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South Africa’s Francois Louw wins qualifying in San Marino Open


Francois Louw of South Africa averaged 266.17 for six games to win the qualifying of San Marino Open with 1597 total and to earn a 1.000 bonus. Louw leads 48 out of 191 from 27 countries into the finals on Sunday, July 15. An average of 234.67 was necessary to make the cut to the top 35.

Louw (featured photo), who owns one World Bowling Tour title after winning the Kingdom International Open 2015 in Saudi Arabia, fired games of 247, 270, 290, 236, 300 and 254 in squad 9/20 at Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle. His perfecto was the fourth of nine 300 games in qualifying.

Another five players also surpassed the 1500-mark (250 average). Valentin Saulnier (left) of France was second place with 1573 followed by Italians Nicola Pongolini (right) and Antonino Fiorentino in third and fourth place with 1522 and 1515, respectively.

Mai Ginge Jensen (left) of Denmark was the best of 23 women in the field and the lone in the top 35 with 1512, including handicap, and a 245.33 average scratch. Sixth place belonged to Richard Teece of England with 1504.

Jimmy Mortensen of Denmark was the top scorer in the final three squads on Saturday. The one-time EBT champion led squad 19 with 1491, including a low game of 223, four games between 241 and 248, and a high game of 289, to jump into seventh place in the overall standings.

Rounding out the top 8, who will bypass the first two rounds of the finals was, Robin Persson (left) of Sweden with 1490 (248.33), including 300 and 299. His fellow countryman Martin Larsen took the 16th and last place to earn a first-round-bye with 1455 (242.50).

Kim Bolleby (right) of Thailand led the finals squad 20 with 1444 to leap into 20th place. Bolleby had games of 275, 228, 255, 246, 195 and 245.

Tommaso Radi of Italy, who hit the cutoff number in 2017 with 1393 (232.17), finished 34th this year with 1416. Jan Macek (left), Czech Republic, was the cut with 1408 and an average of 234.67.

The top 35 will be joined in the finals by 10 players from “early bird” squads and the top 3 of the one-game Desperado Squad, which concluded the qualifying Saturday night.

Maxime de Rooij (right), Netherlands, led the 32 desperados with 254, including eight pins handicap, to become the second woman in the finals. One-time EBT champions Daniel Fransson (left) of Sweden and Marek Talpa, Czech Republic, took the last spots with 230 with 225, respectively.

The Storm San Marino Open is the 7th stop of the 2018 European Bowling Tour and the second and last EBT “Gold” tournaments this season. Francois Lavoie of Canada is the defending champion.

The 14th edition will be held July 7-15 at 18-lane Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino and offers total prize fund of 62.100 Euro with 8.000 Euro going to the winner, 5.000 to the runner-up, 3.300 to the third and 2.400 to the fourth place finisher.

Qualifying of the San Marino Open (six-game series, unlimited re-entries) ran from July 7 to 14. The qualifying winner received a 1.000 Euro bonus.

Qualifying concluded with the one-game Desperado Squad scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum is 300) throughout the entire tournament, a standard for women on the European Bowling Tour. The top three women based on the final standings will receive 500, 350 and 200 Euro bonuses, respectively.

Total 48 players advanced to the finals on Sunday, July 15, including the top 35 qualifiers plus the top 3 each from the squads conducted on July 7 & 8 and 9 & 10, the top 4 from the squads conducted on July 11 & 12, and the top 3 from the Desperado Squad.

The top 8 qualifiers receive two byes and qualifiers 9-16 get a first-round bye. The other 32 players will bowl four games from scratch to cut to the top 16, who will meet qualifiers 9-16 in the second round. Those 24 bowl another four games from scratch to cut to the top 10, who will join the top eight in the last six-game round before the cut to the top 4.

The four finalists will determine the winner in an eliminator-format finals which will feature three one-game rounds. All four players bowl the opening game, with the lowest-scoring player being eliminated. In the two rounds to follow, the same “low man out” format applies, with pinfall carrying over. The last player standing will be declared the champion.

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 in 2019. The ETBF has announced that the tournament will be held during the VI Brunswick Madrid Challenge on Thursday, July 4 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain. The 13th EBT Masters will be held July 7, 2020 at Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle in conjunction with the 16th San Marino Open.

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14th Storm San Marino Open – Standings after Qualifying and Desperado Squad

Total 48 players will advance to the finals on Sunday, July 15, including the top 35 qualifiers plus the top 4 from the squads conducted on July 11 & 12 (places 36-39), the top 3 each from the squads conducted on 9 & 10 (places 40-42) and July 7 & 8 (places 43-45), and the top 3 from the Desperado Squad (places 46-48).

300 games (9) – Artemii Zubkov, Valentin Saulnier, Robin Persson, Francois Louw, Mai Ginge Jensen, Mattias Wetterberg, Jesper Svensson, Nick Pate, Antonio Maddaloni.

Herbert Bickel

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