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William Svensson sets the pace in Lucky Larsen Masters

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17-year-old William Svensson led a field of 59 players from Denmark, Finland, Norway and the host country Sweden to set the pace in the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters on first day of qualifying Sunday at Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmö.

Svensson (above) started the second of eleven “Early Bird” squads with 212, 247 and 223 before he fell in a 134 hole in game four. He rebounded with 278, the highest game of the day, and 200 for 1294 total and an average of 215.67 for six games.

Swedish bowlers dominated squads 1 and 2 by holding the top 11 spots. Stefan Roos was second with 1279 and was followed by James Gruffman, who won his lone European Bowling Tour title in the Norwegian Open 2013, with 1273. Rasmus Gjöderum was in fourth place with distant 1230.

Places 5 to 7 belonged to squad 1 bowlers. Marcus Bernhard (right) had six games between 215 and 185 to win the squad with 1214 and to finish the day in fifth place. Mikael Gottfries was two pins behind in sixth place with 1212, while former world champion in doubles and one-time EBT champion, Martin Paulsson was in seventh place with 1208.

Rounding out the top 8, who will receive a first-round bye at the end of the qualifying portion, was Fredrik Nertling with 1207.

Finnish standout and three-time EBT titlist Kimmo Lehtonen was the best non-Swedish bowler in 12th place with 1197, including high games of 256 and 243.

Qualifying continues on Monday, August 14, with two squads (3a and 3b) for bowlers under the age of 18 only.

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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2017 Lucky Larsen Masters – Standings after Qualifying Squad 2/23

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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