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Thomas Larsen, Javier Moreno set the pace in Brunswick Madrid Challenge

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Thomas Larsen of Denmark and Javier Moreno of Spain cracked the 1400-mark on the opening day of qualifying in the 6th Brunswick Madrid Challenge to pace a field of 52 bowlers from Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar, Romania, Venezuela and the host country Spain Sunday at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid.

Larsen (featured photo), who owns four European Bowling Tour titles along with two PBA titles, had games of 231, 237, 234, 252, 248 and 227 in squad 2 to lead Sunday’s standings with 1429 total and an average of 238.17.

Moreno (left), who led the opening day last year with 1465, was 24 pins back in second place with 1405, including six games between 267 and 209. Tournament organizer Paco Rodríguez, who led the first squad with 1371, finished the day in third place.

The top three players after Sunday’s squads will receive automatic berths in the finals. If any player finishes in the top 36 in the overall qualifying standings, the automatic spot drops to the next player of the July 1 standings.

Places 4 to 7 belonged to squad 2 bowlers. Mohammed Al Merekhi (right) of Qatar was fourth with 1366 and was followed by Bodo Konieczny (left), Germany, in fifth place with 1325, Jassim Al Muraikhi, Qatar, in sixth place with 1318 and Rubén Orche, Spain, in seventh place with 1277.

Orche and 8th place Moises Perez (right) of Spain (1264) each rolled 279 games in their sets, the highest game of the tournament so far. Monica Jimenez of Spain was the best of six women in 16th place with 1216 total, including eight pins handicap each game.

Qualifying continues on Monday, July 2, with squads 3 & 4 scheduled to start at 5 and 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time. The top 5 from the combined standings of squads on Monday and Tuesday will receive automatic berths in the finals if they do not finish in the top 36 in the overall qualifying standings.

The VI Brunswick Madrid Challenge is the 6th stop of the 2018 European Bowling Tour season and the first out of two EBT “Bronze” tournaments this season. The tournament will be held from July 1-8 at 20-lane Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain. Francois Lavoie of Canada is the defending BMC champion.

Players will compete for total prize money of 40.300 Euro with 6.000 Euro going to the winner, 3.000 to the runner-up and 2.000 to the third place finisher. Last-to-cash payout (48th place) is 300 Euro.

Qualifying gets underway on Sunday, July 1, and runs through Saturday, July 7, with the final squad 18 to start at 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). The qualifying winner earns a 750 Euro bonus. Qualifying concludes with the Desperado Squad slated for half past Midnight.

Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum score is 300), a standard on the European Bowling Tour. The top two women in qualifying (before Desperado Squad) earn 750 and 500 Euro, respectively.

Total 48 players qualify for the finals on Sunday, July 8, including the top 36 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 3 from the combined standings of July 1 squads and the top 5 of the squads conducted July 2 & 3, who were not in the top 36, plus four players from the Desperado Squad. The top 16 qualifiers receive a first-round bye and will be seeded 1-16 in match play.

The remaining 32 finalists will bowl six games from scratch with the top 16 advancing to match play, seeded 17-32.

In each round of match play, the highest seeded player will bowl against the lowest seeded player, the second-highest against the second-lowest, and so on. Match play rounds of 32, 16 and 8 consist of best-of-three games while semi-finals and finals will be decided in one game.

The field will be cut to 16, 8, 4 and then two players who will bowl for the title and the 6.000 Euro top prize.

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.

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Total 48 players, including the top 36 players from the overall qualifying standings, the top 3 players from the combined standings of squads 1 & 2 and the top 5 of squads 3-6 who are not among the top 36, and the top four players of the Desperado Squad, will advance to the finals.

Herbert Bickel

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