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Osku Palermaa wins qualifying at 38th AIK International Tournament


Osku Palermaa of Finland averaged 246.83 in the second of three squads and 22nd overall Saturday at Bowl-O-Rama in Stockholm, Sweden, to win the qualifying of the 38th AIK International Tournament, powered by Track, with 1481 total.

The two-handed player (pictured right and above), who is tied for second place on the all-time European Bowling Tour title list with 13 wins and also owns five Professional Bowlers Association titles, rolled games of 257, 247, 276, 279, 173 and 249, to overtake previous leader Niclas Lindholm of Sweden by three pins.

Lindholm (left), who shot 1478 last night, slipped to second place and was followed by squad 2 leaders James Gruffman and Isabelle Hultin of Sweden in third and fourth place with 1465 and 1463, respectively.

Hultin (right), who was the best of 96 women in the field, received 8 pins handicap per game, a standard for women on the European Bowling Tour.

Jesper Svensson (left), a two-handed lefty from Sweden, rolled back-to-back 279 games to lead the finals squad 23 and to leap two spots into fifth place. Svensson, who at the age of 22 owns eight EBT titles along with seven Professional Bowlers Association titles toppled 1461 pins.

Hadley Morgan (right) of England slipped to sixth place with 1458.

Emanuel Jonsson of Sweden, who started the day in 194th place, was 33 pins behind Palermaa in the penultimate qualifying squad to rocket into seventh place with 1448 total. Jonsson had high games of 279 and 258 and four games between 234 and 213.

Richard Teece (left) of England, who rolled one of six 300 games in qualifying, rounds out the top 8 with 1439 total and an average of 239.83. The top 8 earn two byes and skip the semi-final round on Saturday evening and the first round of the finals on Sunday morning.

Mattias Olsson of Sweden led the morning squad 21 with 1398 total to make the qualifying cut in 27th place.

It took an average of 231.17 for six games to make the top 38, who will miss the semi-final round. Josefin Hermansson of Sweden took the last spot with 1387 total, including handicap.

Walter Ray Williams Jr. (right) of Oxford, Florida, finished qualifying in 57th place with 1358 total (226.33).

The 58-year-old three time World champion (2008 Thailand) is the PBA’s career titles leader with 47 titles, including eight majors.

Williams also owns 32 regional title, 11 PBA50 Tour titles and 14 PBA50 regional titles for 104 tour victories combined. He is also a six-time world horseshoe pitching champion.

Six players, five men and one woman achieved perfection: Lukas Sevelin, Sweden; Michael Andersson, Sweden; Syafiq Ridhwan, Malaysia; Caisa Wegner, Sweden; Richard Teece, England; and Mattias Wetterberg (left), Sweden.

Qualifiers 39 to 74 advanced to the semi-final round. Former world champion Anders Öhman of Sweden took the 74th and last place with 1337 total and an average of 222.83.

Another 26 players qualified either for the semi-final round or the first round of the finals through early bird squads, junior, senior and under-200 average brackets as well as Turbo game 5 and game 6.

Competition resumes Saturday starting at 7 p.m. Central European Time (CET) with the semi-final round.

The 38th AIK International Tournament Powered by Track, which will be held from December 26th through January 7th at 28-lane Bowl-O-Rama in Stockholm, Sweden, is the season-opening event of the 2018 European Bowling Tour.

A newcomer on the Tour, the “silver” level tournament offers total prize money of 475.000 Swedish Kronor (SEK), roughly 48.000 Euro or 57,000 U.S. Dollar, including extra prizes for women, seniors, juniors and under 200 average bowlers.

The champion will walk away with the 60.000 SEK top prize (6.070€ / $7,195), with 30.000 SEK going to the runner-up and 20.000 SEK to the third place finisher. Low to cash is 56th place, worth 4.500 SEK (455€ / $540).

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) begins Tuesday, Dec. 26, with squads 1 & 2 and concludes Saturday, Jan. 7, with squad 23.

Women will receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 – maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 100 players advanced, including the top 74 in the overall qualifying standings, the top 4 “early birds” (squads 1-3), who are not among the top 38; top 4 women, top 4 juniors (born in 1997 or later), top 4 seniors (born in 1968 or earlier) and top 4 bowlers with a certified average under 200, who are not among the top 74; plus the top 3 players each from Turbo G5 (highest qualifying game #5) and Turbo G6 (highest qualifying game #6).

The top 8 qualifiers go directly to Final Round 2, while qualifiers 9-38, the four “early birds” and the Turbo G5 and G6 leaders advance to Final Round 1. The remaining 56 finalists meet in the semi-final round on Saturday evening, Jan. 6, to bowl six games starting from scratch with the top 12 advancing to Final Round 1 on Sunday morning, Jan. 7.

Final Round 1 and 2 are also six-game rounds beginning from scratch (no carryover pins), which trim the field to 32 and then 16 players. Round 2 pins carry over to the finals.

Final Round 3 and 4 are four-game rounds after which the field is cut to the top 8 and then three players, who determine the champion in a stepladder final. No. 3 takes on no. 2 for the right to bowl the top-seed for the title.

The 2018 European Bowling Tour features 13 tournaments in 10 countries including two “platinum”, two “gold”, three “silver”, three “bronze” and three “satellite” events, which will offer total prize fund of more than 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 12th EBT Masters July 8, 2019 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.

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38th AIK International – Standings after Qualifying (23 Squads)

Top 100 advance, including the top 74 in the overall qualifying standings, the top 4 “early birds” (places 75-78), who are not among the top 38; top 4 women (places 79-82), top 4 seniors (places 83-86) , top 4 juniors (places 87-90) and top 4 bowlers with a certified average under 200 (places 91-94), who are not among the top 74; plus the top 3 players each from Turbo Game 5 (places 95-97) and Turbo Game 6 (places 98-100).

300 games (6) – Lukas Sevelin, Michael Andersson, Syafiq Ridhwan, Cajsa Wegner, Richard Teece, and Mattias Wetterberg.

Herbert Bickel

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