Annie Thorell sets the pace in qualifying at 24th Malta Open Championships



    Swede uses field-best 1555 series to lead the 29 players who have completed six-game series with 2954 total; Malta's Kenneth Arpa also cracks the 1500-bar to sit in second with 2904

    2015MaltaOpenAnnieThorell.jpgAnnie Thorell (pictured left) had a career day Thursday at Eden Super Bowl in St. Julian's, Malta, when the Swede rolled scratch series of 1351 and 1507 to take the lead in the qualifying of the 24th Malta Open Championships.

    Qualifying in Malta consists of two blocks of 12 games. With 95 players, 67 men and 28 women, from 16 countries in the books, 29 players have bowled two blocks and the other 66 players have completed the first series only.

    The four squads on Thursday (5-8) featured two 1500-series and 12 series over 1400. Thorell started the day in Squad 6 with 1351 including games of 225, 253, 211, 256, 205 and 201, 225.1, an average of 225.17, and added 48 pins women's handicap to miss the 1400-bar by just one pin with 1399.

    2015MaltaOpenKennethArpa.jpgThorell took a break and returned in Squad 8 starting at 9 p.m. and fired games of 248, 268, 288, 248, 248 and 207 for 1507 scratch, an average of 251.17, and 1555 total including handicap to lead the tournament after day two qualifying with 2954.

    Malta's Kenneth Arpa (right), who previously held the lead slipped to second place with 2904. Arpa started the day in eighth place after a 1358 series in the lone squad on Wednesday and rolled games of 228, 195, 280, 255, 299 and 289 (843 for the last three games) in Squad 5 for the highest scratch series of the tournament so far with 1546 (257.67 average).

    2015MaltaOpenRobThurlby.jpgBoth Thorell and Arpa have the option to bowl re-entries to replace the lower of the initial two series, providing the re-entry score is higher than their initial 1399 and 1358 series.

    Alexander Larsson of Sweden, who rolled two consistently high blocks, 1424 and 1402, and Rob Thurlby (left) of England, who posted the first 300 game of the event on Wednesday, sit in third and fourth place with 2826.

    Rounding out the top 5 was Amanda Larkin of Ireland with 2821 including handicap. Erik Ahlstrand of Sweden, who led the opening day with 1459 (243.17), slipped to 15th place with 2646 behind a sub-par 1187 series (197.83) on Thursday.

    2015MaltaOpenRamonHilferink.jpg2015MaltaOpenJustinScicluna.jpgSquad 6 and 7 leaders Ramon Hilferink (left), Netherlands, and Justin C Scicluna (right), Malta, pace the group of players, who have yet to bowl the second initial series with 1499 (249.83) and 1483 (247.17), respectively.

    Qualifying continues on Friday, June 19, with squads 9-12 scheduled to start at 9 a.m., 1, 5 and 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST).

    The 24th edition of the Malta Open Championships will be held from June 17-21 at 20-lane Eden Super Bowl located at St. George's Bay in St. Julian's, Malta. Players will compete for total prize money of minimum 10.000 Euro increasing to € 15.000 in case of more than 150 participants.

    2015MaltaOpenLogo.jpg The tournaments will pay a 1.800 to 2.600 Euro first prize and a 36th-place prize list (75 to 120 Euro last-to-cash). Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum score is 300).

    The 24th Malta Open will be played on the 40-foot Kegel Bourbon Street lane conditioning pattern with 23.45 mL volume oil total.

    Qualifying (12 games, split into two blocks of six games; six-game re-entries in order to replace the lower of the initial two series; the higher must be retained) got underway Wednesday, June 17, and runs through Saturday, June 20, with the final Desperado Squad scheduled for 7.30 p.m. CEST.

    Total 36 players will qualify for the finals - the top 28 players from the overall qualifying standings, the top four Turbo qualifiers and the top 4 of the Desperado Squad. The Turbo qualifiers are the players with the highest game, including women's bonus, within any six-game series (extra entry fee required).

    The top six qualifiers will earn two byes, while qualifiers 7-12 will receive a first-round bye. The remaining 24 players advance to the first round to bowl four games from scratch. The top 12 will advance to the second round also featuring four games from scratch.

    The top 10 (seeded 7th to 16th) will meet the top six qualifiers (seeded 1st to 6th) in the first of four Knock-Out rounds consisting of two games with the highest pinfall including bonus advancing. In each round, the highest-seeded player bowls the lowest-seeded player, the second-highest bowls the second-lowest, and so on.

    The field will be trimmed to eight, four and then two players who will determine the 2015 Malta Open champion.

    BowlingdigitalBanner.gif In cooperation with Bowlingdigital's Flavio Cuva, Beat Grauwiler and Talktenpin's Dom Gall, the 24th Malta Open Championships will be streamed live in its entirety on Dutch Bowling TV, enabling bowling fans to watch all the action from Eden Super Bowl from start to finish free of charge. No subscription necessary.

    DutchBowlingTVLogo.jpg In addition to wire-to-wire coverage of the event, virtual studio interviews will be broadcast with all squad winners and various bowlers that are available during each day. To watch the live stream, click here.

    Live streaming, sponsored by QubicaAMF, will start at 5 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST) on Wednesday, June 17, and will conclude with the championship match slated for 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 21.


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    24th Malta Open Championships - Qualifying Standings after Squad 8/15

    Players with 6 and 12-game totals; the higher of the initial two series (Block 1) must be retained; the lower (Block 2) can be replaced by a higher re-entry series; top 28 players from the overall qualifying standings, top four Turbo qualifiers and top 4 of the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals; top six qualifiers will earn two byes, qualifiers 7-12 will receive a first-round bye

    For the complete scores, click here.