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Pasi Uotila, Juho Rissanen average over 250 to pace Final Round 1 in Helsinki

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While there was only one 1500-series in the entire qualifying portion of the 48th Brunswick Ballmaster Open, Finns Pasi Uotila and Juho Rissanen averaged more than 250 Saturday night at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland, to pace the first round of the finals and to lead the top 24 into a second-round clash with the top 12 qualifiers.

Both players took different routes to the finals. Utoila (pictured right and above), a three-time Ballmaster champion (2000, ’04 & ’09) and one of just five multiple winners, posted 1407 in the opening squad and though the cut was 1408, he qualified from the leaderboard of squads 1-8. Rissanen was the cut for 40th place.

Qualifiers 13-48 returned Saturday night to bowl six games from scratch. Uotila came out of the gates with 256, 211 and 267, then connected on the next 12 shots for the tournament’s 11th 300 game and closed with 232 and 246 for 1512 and an average of 252.

Rissanen (left) started with an 824 series, including 278, 288 and 258, on his way to a 1503 series (250.50).

Professional Women’s Bowling Association champion Danielle McEwan (right), who won two gold medals (team and all-events) at the World Bowling Championships in Las Vegas last month, was the best of seven women who survived the third cut in third place with 1498, including handicap.

Joonas Jehkinen of Finland was fourth with 1462, including the 10th perfecto in this tournament in game three.

Jehkinen (left) and Uotila will join Finns Timi Taalas (who received 3.000 Euro for the first 300), Lauri Sipilä, Tomas Käyhkö, Matias Luosujärvi, Swede Martin Paulsson, Jamie Elliott of England and Malaysia’s Timmy Tan (who rolled three 300 games) and any other bowler who achieves perfection in a winner-takes-all roll-off for 2.000 Euro at the end the tournament.

Places 5, 6 and 7 belonged to PBA champions Parker Bohn III, United States (1441), Jesper Svensson, Sweden ((1423) and Anthony Simonsen, United States (1420).

2017 Ballmaster Open champion Daphne Tan (right) of Singapore is still in the hunt for back-to-back titles finishing the round in 18th place with 1330, including handicap.

2017 European Bowling Tour women’s and men’s point ranking leaders Jenny Wegner of Sweden and Carsten Warming Hansen of Denmark made the cut in 12th and 21st place with 1357 and 1316, respectively.

Two-time Ballmaster winner Kimmo Lehtonen (left; 2002 and 2007) qualified for round two in 22nd place with 1304.

Magnus Lönnroth (right) of Finland and Martin Larsen of Sweden tied for 24th place at 1296 (216 average). Lönnroth defeated eight-time European Bowling Tour titlist Larsen in a 9th and 10th frame-roll off, 58-40, to advance.

The top 24 and the top 12 qualifiers return Sunday morning for the second round at 10 a.m. EET to bowl eight games from scratch before the third cut to the top 16.

Photos courtesy of Seija Lankinen.

The 48th Brunswick Ballmaster Open will be held from January 5-14 at 36-lane Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, the capital and largest city of Finland.

Other than last year, when the BBO was a “platinum” level tournament, the 48th edition of the prestigious event is one of two “gold” events this season, the second highest of five EBT categories (satellite, bronze, silver, gold and platinum).

The BBO offers total prize money of 83.700 Euro, including all extra prizes, with 10.000 Euro going to the winner, 6.000 Euro to the runner-up and 4.000 Euro apiece to the third and fourth place finishers. Low to cash is 48th place, worth 800 Euro.

The tournament offers 3.000 Euro for the first 300 game, or for the highest game if there will be no 300 game.

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) ran from Friday, Jan. 5, through Saturday, Jan. 13, and concluded with the one-game Desperado Squad. Total 48 players qualified for the finals. The top 12 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

The other 36 finalists bowled six games starting from scratch with the top 24 advancing to the second round. Those 24 join the top 12 qualifiers to bowl eight games starting from scratch.

The top 16 players will be seeded into two groups according to their positions: Group A (1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 16) and Group B (2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 and 15). Round 2 pins carry over. The group phase features seven games of round robin match play (no position round). During match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie.

The 15-game totals, including all bonus pins, will determine the top two players in each group who advance to the semi-finals (B1 vs. A2 and A1 vs. B2). The semi-final winners will bowl for the title (all one-game head-to-head matches).

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

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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2018 Ballmaster Open – Final Round 1 Results

Top 24 advance to the second round. In a 9th and 10th frame-roll off for 24th place Lönnroth defeated Larsen, 58-40.

300 games (2) – Joonas Jehkinen, Pasi Uotila.

Herbert Bickel

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