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Thomas Larsen leads 33 players into fourth round at Oklahoma Open

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In a tournament that puts a premium on a player’s ability to adjust to vastly different lane conditions, third-round leader Thomas Larsen of Denmark feels he’s as prepared as he can be to meet the challenges of competing in the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open.

After three rounds bowled on three different PBA lane condition patterns, the two-time PBA Tour and four-time European Bowling Tour winner (above), leads a field of 33 players who advanced to Friday’s final round at the FireLake Bowling Center with a 5,398 24-game pinfall (224.9 average).

The players advancing to the fourth round will be put to the test on the 44-foot Oklahoma Open lane condition and will battle to be among the top nine who will advance to the live ESPN stepladder finals Saturday and Sunday at noon CDT (1 p.m. ET) at the Grand Casino Hotel Event Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Larsen bowled eight-game pinfall totals of 1,826 on the 32-foot Wolf pattern lane condition in the first round, 1,793 on the 40-foot Bear pattern in the second round and 1,779 on the 52-foot Badger pattern in Thursday’s third round with games of 223, 190, 246, 200, 244, 219, 219 and 238.

“It was another successful day today,” said the 27-year-old Larsen who led after the second round. “You never know what will happen when you’re bowling on a completely new lane condition but I was ready for the challenge.

“I used a lot of balls again today in the round,” he continued. “Just like in yesterday’s round I used several balls and had to make changes in my ball speed and hand position at the release – the changes were just different today.”

Larsen is trying for his first PBA Tour title on U.S. soil. His Tour titles came in the 2013 Abu Dhabi Open and 2014 Kuwait International Open.

Larsen holds a 45-pin lead over 18-time PBA Tour titlist Chris Barnes (left) of Double Oak, Texas, in second with a 5,353 pinfall. Three-time PBA Tour winner Marshall Kent (right) of Yakima, Wash., is third with 5,346 and six-time champion Jesper Svensson (below left) of Sweden is fourth with 5,277.

Trey Ford III (below right), the 16-year-old PBA member from Bartlesville, Okla., advanced to the fourth round with a 10th-place 5,199 pinfall total. He bowled games of 234, 218, 235, 163, 213, 183, 236 and 206 in the third round.

“I’m a little surprised how well I’m doing because when I practiced on these conditions at home I didn’t do that well,” said the high school sophomore who uses the unique two-handed delivery. “Generally, I feel comfortable making the adjustments I need to make – I’m just trying to learn as much as I can.

“If I have a bad game or get a split, I just have to remember that there are more opportunities and more bowling to go.” Ford has been a PBA member since age 13 and has three top-10 finishes in PBA regional competition with a best of sixth.

Saturday’s stepladder round will feature players who qualified fifth through ninth with the winner advancing to the no. 5 qualifying position to join the tournament’s top four qualifiers for Sunday’s stepladder final.

Friday’s final qualifying round will be streamed live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame beginning at 9:30 EDT (8:30 CT). For subscription and schedule information click here.

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PBA Oklahoma Open – Third Round Standings

Players with position, hometown and 24-game total. Top 33 players advance to fourth round.

1, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 5,398
2, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 5,353
3, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 5,346
4, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 5,277
5, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla., 5,274
6, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 5,266
7, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 5,243
8, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 5,213
9, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 5,203
10, Trey Ford III, Bartlesville, Okla., 5,199
11, Sam Cooley, Australia, 5,187
12, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 5,158
13, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 5,157
14, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 5,150
15, Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 5,139
16, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 5,127
16, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Malaysia, 5,127
18, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 5,116
19, Dom Barrett, England, 5,088
20, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 5,087
21, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 5,085
22, Stuart Williams, England, 5,083
23, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 5,081
24, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 5,071
25, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 5,064
26, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 5,061
27, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 5,057
28, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 5,045
29, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 5,030
30, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 5,019
31, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5,014
32, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 4,999
33, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 4,998

Missed Cut:
34, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 4,993
35, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 4,991
36, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 4,979
37, Dylan Burns, Lawrence, Kan., 4,975
38, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 4,965
39, Richie Teece, England, 4,963
40, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 4,951
41, (tie) DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas, and
Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 4,947
43, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 4,944
44, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 4,943
45, (tie) Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., and
Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 4,932
47, J.R. Raymond, Clinton Twp., Mich., 4,927
48, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 4,923
49, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 4,917
50, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 4,916
51, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 4,904
52, Gabriel Garcia, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 4,901
53, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 4,879
54, Graham Fach, Canada, 4,876
55, AJ Chapman, Wichita, Kan., 4,875
56, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 4,873
57, Ahmed Alawadhi, Bahrain, 4,870
58, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 4,868
59, Francois Louw, South Africa, 4,867
60, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 4,860
61, (tie) Patrick Allen, Elmwood Park, N.J.,
Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, and
James Cantere, Oklahoma City, 4,858
64, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 4,851
65, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 4,844
66, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 4,841
67, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 4,812
68, Brian LeClair, Athens, NY, 4,792
69, Osama Hassan, Bahrain, 4,789
70, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 4,783
71, Tom Sorce, Blasdell, N.Y., 4,780
72, Ramon Hilferink, Netherlands, 4,761
73, Dylan Macon, Lubbock, Texas, 4,737
74, Dino Castillo, Highland Village, Texas, 4,735
75, Paul Brewbaker, Midwest City, Okla., 4,732
76, Matthew Sanders, Evansville, Ind., 4,708
77, Isaac Kim, Lebanon, Pa., 4,660
78, Jeff Hatt, Oklahoma City, 4,655
79, (tie) Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., and
Isaac Russell, Malaysia, 4,654
81, Michael Houtz, Myerstown, Pa., 4,575
82, Kenneth Bland Jr., Jacksonville, Texas, 4,549
83, Omar Rashid, Bahrain, 4,522
84, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 4,376
85, Tyson Branagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 4,358
86, Cody Shoemaker, Hanover, Pa., 4,304
87, Armando Santacruz, Ecuador, 4,296
88, William Tarpein, McDonough, Ga., 4,058
89, Jose Rosero, Ecuador, 4,009
90, Yebgueni Velez, Ecuador, 3,885

Herbert Bickel

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