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Race in Storm Lucky Larsen Masters qualifying heats up

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The race to qualify for the finals of the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters is heating up with just two days and eight squads remaining at Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmö, Sweden.

Eleven players surpassed the 1300-mark and another two hit 1300 on the nose in Thursday’s squads 22 to 25 which were highlighted by the first perfect game. Each of the four squads was won by a PBA champion.

Jimmy Mortensen (left) of Denmark continued to lead the 350-player field from 25 countries with 1451 total and an average of 241.83, while Swedes Jesper Svensson (1411), William Svensson (1407) and Peter Hellström (1396) stayed in second through fourth place.

Squad 24 leader Stuart Williams (right) of England and squad 22 leader Kyle Troup posted the highest series on Thursday to move into the top 8, who will earn two byes for Sunday’s finals.

Williams, a six-time European Bowling Tour champion who also owns one PBA title, rolled games of 269, 191, 243, 222, 225 and 229 for 1379 total (229.83 average) to take fifth place in the overall qualifying standings.

Two-time PBA champion Troup (left), who has won the 2018 USBC Team USA Trials and will represent the United States at the 54th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup in Las Vegas in November, posted 1374 in the opening squad Thursday to finish the day in sixth place.

Starting the day in 14th place on 1341, four-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte (right) of Australia improved by 11 pins after leading squad 23 with 1352. The two-handed player, who owns 18 PBA titles along with two EBT titles, including the inaugural Storm Lucky Larsen Masters last year.

Gaëtan Mouveroux (left) of France started the 11th day of qualifying with twelve consecutive strikes for the first 300 game of the tournament. He followed the perfecto with 212, 201, 203, 256 and 179 to leap into 14th place with 1351 total.

Sandra Gongora (right) of Mexico started her six-game series in squad 24 with 266 and 258 to finish second to Williams with 1346 total, including eight pins handicap each game, which propelled her into 16th place overall.

Sin Li Jane of Malaysia, who owns one PWBA and two EBT titles, is the best of 45 women in the field in 11th place with 1353. Joining Sin and Gongora in the top 46, who will advance to the finals, are 21-time PWBA champion and three-time PWBA Player of the Year Liz Johnson (left; 32nd; 1300), United States; New Hui Fen (33rd; 1300) of Singapore; and Siti Safiyah (34th; 1296) of Malaysia, both one-time PWBA champions.

Marshall Kent (right), USA, a four-time PBA and two time EBT champion, led the last squad Thursday (#25) to crack the top 20 with 1337 total, including a high game of 269.

With eight more squads to go, four each on Friday and Saturday, AJ Chapman (left), USA, is the man “on the bubble” in 46th position with 1286 and an average of 214.33.

Qualifying continues on Friday, September 7, with squads 26-29 scheduled to start at 9 a.m., 1, 5 and 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST).

The Storm Lucky Larsen Masters is the 9th stop of the World Bowling Tour 2018 and the 10th stop of the European Bowling Tour 2018. The tournament is a WBT “tier 2” event and second and last EBT “platinum” event this season, the highest of the five EBT categories (platinum, gold, silver, bronze and satellite).

The second Storm Lucky Larsen Masters will be held from August 25 to September 9 at Baltiska Bowlinghallen, a 22-laner in Malmö, Sweden and offers an increased total prize fund of 1.038.000 Swedish Kronor (SEK), or approximately 98.600 Euro, with 150.000 SEK (€14.250) going to the winner, 110.000 SEK to the runner-up and 80.000 and 60.000 SEK to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively. Low to cash is 60th place worth 3.500 SEK or 333 Euro.

All rounds can be watched live on SolidSport, featuring four different cameras covering 16 lanes. For more information, click here.

Qualifying of the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters (six-game series, unlimited re-entries) runs from Saturday, August 25, through Saturday, September 8, with the last qualifying squad 33 scheduled for 8 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). There will be no Desperado Squad this year.

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

Total 60 players will advance to the finals on Sunday, September 9, including the top 46 qualifiers, top 7 from an “Early Bird” competition (squads 1-16), top 2 senior bowlers (born in 1968 or earlier), top 2 U21 bowlers (born in 1997 or later), all not among the top 46, plus one player each from Turbo 4, 5 and 6 ranking (highest scores in game, 4, 5 and 6 (no extra entry fee required).

The top 8 qualifiers receive two byes for the finals, while qualifiers 9-33 get a first-round bye.

The other 27 players bowl four games from scratch before the field is cut to the top 11 who join qualifiers 9-33 in the second round featuring another four-game block from scratch. The top 16 meet qualifiers 1-8 in the third round to bowl eight games starting from scratch. The top 4 advance to the stepladder finals.

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.

The World Bowling Tour 2018 currently features also twelve stops, one each in Germany, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand and Hong Kong and seven stops on U.S. soil. More events may be added, at least 3 months’ notice provided.

The Storm Lucky Larsen Masters is the 9th stop of the WBT 2018 and one of the tier 2 events this season. WBT tier 2 events award bowlers with four times the number of base WBT Rankings points (tier 1 six times and tier 3 two times).

The World Bowling Tour is sanctioned by World Bowling, the governing body for the sport of bowling. The 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 will award a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member (who doesn’t accept handicap pins). However, when an event is U.S. based and not a PBA event (such as the New Mexico Open), no PBA title can be granted.

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.

The top three men and top three women in the annual points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals (date and venue tba).

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.

The 10th stop of the 2018 World Bowling Tour season is the WBT/PBA World Bowling Tour Thailand, a tier 2 event, which will be held Sept. 22-28 at Blu–O Rhythm & Bowl Ratchayothin in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Storm Lucky Larsen Masters – Standings after Qualifying Squad 25/33

Total 60 players will advance to the finals on Sunday, September 9, including the top 46 qualifiers, top 7 from an “Early Bird” competition, top 2 senior bowlers, top 2 U21 bowlers, all not among the top 46, plus one player each from Turbo 4, 5 and 6 ranking.

300 games (1) – Gaëtan Mouveroux.

Herbert Bickel

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