Denmark's Thomas Larsen wins qualifying in EBT/WBT Qatar Bowling Open


    2014 European Bowling Tour #19

    Larsen leads a field of 43 players including three women into Thursday's finals; U.S. bowlers dominate final qualifying day; score to make the cut in 34th place is 1317, an average of 219.50

    2014EBT19ThomasLarsen.jpg2014EBT19SeanRash.jpgThomas Larsen (pictured left) of Denmark won the qualifying of the 14th Qatar Bowling Open, a European Bowling Tour "Platinum" and World Bowling Tour "major" event, which concluded Wednesday night with the Desperado Squad at Qatar Bowling Center in Doha.

    The current European Bowling Tour point ranking leader toppled 1503 pins including one of two 300 games this week (Swede Magnus Johnson had the first), an average of 250.50, to lead a field of 102 players from 22 countries.

    The next six places belonged to U.S. bowlers, who dominated the last qualifying day winning all three squads. Eight-time PBA champion and Player of the Year 2011-12, Sean Rash (above right), was second with 1456 (242.67) and was followed by Mike Fagan, who owns 4 PBA & 5 EBT titles, in third place with 1454. PBA rookie Marshall Kent, finished fourth with 1448.

    2014EBT19BillONeill.jpg2014EBT19CraigNidiffer.jpgCraig Nidiffer (left) posted 1437 (239.50) in Squad 15 and received a $250 bonus for the highest series on Wednesday. Nidiffer had games of 214, 245, 267, 209, 248 and 254. PBA Player of the Year 2005-06 Tommy Jones, who owns 15 PBA titles including three WBT titles, was sixth with 1432.

    Six-time PBA titlist Bill O'Neill (right) paced Squad 16 with 1413 (235.50) behind games of 243, 269, 253, 230, 213 and 205 to move into seventh place in the overall standings. Finnish two-hander Osku Palermaa, a four-time PBA champion and 13-time EBT titlist, was just one pin behind O'Neill to land eighth place with 1412.

    2014EBT19JohnWells.jpg2014EBT19ChrisBarnes.jpgOne-time PBA titlist and six-time EBT champion, Stuart Williams was ninth with 1408. Rounding out the top 10, who will enjoy a first-round bye, was his Williams' compatriot John Wells (left) with 1396 or an average of 232.67. Ghanim M Aboujassoum was the best Qatari bowler in 13th place with 1389 and an average of 231.50.

    PBA Player of the Year 2007-08, Chris Barnes (right), United States, led the final Squad 17 with 1343, good enough to make the cut in 28th place. The 17-time PBA champion, who won the QubicaAMF World Cup earlier this month, is looking for his third European Bowling Tour title.

    Barnes, Rash, Fagan, Jones, O'Neill and Kent will be on the team that represents the United States in the 2014 Men's World Championships which will be held from Dec. 4-15 at Khalifa International Bowling Center in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

    2014EBT19EricTseng.jpg2014EBT19DanielleMcEwan.jpgEric Tseng (left) of Hong Kong took the 34th and last qualifying spot 1437 or an average of 216.50. Three out of seven women survived the first cut. 2014 PABCON Masters champion Danielle McEwan (right), United States, had a 1347 series including 48 pins handicap in Squad 15 to land in 25th place.

    USBC Queens champion Diana Zavjalova of Latvia was 32nd with 1336 total. Mai Ginge Jensen of Denmark, 2011 World Champion in All-Events, was one of six players who earned berths into the finals by virtue of finishing 1, 2 in the first three qualifying days.

    The last three spots for the finals were given to the top 3 of the one-game Desperado Squad. AnĹľe Grabrijan of Slovenia led the way with 260 and was followed by Mattias Olsson of Sweden (258) and Mohammed H Al-Merekhi of Qatar (247).

    2014QatarOpenLogo2.jpg The 14th Qatar Bowling Open is the 19th and final stop of the 2014 European Bowling Tour and will be held from Nov. 21-27 at the Qatar Bowling Center in Doha. With total prize fund of 161,000 U.S. Dollar or roughly 125,000 Euro the Qatar Open is one of two "Platinum" tournaments this season, the EBT's highest tournament category.

    $40,000 will be going to the winner, $20,000 to the runner-up and $7.000 apiece to the third and fourth place finishers. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (max. is 300), a standard on the European Bowling Tour.

    Qualifying (6 games, unlimited re-entries) ran from Friday, Nov. 21 through Wednesday, Nov. 26. Total of 43 players including the top 34 in the overall qualifying standings, the top 2 each of the Nov. 21 (#1 & 2), 22 (#3-5) and 23 squads (#6-8) and the top 3 of the Desperado Squad advanced to the finals on Thursday, Nov. 27. The top 10 qualifiers received a first-round bye.

    The other 33 finalists will bowl six games scratch with the top 18 advancing to the second round. Those 18 and the 10 qualifying leaders will roll another six-game block scratch to cut to the top 4, who will advance to the semifinals.

    The No. 1 bowls No. 4 and the No. 2 bowls No. 3 with the two-game total pinfall determining the winner. The two semifinal winners will bowl for the title and the 30.000 Euro top prize in the championship match (two games total pins).

    2014EBTLogo_small.jpg In its 15th season, the 2014 European Bowling Tour features 19 tournaments in 13 countries including two Platinum, six Gold, three Silver and eight Satellite tournaments. Total prize fund is almost one million 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 12 men and top 12 women, who will compete in the eighth EBT Masters July 6, 2015 at Bowling ChamartĂ­n in Madrid, Spain, immediately following the III Brunswick Madrid Challenge.

    WBTLogo_small.jpg The 2014 Qatar Bowling Open is also the third stop of the 2015 World Bowling Tour and will award a PBA international title if won by a PBA member. In order for a woman to earn a PBA Tour title, she must bowl the event without receiving handicap pins.

    The 2015 World Bowling Tour, which got underway in October with the PBA World Championship, currently consists of 15 tournaments in Arabia (6), United States (5), Asia (2) and Europe (2).

    Players earn ranking points based on how they finish in each event. The current points system is based on a continuous two-year cycle. The top three men and top three women in the points list will compete in the season-ending World Bowling Tour Finals in November in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.


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    14th Qatar Bowling Open - Standings after Qualifying and Desperado Squad

    Total of 43 players including the top 34 in the overall qualifying standings, the top 2 each of the Nov. 21 (places 35 & 36), Nov. 22 (places 37 & 38) and Nov. 23 squads (places 39 & 40) plus the top 3 of the Desperado Squad (places 41-43) advance to the finals on Thursday, Nov. 27. The top 10 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

    300 games (2) - Magnus Johnson (SWE), Thomas Larsen (DEN).