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Six bowlers crack top 12 at Brunswick Euro Challenge


Sean Rash, United States and Curtis Hooper of England led Thursday’s squads at Dream-Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany, and moved toward the head of the class in the qualifying standings of the Brunswick Euro Challenge.

Rash (pictured above), 33, a nine-time PBA champion and the 2011-12 PBA Player of the Year, missed the magic 1500-mark, a 250 average, by just five pins in squad 9. The Team USA member averaged 249.17, including a pair of 279 games and another 269 high game, to jump into second place with 1495.

Curtis Hooper of England was just 21 pins behind Rash with 1474 to move into third place in the overall qualifying standings. Hooper also had a pair of 279s plus a 257.

2016EBT05JasmineYeongNathan.jpg2016EBT05KellyKulick.jpgJasmine Yeong Nathan (left) of Singapore, leads the 203-player field from 31 countries into the second half of the qualifying with 1539 total, including eight pins handicap each game, an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Yeong Nathan is the best of four women in the top 12, who will earn a first-round bye for the finals at the end of qualifying. Joining Yeong Nathan, Kelly Kulick (right; 5th, 1463), USA, and Tannya Roumimper (6th, 1452), Indonesia, in the elite group is Daphne Tan of Singapore.

Fresh off a fourth place finish in the H.H. Emir Cup 2016 in Qatar earlier this month, Tan used high games of 268, 246, 236 and 222 for 1372 scratch, an average of 228.67, and added 48 handicap to finish the day in eighth place with 1420.

Tim Mack, United States, started his block with a near-perfect 298 game and finished with 1415, good for 11th place, to become the fourth player of squad 9 who cracked the to 12. Though Julien Sermand rolled the third 300 game that squad, the Frenchman had to settle for 92nd place with 1228 as he added four games under 200 and a 204.

2016EBT05TommyJones.jpg2016EBT05MarshallKent.jpg16-time PBA titlist and former PBA Player of the Year (2005-06), Tommy Jones (left), United States, led the last squad on Thursday (#10) with 1431, including the tournament’s fourth perfecto in game three. Jones followed the 300 with a pair of 258 in the fourth and sixth game, respectively, to take seventh place and push back Tan to eighth.

2014 BEC champion Marshall Kent (right), USA, a one-time PBA champion paced squad 8 with 1416, including six games between 255 and 219, to sit in 9th place heading into the penultimate day of qualifying.

The score to make the top 12 is currently 1412 (235.33) while the score to make the top 50 surpassed the 1300-mark. With 10 of 17 squads completed, Magnus Johnson of Germany is the man “on the bubble” with 1304 or an average of 217.33.

Qualifying continues on Friday, March 18, with squads 11-13 starting at noon, 4 and 8 p.m. Central European Time (CET).

2016BECLogo_small.jpgThe 13th Brunswick Euro Challenge is the fifth stop on the 2016 European Bowling Tour and the second of three EBT “Platinum” events this season, the highest of the four EBT tournament categories.

The BEC will be held from March 13-20 at Europe’s premier bowling center, Dream-Bowl Palace, a 52-laner in Unterföhring in suburban Munich, Germany.

Players will compete for total prize fund of 103.000 Euro with 11.700 Euro going to the winner, 8.500 Euro to the runner-up and 5.500 Euro to the third place finisher.

Women receive eight pins handicap each game, an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events. The top three women after qualifying receive 1.200, 700 and 500 Euro bonuses, respectively.

The BEC is also the third event of the 2016 World Bowling Tour. Due to an agreement between World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), World Bowling Tour tournaments will award a PBA title to the winner if he/she is a PBA member and bowls without accepting handicap pins.

Qualifying kicks off Sunday, March 13, and runs through Saturday, March 19, with the final Squad 17 slated for 8 p.m. CET. Qualifying concludes with the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad at 11.30 p.m.

Total 64 players qualify for the finals on Sunday, March 20, including the top 50 in the standings, the top 5 from a separate leaderboard of the squads conducted March 15-16, the top 5 from a separate leaderboard of the squads conducted March 13-14, and the top 4 of the Desperado Squad.

The top 12 qualifiers receive a first-round bye. The other 52 players bowl six games scratch to cut to the top 16 who will join the top 12 qualifiers in Round Two. Those 28 will bowl another six games scratch after which the field will be trimmed to the top 8 for match play.

Round Two pinfall will be carried forward. The top 3 players after seven games round robin match play including bonus pins (30 for a win; 15 for a tie) will determine the champion in a stepladder final. The No. 3 seed bowls the No. 2 seed and the winner of the semifinal match takes on the No. 1 seed for the title and the 11.300 Euro top prize.

2016WBTLogo_small.jpgThe 2016 World Bowling Tour currently consists of 8 tournaments, six in the Middle East and one each in Germany and Thailand. A ninth event and the only WBT “major” so far is planned for December 2016 during the PBA World Series of Bowling VIII in the USA.

Players earn ranking points based on how they finish in each event. “Majors” award double points. The current points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle. The top three men and top three women in the annual points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals (tbd).

After the conclusion of the Brunswick Euro Challenge, the World Bowling Tour will take a five-month break returning to competition with the World Bowling Tour Thailand event, which will be held from August 6-12 at Blu-O Paragon bowling center in Bangkok.

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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2016 Brunswick Euro Challenge – Qualifying Standings after Squad 10/17

Top 50 qualifiers, top 5 from March 15-16 squads (places 51-55), top 5 from March 13-14 squads (places 56-60), and top 4 of the Desperado Squad (places 61-64) will advance to the finals on Sunday, March 20.

300 games (4) – Anthony Simonsen, Jesper Svensson, Julien Sermand, Tommy Jones.

Herbert Bickel

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