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Thomas Larsen wins qualifying at Odense International

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Thomas Larsen of Denmark was the lone player in the Odense International who surpassed the 1400-mark to win the qualifying Saturday at Odense Bowling Center in Odense, Denmark.

The four-time European Bowling Tour champion and two-time PBA titlist (above), who won his last title in 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey, toppled 1401 pins (233.50 average) in the 12th and penultimate squad, including games of 253, 226, 247, 213, 226 and 236, to lead 32 players from the original 119-player field from nine countries into Sunday’s finals.

The top 10 qualifiers receive bonus pins for the first round of the finals. Larsen gets 140 pins, while 10th place Sanna Pasanen, Finland, receives 10 pins.

Trailing Larsen by just two pins to finish qualifying in second place was Lars Nielsen (left), who led the field since the opening squad with 1399. His compatriots Mikael Brændeskov and Carsten Warming Hansen were close behind third and fourth with 1397 and 1393, respectively.

Ghanim Aboujassoum (right), one of six Qatar national team members competing in Odense, led squad 1, was the best foreign bowler in fifth place with 1388, including four games in the 240s. Five of the Qataris survived the first cut.

Sixth place belonged to Francois Louw (left) of South Africa, who was second to Larsen in squad 12 with 1376. He was followed by Jimmy Mortensen of Denmark in seventh place with 1351.

Mika Guldbæk (right) of Denmark was the best woman in the field in eighth place with 1332, including 48 pins handicap. Seven of the original 33 women made the first cut. Jesper Agerbo of Denmark and Pasanen rounded out the top 10 with 1316 and 1301, respectively.

Sascha Wedel (left) of Denmark finished the last squad (#13) with a 241 game for 1294 total, sneaking into the finals in 19th place. Steffen Tang-Petersen of Denmark took the 24th and last spot to advance from the overall qualifying standings with 1275, an average of 212.50 for six games.

The top 24 players will be joined in the finals by another eight players, who advanced through “Early Bird” squads, “Turbo” games and the “Desperado Squad”.

The Odense International 2017 is the ninth stop of the 2017 European Bowling Tour and the second of three EBT “Satellite” tournaments this season, the lowest of the five EBT categories. The tournament will be held from August 27 through September 3 at 20-lane Odense Bowling Center in Odense, Denmark.

Players compete for total prize money of 113.000 Danish Kronor (DKK) or roughly 15.190 Euro with 25.000 DKK (3.360 Euro) going to the winner, 12.000 DKK to the runner-up and 6.000 apiece to the third and fourth place finishers. Low to cash is 32nd place worth 1.800 DKK or 242 Euro.

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) got underway on Sunday, August 27, and concluded Saturday, Sept. 2, with squad 13, followed by the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 32 players qualified for the finals, including the top 24 players from the overall qualifying standings, the top two players each from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-4 and 5-8, who are not among the top 24, one player each from the Turbo 1 and 2 list and the top 2 players of the Desperado Squad.

The Turbo 1 and 2 winners are the players with the highest score in the fifth (Turbo 1) and sixth (Turbo 2) game in any of the qualifying series (optional; extra entry fee required).

The top 10 qualifiers received bonus pins for the first round of the finals as follows:
Qualifying winner: 140 pins; 2nd place: 120; 3rd place: 100; 4th place: 80; 5th place: 60; 6th place: 50; 7th place: 40; 8th place: 30; 9th place: 20; and 10th place: 10.

All 32 finalists bowl six games. The top 16 with the highest six-game total including bonus pins and women’s handicap advance to the second round with the total pinfall carried forward.

Those 16 bowl an additional four games to cut to the top 8 who will be seeded 1-8 for the match play finals featuring one-game rounds. In each round, the highest seeded player selects his opponent, then the second-highest seeded player, and so on.

The four winners of the Round of 8 plus two “lucky losers” (the two highest scoring players of the four losers) advance. The three winners of the Round of 6 plus one lucky loser go to the semifinals. The winners of that round bowl for the title.

The 2017 European Bowling Tour features 11 tournaments in 9 countries including two “Platinum”, two “Gold”, one “Silver”, three “Bronze” and three “Satellite” events, which offer total prize fund of roughly 560.000 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 11th EBT Masters February 12, 2018 in Tilburg, Netherlands.

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2017 Odense International – Standings after Qualifying and Desperado Squad

Top 24 players, the top two players each from a separate leaderboard of Squads 5-8 (places 25-26) and 1-4 (places 27-28), who are not among the top 24, one player each from the Turbo 1 (29th place) and Turbo 2 (30th place) list and the top 2 players of the Desperado Squad (places 31-32) advance to the finals.

Herbert Bickel

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