Ron Oldfield, Erna Buysse start 2011 ISBT with victory in Monheim


    2011 International Seniors Bowling Tour #1

    2011ISBT01Top3Men.jpgThe International Seniors Bowling Tour for 2011 kicked off with Arthur's sixth Senior Open at Vegas Bowling in Monheim, Germany from March 2-6. 128 players from 12 countries, 28 women and 100 men, participated in the first stop of the ISBT.

    Defending champion Ron Oldfield (center), England, claimed his fifth ISBT celebrating a 4-pin victory over Ernst Berndt, Austria, in the men's division. The former English international has won four out of nine events in the Tour's inaugural season in 2010. Erna Buysse, Belgium, led the women's field from wire to wire to earn her first ISBT title.

    The format for the tournament was 12 games qualifying in two blocks of six games, with re-entries allowing the lowest block to be replaced. Turbo game qualifying was also available for those unable to qualify through the normal ranking list.

    New for the 2011 tour, the age bonus started at age 51 (1 pin per game), then increased a pin for every additional year of age with no limit.

    From the very first squad it was apparent that scores would be high. At the end of all 11 squads, no-one had managed to better the 1460 six-game series of Benoit Thiran, Belgium, from Squad. The highest scratch game of 282 was posted early on by Dieter Pletsch of Germany.

    Top honors in the men's qualifying went to Oldfield, who totaled 2874 over his 12 games. He was a clear 70 pins ahead of Germany's Horst Ă–bel. The cut at position 25 fell to Dominique De Nolf, Belgium on 2641. The top 25 were joined in the finals by six men from the early squads, and another four from the Turbo games.

    In the women's section, consistent blocks of 1300 and 1323 comfortably put England's Angie Brown in the lead, with Barbara Karnasch, Germany, in second on 2563, and England's Karen Barfoot in third on 2534.

    The ladies cut for the top 6 was Jan Steiner; England, with 2395, and these six progressed into the finals with five from the early squads, and four from the Turbo games.

    The format for the final stages was three four game blocks starting from scratch, with only the highest scoring bowlers going through each round. With scores carrying through, getting a good start was essential.

    2011ISBT01Top3Women.jpgThree bowlers who did this were Berndt (1037), Oldfield (1017), and in the women's division Buysse (947).

    Oldfield took a slim 5-pins lead after beating Berndt, 1040-1015, in the next block while Buysse maintained a 63-pins lead with a 755 total.

    The third and final block of four games saw the fight continue in the men's section, going down to the last few balls. In the end Oldfield (1031) held off Berndt (1032) by just four pins to take the win, 3088 to 3084, with John Bosch, Netherlands a distant third with 2827.

    On the women's side, Erna Buysse (center; 935) cruised to the title with 2637, a clear 133 pins ahead of second place Karen Barfoot (left; 2504) with Barbara Karnasch (right) in third place at 2479.

    The International Seniors Bowling Tour now moves on to ALPA Senior Open which will be held from April 6-10, 2011 at Alpa-Bowl in Buxtehude, Germany.


    Women's Division - Final Standings after Round 4


    Men's Division - Final Standings after Round 4