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Wilhelmsson, Svensson, Pasanen move into top 8 in Malmö

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Filip Wilhelmsson of Sweden concluded the penultimate qualifying day at Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmö, Sweden, with a fine 1360 series to lead squad 20b and to jump into third place in the overall standings of the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters.

Wilhelmsson (left) rebounded from a slow start (195) with games of 245, 231, 267, 208 and 214, an average of 226.67 for six games. He trails his compatriots Pontus Andersson and Victoria Johansson by only 12 and 7 pins, respectively, in third position.

Andersson, who won the Track Dream-Bowl Palace Open in July for his first European Bowling Tour title, continued to lead the 450-player field with 1372 (228.67).

Johansson (left) is the best of 68 women in second place with 1367, including 48 pins handicap, an equality handicap provided to women in all European Bowling Tour events.

Britt Brøndsted of Denmark is the best non-Swedish bowler in fourth place with 1354, including handicap.

Sweden’s 2016 Rookie Sportsman of the Year, Jesper Svensson (right) toppled 1352 pins in squad 19 to leap into fifth place in the qualifying standings. The two-handed lefty, who owns eight EBT titles along with six Professional Bowlers Association titles, is the first player to win five PBA Tour titles by age 21.

Bader Alshaikh of Saudi Arabia slipped two spots to sixth place with 1342 and was followed by Sanna Pasanen (left) of Finland, who led squad 18 with 1330, including handicap, to become the third woman in the top 8 in seventh place.

Rounding out the top 8 players who will receive a first-round bye for the finals at the end of the qualifying, is Mik Stampe of Denmark, who was just two pins behind Pasanen with 1328.

Three-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte (right) of Australia slipped out of the top 8 to ninth place and is tied with Diana Zavjalova (left) of Latvia at 1323.

PBA and multiple EBT champion Stuart Williams (right) paced squad 20a to sit in 20th place overall with 1295.

Heading into the last day of qualifying, former world champion Martin Paulsson of Sweden holds the 38th and last spot to advance from the overall standings with 1272 or an average of 212.

Qualifying continues on Saturday, August 26, with squads 21, 22 and 23 scheduled to start at 10 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST) and concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad slated for 9.30 p.m.

A newcomer on the European Bowling Tour, the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters is the 8th stop and the second and last EBT “Gold” tournament this season, the second-highest EBT category.

The tournament is also the third event of the 2017 World Bowling Tour, which is sanctioned by World Bowling, the governing body for the sport of bowling.

The inaugural LL Masters will be held August 13-27 at 22-lane Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmö, Sweden and offers total prize fund of 912.000 Swedish Kronor (SEK), or approximately 95.415 Euro, with 160.000 SEK (€16.740) going to the winner.

All rounds can be watched live on the internet, featuring four different cameras covering 16 lanes. The Lucky Larsen Masters will be live streamed Aug. 13-25 on luckylarsenmasters.com and Aug. 26-27 on worldbowling.org. For more information, click here.

Qualifying of the Lucky Larsen Masters (six-game series, unlimited re-entries) runs from Sunday, August 13, through Saturday, August 26, with the last qualifying squad 23 scheduled for 6 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). Qualifying concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad scheduled to start at 9.30 p.m.

Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum is 300) throughout the entire tournament, an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 44 players will advance to the finals on Sunday, August 27, including the top 38 qualifiers, the top 2 from the “Early Bird Competition” (squads 1, 2 and 4-11), the highest senior bowler (born in 1967 or earlier) and the highest junior bowler (born in 1999 or later), all not among the top 38, plus the top 2 from the Desperado Squad. The top 8 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

The other 36 players bowl six games from scratch before the field is cut to the top 16 who join the top 8 qualifiers in the second round featuring eight games from scratch. The top 8 bowl an additional four games with the pinfall from round two being carried forward. The top 4 with the highest 12-game total determine the champion in a traditional stepladder finals.

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.

The World Bowling Tour is the premier international bowling series that is hosted in numerous, unique cities around the globe.

Due to an agreement between World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), World Bowling Tour tournaments award a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member who doesn’t accept handicap pins.

Men and women compete for points to earn places on the World Bowling Tour rankings. The points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle, where points include every event from the previous two year format. “Majors” award double points.

The top three men and top three women in the annual points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals, which will be held November 19th at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno., Nevada, in conjunction with the PBA World Series of Bowling IX (Nov. 7-19, 2017).

World Bowling provides governance to international bowling and is made up of 134 bowling international federations. For more information on the World Bowling Tour, click here.

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Top 38 qualifiers, the top 2 from the “Early Bird Competition” (places 39-40), the highest senior bowler (41st place) and the highest junior bowler (42nd place) plus the top 2 from the Desperado Squad (places 43-44) advance to the finals. The top 8 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

Herbert Bickel

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