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Pontus Andersson wins Qualifying at Storm Lucky Larsen Masters

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Pontus Andersson of Sweden won the qualifying of the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters to lead 44 bowlers, 33 men and 11 women, into Sunday’s finals at Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmö, Sweden.

Andersson (above and right), who won the Track Dream-Bowl Palace Open in July for his first European Bowling Tour title, led the 455 player-field from 22 countries since squad 10 last Sunday with 1372 (228.67).

The multiple World Youth Champion was the only player who was able to come close to his high score as he posted 1366 in Squad 22 on Saturday afternoon, the second highest scratch effort of the tournament.

Victoria Johansson (left) of Sweden was the best of 69 women in second place with 1367, including 48 pins handicap, a standard for women on the European Bowling Tour. Her compatriot Filip Wilhelmsson (right) was third with 1360.

Britt Brøndsted of Denmark was the best non-Swedish bowler in fourth place with 1354, including handicap. Sweden’s 2016 Rookie Sportsman of the Year, Jesper Svensson (left), who owns eight EBT titles along with six Professional Bowlers Association titles, remained in fifth place with 1352.

Bader Alshaikh (right) of Saudi Arabia was in sixth position with 1342 and was followed by Sanna Pasanen of Finland, who was the third woman in the top 8 in seventh place with 1330, including handicap.

Thomas Larsen (left) of Denmark, a winner of two World Bowling Tour titles which both counted as PBA titles, started squad 21 with 169, but followed with 220, 257, 204 and 200 before he closed with a huge 279 on the challenging lane condition to move into eighth place with 1329 and to beat out fellow Dane Mik Stampe for the last place to earn one bye by just one pin.

Daniel Fransson (right) of Sweden led the last squad 23 with 1310 to make the first cut in 16th place. Mexico’s Sandra Gongora (below left) was second to Andersson with 1294, including handicap, to finish the 14-day qualifying portion in 38th place.

Swedish youth national team member Emanuel Jonsson took the 38th and last spot to advance from the leaderboard with 1280 or an average of 213.33.

Among the notables, who missed the cut, was tournament namesake, eight-time European Bowling Tour champion Martin (Lucky) Larsen (right), who officially took care of the players during the event, finishing 11 pins below the cut line in 53rd place with 1269.

Joining the top 38 in the finals are Swedes Stefan Roos (1279) and Sandra Andersson (1273) from the “Early Bird” squads, Lars Lindbäck (1266) and Timmy Fredriksson (1274) as the best senior and junior bowler, respectively, out of the top 38, and Martin Paulsson (257) and Qatar’s Jassim Al Muraikhi (243), who advanced from the Desperado Squad.

A newcomer on the European Bowling Tour, the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters is the 8th stop and the second and last EBT “Gold” tournament this season, the second-highest EBT category.

The tournament is also the third event of the 2017 World Bowling Tour, which is sanctioned by World Bowling, the governing body for the sport of bowling.

The inaugural LL Masters will be held August 13-27 at 22-lane Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmö, Sweden and offers total prize fund of 912.000 Swedish Kronor (SEK), or approximately 95.415 Euro, with 160.000 SEK (€16.740) going to the winner.

All rounds can be watched live on the internet, featuring four different cameras covering 16 lanes. The Lucky Larsen Masters will be live streamed Aug. 13-25 on luckylarsenmasters.com and Aug. 26-27 on worldbowling.org. For more information, click here.

Qualifying of the Lucky Larsen Masters (six-game series, unlimited re-entries) ran from Sunday, August 13, through Saturday, August 26, and concluded with a one-game Desperado Squad.

Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum is 300) throughout the entire tournament, an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 44 players advanced to the finals on Sunday, August 27, including the top 38 qualifiers, the top 2 from the “Early Bird Competition” (squads 1, 2 and 4-11), the highest senior bowler (born in 1967 or earlier) and the highest junior bowler (born in 1999 or later), all not among the top 38, plus the top 2 from the Desperado Squad. The top 8 qualifiers received a first-round bye.

The other 36 players bowl six games from scratch before the field is cut to the top 16 who join the top 8 qualifiers in the second round featuring eight games from scratch. The top 8 bowl an additional four games with the pinfall from round two being carried forward. The top 4 with the highest 12-game total determine the champion in a traditional stepladder finals.

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.

The World Bowling Tour is the premier international bowling series that is hosted in numerous, unique cities around the globe.

Due to an agreement between World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), World Bowling Tour tournaments award a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member who doesn’t accept handicap pins.

Men and women compete for points to earn places on the World Bowling Tour rankings. The points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle, where points include every event from the previous two year format. “Majors” award double points.

The top three men and top three women in the annual points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals, which will be held November 19th at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno., Nevada, in conjunction with the PBA World Series of Bowling IX (Nov. 7-19, 2017).

World Bowling provides governance to international bowling and is made up of 134 bowling international federations. For more information on the World Bowling Tour, click here.

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2017 Lucky Larsen Masters – Standings after Qualifying and Desperado Squad

Top 38 qualifiers, the top 2 from the “Early Bird Competition” (places 39-40), the highest senior bowler (41st place) and the highest junior bowler (42nd place) plus the top 2 from the Desperado Squad (places 43-44) advance to the finals. The top 8 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

Herbert Bickel

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