Mika Koivuniemi shoots 1494 series to win qualifying of the BNC Open in Bratislava, Slovakia


    2013 European Bowling Tour #14

    Mika Koivuniemi shoots 1494 series to win qualifying of the BNC Open in Bratislava, Slovakia Leads a field of 64 players - 56 men and 8 women - into Sunday's Final Round One; Joonas Jehkinen shoots the third perfecto of the tournament; Robert Andersson (SWE) hits the cutoff number for 52nd place with 1304 (217.33 average)

    2013EBT14MikaKoivuniemi.jpgTwo-time PBA Player of the Year Mika Koivuniemi (pictured left) of Finland averaged 249 Saturday at BNC Bowling Center in Bratislava, Slovakia en route to win the qualifying of the BNC Open and to lead a field of 64 players - 56 men and 8 women - into the finals on Sunday.

    Koivuniemi, who owns 11 PBA and 7 European Bowling Tour titles, used a high game of 280 and five games between 236 and 259 to lead the field of 216 players from 22 countries with 1494. The "big Finn", who had one three 300 games in the tournament so far in his previous high series of 1337, will carry the pins forward into Final Round One.

    2013EBT14BjornEinarRudshagen.jpg2013EBT04JoonasJehkinen3.jpgBjörn Einar Rudshagen of Norway and Dane Thomas Larsen, who rolled the first 300 game on Friday, slipped to second and third place with 1457 and 1450, respectively.

    Team World Champion Joonas Jehkinen (right) of Finland was second to Koivuniemi in Squad 17 to leap in fourth place with 1445 including the tournament's third perfect game.

    Jehkinen's compatriot and fellow national team member Osku Palermaa (below left), who has record 13 EBT titles under his belt, led Squad 18 with 1442 including high games of 266 and 267 to finish qualifying in fifth place.

    2013EBT14OskuPalermaa.jpg2013EBT14BodoKonieczny.jpgGerman international Bodo Konieczny (right), silver medalist in Singles at the World Championships in August, paced the final squad 20 with 1407, good for seventh place in the overall standings.

    Joline Persson-Planefors of Sweden, a two-time European champion and the 2011 EBT women's point ranking leader, was the best of 39 women in 10th place with 1399 including 48 pins handicap, a standard for women on the European Bowling Tour.

    Her compatriot Patrick Bohm (below left) led Squad 19 with 1337 to make the first cut in 33rd place. Robert Andersson (below right), Sweden, hit the cutoff number for 52nd place with 1304 or an average of 217.33.

    2013EBT14PatrickBohm.jpg2013EBT14RobertAndersson.jpgNone of the bowlers from the host country Slovakia finished in the top 52 but two of them, Milan Černý and Lukáš Andrassy, survived the first cut through the "Early Bird" squads. Four players each from the squads contested on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday rounded out the field for the finals.

    The BNC Open is the 14th event of the 2013 European Bowling Tour and the fifth and penultimate of EBT "Gold" tournament this season. The BNC Open, which runs from Sept. 23-29 at 16-lane BNC Bowling Center, offers total prize fund of 62.000 Euro with 7.000 Euro going to the winner and 4.500 Euro to the runner-up.

    The BNC Open will be contested on a 39 feet lane conditioning pattern with 23.3 mL volume oil total.

    Qualifying (6 games, unlimited re-entries) ran through Saturday, Sept. 28. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game, a standard on the European Bowling Tour.

    2013BNCOpenLogo_small.jpgA total of 64 players advanced to the finals on Sunday, Sept. 29: The top 52 players from the overall qualifying standings, plus the top 4 each from a separate leaderboard of the Squads on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, who weren't among the top 52.

    In the first round of the finals, all 64 players will bowl 4 games with the qualifying total being carried forward. The top 8 get a second-round bye, while the players ranked 9th to 40th advance to the second round.

    Those 32 players will bowl further three games. The top 8 with the highest total of the foregoing 13 games advance to Round 3. The remaining 16 players will bowl four games starting from scratch to cut to the top 6, who will determine the champion in the stepladder finals.

    Following the BNC Open on Monday, September 30, is the sixth EBT Masters featuring the top 16 men and women of the 2012 EBT point rankings.

    2013EBTLogo_small.jpg The 2013 European Bowling Tour consists of 19 tournaments in 13 countries including two Platinum, six Gold, four Silver and seven Satellite events.

    The top 50 men and the top 50 women in each event earn ranking points based on how they finish. The winner of a Platinum tournament receives 250 ranking points, the winner of a Gold tournament such as the 2013 BNC Open gets 150, the winner of a Silver tournament earns 100, and the winner of a Satellite tournament gets 50 ranking points.

    Points are tabulated throughout the season and the top 12 men and the top 12 women qualify for the seventh EBT Masters to be held March 3, 2014 at Dolfijn Bowling in Tilburg, Netherlands immediately following the EBT Hammer Bronzen Schietspoel Tournament 2014.


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    Standings after Qualifying

    A total of 64 players in cluding the top 52 plus the top 4 each from a separate leaderboard of the Squads on Wednesday (places 53-56), Tuesday (places 57-60) and Monday (places 61-64) advance to the finals.

    300 games - (3) Thomas Larsen, Mika Koivuniemi and Joonas Jehkinen