Sahoti.

Herbert Bickel

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