Two men and two women survived the seven-game round robin match play group phase in the Brunswick Ballmaster Open
to advance to the live TV finals starting Sunday afternoon 5.15 p.m. Eastern European Time at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland.
Cherie Tan (right) of Singapore and Sin Li Jane (left) of Malaysia led group A, while 2012 Ballmaster Open winner Bill ‘Neill, USA, and two-time Ballmaster champion (2002 & ’07) Kimmo Lehtonen of Finland finished atop group B to advance to the finals.
Tan, the sister of 2017 Ballmaster Open champion Daphne Tan averaged 230.73 for 15 games and won five of her seven matches to receive 150 bonus pins to earn the no. 1 seed in her group with 3731, including eight pins handicap.
Sin beat out her compatriot and round 2 leader Rafiq Ismail for the second spot by 36 pins, 2670 to 2634.
O’Neill (right and above), who owns eight Professional Bowlers Association titles and two wins on the European Bowling Tour, including the 2012 Ballmaster Open, targets to become the sixth multiple winner in the 48-year Ballmaster history and the first from outside Finland.
O’Neill, who overtook Lehtonen in the last game, averaged 234.67 overall and had a 4-3 match play record to lead group B with 3640. Lehtonen (left) was able to weather a strong charge by two-handed lefty Jesper Svensson of Sweden to secure second place by 10 pins, 3599-3589.
In the semi-final matches, O’Neill will take on Sin and Tan meets Lehtonen in one-game matches. The winners will bowl for the title and the 10.000 Euro top prize.
Photos courtesy of Seija Lankinen.
The 48th Brunswick Ballmaster Open will be held from January 5-14 at 36-lane Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, the capital and largest city of Finland.
Other than last year, when the BBO was a “platinum” level tournament, the 48th edition of the prestigious event is one of two “gold” events this season, the second highest of five EBT categories (satellite, bronze, silver, gold and platinum).
The BBO offers total prize money of 83.700 Euro, including all extra prizes, with 10.000 Euro going to the winner, 6.000 Euro to the runner-up and 4.000 Euro apiece to the third and fourth place finishers. Low to cash is 48th place, worth 800 Euro.
The tournament offers 3.000 Euro for the first 300 game, or for the highest game if there will be no 300 game.
Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) ran from Friday, Jan. 5, through Saturday, Jan. 13, and concluded with the one-game Desperado Squad. Total 48 players qualified for the finals. The top 12 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.
The other 36 finalists bowled six games starting from scratch with the top 24 advancing to the second round. Those 24 join the top 12 qualifiers to bowl eight games starting from scratch.
The top 16 players will be seeded into two groups according to their positions: Group A (1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 16) and Group B (2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 and 15). Round 2 pins carry over. The group phase features seven games of round robin match play (no position round). During match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie.
The 15-game totals, including all bonus pins, will determine the top two players in each group who advance to the semi-finals (B1 vs. A2 and A1 vs. B2). The semi-final winners will bowl for the title (all one-game head-to-head matches).
Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 – maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.
The 2018 European Bowling Tour features 13 tournaments in 10 countries including two “platinum”, two “gold”, three “silver”, three “bronze” and three “satellite” events, which will offer total prize fund of more than 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 12th EBT Masters July 8, 2019 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.
Malaysia’s Rafiq Ismail averages 260 to lead top 16 into the Group Phase
Pasi Uotila, Juho Rissanen average over 250 to pace Final Round 1 in Helsinki
Jesse Ahokas wins qualifying at 48th Brunswick Ballmaster Open
16-year-old Jesse Ahokas rises to the top in Brunswick Ballmaster Open
Four players crack the top 5 in 48th Brunswick Ballmaster Open
Teemu Putkisto leads qualifying day 5 to move into sixth place in Helsinki
Timi Taalas shoots first 300 in Ballmaster Open, earns 3.000 Euro bonus
Kimmo Lehtonen wins senior squad; takes overall lead in Ballmaster Open
Ballmaster champ Kimmo Lehtonen sets the tone in Helsinki on Saturday
Three-time winner Pasi Uotila leads opening squad at Brunswick Ballmaster Open
48th Brunswick Ballmaster Open ready to go at Tali Bowling in Helsinki
2018 European Bowling Tour Schedule & Champions
2018 Ballmaster Open – Group Phase
The remaining 16 players were seeded into two groups according to their positions: Group A (1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 16) and Group B (2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 and 15). Round 2 pins carry over. The group phase features seven games of round robin match play (no position round). During match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie. The 15-game totals, including all bonus pins, will determine the top two players in each group who advance to the semi-finals (B1 vs. A2 and A1 vs. B2).