Petteri Salonen, Pasi Uotila crack the top 5 at 45th Brunswick Ballmaster Open


    2015 European Bowling Tour #1

    Joonas Jehkinen, Reija Lundén lead the 214-player field after two days of qualifying with 1346

    2014MWCMastersPetteriSalonen.jpg2014EBTMastersPasiUotila.jpgLong-time Finnish national team members Petteri Salonen (pictured left) and Pasi Uotila (right) led the fourth qualifying squad Saturday afternoon at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland en route to crack the top 5 in the overall standings of the 45th Brunswick Ballmaster Open.

    Both players were members of the Finnish national squad that won the gold medal in the five-player Team event at the 2013 World Championships in Las Vegas. Salonen sandwiched games of 226, 276, 244 and 215 between a pair of 180s to win the squad with 1321, a 220.17 average, and to move into fourth place overall.

    Uotila, a three-time Brunswick Ballmaster Open champion (2000, '04 & '09), suffered a 154 in game two but closed out with high games of 268 and 258 to finish just 12 pins behind Salonen with 1309, good for fifth place overall.

    2014ECCReijaLunden.jpg2014MWCJoonasJehkinen.jpgJoonas Jehkinen (left) and Reija Lundén (right) of Finland continued to lead the Brunswick Ballmaster Open after the second day of qualifying. The duo tied at 1346 in the very first squad on Friday to lead a field of 214 players, 213 Finns and 135th-place Alexey Sidorov of Russia.

    Squad 2 leader Magnus Lönnroth remained in third place with 1339. Pekka Horttanainen was next to Salonen and Uotila in Squad 4 with 1289 to leap into seventh place. Tony Ranta led Squad 3 on Saturday morning with 1259 to finish the day in 12th place.

    2015EBT01TapaniPeltola.jpgAfter a 10-year hiatus, Tapani Peltola (pictured right; photo Seija Lankinen), a three-time Finnish Champion and two-time European Champions Cup winner (1988 and 1992), is back on lanes. Peltola was fourth in Squad 4 with 1258, good enough for 13thplace overall.

    Tournament director and former Finnish standout, Kai Virtanen, currently holds the 44th and last place to advance with 1174 or an average of 195.67. Qualifying continues on Sunday, January 4, with Squads 5 & 6 scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. local time (CET +1).

    2015BallmasterLogo_small.jpg The 45th Brunswick Ballmaster Open is the opening event of the 2015 European Bowling Tour and the first of three "EBT Platinum" events this season, the highest of the four EBT categories.

    The BBO, which is also the sixth stop of the 2015 World Bowling Tour, will be held from Friday, January 2 through Sunday 11, 2015 at 36-lane Tali Bowling Center in Finland's capital city Helsinki.

    Players will compete for total prize money of up to 121.800 Euro including all extra prizes with 13.000 Euro going to the winner, 9.000 to the runner-up and 6.000 and 4.000 to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively. Low to cash is 48th place, worth 1.100 Euro.

    The 2015 BBO also offers a 3.000 Euro bonus for the first 300 game (5.000 if it is the only 300 game in the tournament) and a 20.000 Euro extra prize for a 300 game in Round Robin or the TV stepladder finals (300eXtra rules). The maximum a bowler can win in this year's event is 40.800 Euro.

    According to an agreement between World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), the Ballmaster Open will award a PBA title, if won by a PBA member.

    Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) runs through Saturday, Jan. 10, and ends with Squad 17 followed by the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad slated for 11.30 p.m. local time (CET +1).

    Women will receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 - maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

    A total of 48 players - the top 44 from the overall qualifying standings plus the top 4 from the Desperado Squad - qualify for the finals on Sunday, Jan. 11. The qualifying winner receives a 1.500 Euro bonus. The first and second runner-up get 1.000 and 500 Euro, respectively.

    All 48 finalists bowl eight games scratch with the top 16 advancing to the match play portion. Those 16 bowl further 15 games of round robin match play (no position round) with the Round 1 total carried over.

    Players earn 30 bonus pins for each match won and 15 for a tie. The top 4 players after 23 games including bonus pins determine the champion in a traditional stepladder final.

    The No. 4 seed meets the No. 3 in the opening match. The winner takes on the No. 2 seed for the right to bowl the top seed for the title, the 13.000 Euro top prize and 250 EBT and 50 WBT ranking points.

    The stepladder finals, which are supposed to start at 6 p.m. local time, will be broadcast by the national TV in Finland. A live stream will be available for international viewers.

    2015EBTLogo_small.jpg The 2015 European Bowling Tour currently consists of 21 tournaments in 15 countries featuring three "Platinum" events, four "Gold", three "Silver" and eleven "Satellite" events. All 21 tournaments together offer total prize fund of roughly 1 million Euro (approx. 1.22 million U.S. Dollar).

    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 9th EBT Masters July 25, 2016 at Rose'n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino following the San Marino Open.

    WBTLogo_small.jpg The 2015 World Bowling Tour, which actually got underway in 2014 with the PBA World Championship, currently consists of 20 tournaments including seven "majors" in the Middle East (9), United States (6), Asia (3), 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, so some points earned in 2013 and all points from the 2014 and 2015 are added to determine the points list.

    The top three men and top three women in the WBT points list will be invited to compete in the 2015 World Bowling Tour Finals in the beginning of 2016.

    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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    2015 Brunswick Ballmaster Open - Qualifying Standings after Squad 4

    The top 44 plus the top 4 from the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals on Sunday, Jan. 11


    Tie Rules (Qualifying)
    In case of a tie in the qualifying, "the highest positioned player will be the player scoring the highest total of all counting qualification games minus the score of the lowest game. If a tie still exists, the highest positioned player will be the player with the highest total of all counting qualification games minus the score of the two lowest games, etc."