Dutch Ramon Hilferink finally gets the monkey off his back in Malta



    Defeats Norway's Bjørn Einar Rudshagen, 447-438, to win the 24th Malta Open Championships in his third attempt

    2015MECRamonHilferink.jpg2015MaltaOpenBjornEinarRudshagen.jpgIn his third consecutive title match in Malta, Dutch national team member Ramon Hilferink (pictured left) defeated Norway's Bjørn Einar Rudshagen, 447-438, to win his first title in the 24th Malta Open Championships after finishing second in the past two years.

    In the last round of the two games total pins knock-out finals, qualifying leader Hilferink took a 30-pin lead against the multiple Norwegian and European Champion, the most accomplished bowler in this year's field of 115 players from 18 countries, 248-218.

    Hilferink, bronze medalist in Singles at the Men's European Championships in Denmark earlier this month, maintained his lead in the second game as Rudshagen was unable to strike on lane 11. After a late ball change, Rudshagen went off the sheet to force Hilferink to mark in his 10th frame.

    2014BWCNeilSullivan.jpg2011EBT04DarrenCundy.jpgThe Dutch, who admitted in an interview afterwards that he didn't know he needed the spare, converted the 2-8 combination, and closed out with a strike to lose the game, 199-220, but to win the match, the title and the 2.100 Euro top prize. Rudshagen received 1.440 Euro for second place.

    In the semifinal matches, Hilferink won the second game and the match against Malta's Neil Sullivan (left) after a critical ball change, 219-186, after the two players tied the first game at 235. Rudshagen was even down by two pins against England's Darren Cundy (right), 218-216, but rebounded with a 73-pin win in game two to advance, 451-380.

    According to their seeding at the beginning of the knock-out rounds, Cundy received 920 Euro for third place and Sullivan got 700 Euro for fourth place.

    2015MaltaOpenLogo.jpg The 24th edition of the Malta Open Championships was held from June 17-21 at 20-lane Eden Super Bowl located at St. George's Bay in St. Julian's, Malta. 115 participants competed for total prize money of 11.500 Euro with 2.100 Euro going to the winner and 1.440 to the runner-up. The tournaments paid a 36th-place prize list (85 Euro last-to-cash).

    Women received 8 pins handicap each game (maximum score is 300). The 24th Malta Open was contested on the 40-foot Kegel Bourbon Street lane conditioning pattern with 23.45 mL volume oil total.

    Qualifying (12 games) got underway Wednesday, June 17, and ran through Saturday, June 20. Total 36 players qualified 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 top six qualifiers earned two byes, while qualifiers 7-12 received a first-round bye. The remaining 24 players advanced to the first round to bowl four games from scratch. The top 12 advanced to the second round also featuring four games from scratch.

    The top 10 from round two (seeded 7th to 16th) met 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 handicap advancing. In each round, the highest-seeded player bowled the lowest-seeded player, the second-highest bowled the second-lowest, and so on.

    The field was trimmed to eight, four and then two players who determined the 2015 Malta Open champion.

    BowlingdigitalBanner.gifDutchBowlingTVLogo.jpg In cooperation with Bowlingdigital's Flavio Cuva, Beat Grauwiler and Talktenpin's Dom Gall, the 24th Malta Open Championships was 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 was necessary.

    In addition to wire-to-wire coverage, sponsored by QubicaAMF, of the event, virtual studio interviews were broadcast with all squad winners and various bowlers that were available during each day.


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    24th Malta Open Championships - Championship Round

    Eden Super Bowl in St. Julian's, Malta (June 17-21, 2015)

    Championship Round:
    1. Ramon Hilferink, Netherlands, 901 (4 games), 2.100 Euro
    2. Bjørn Einar Rudshagen, Norway, 889 (2 games), 1.440 Euro
    3. Darren Cundy, England, 380 (2 games), 920 Euro
    4. Neil Sullivan, Malta, 421 (2 games), 700 Euro

    Playoff Results (two games total pins):
    Semifinal Match 1: No. 1 Hilferink (235, 219) def. No. 12 Sullivan (235, 186), 454-421
    Semifinal Match 2: No. 7 Rudshagen (216, 235) def. No. 4 Cundy (218, 162), 451-380
    Championship Match: Hilferink (248, 199) def. Rudshagen (218, 220), 447-438.



    24th Malta Open Championships - Places 5-36 (Cashers)

    5. Kenneth Arpa, Malta, 400 Euro
    6. Justin C Scicluna, Malta, 400 Euro
    7. Paul Stott Jr. Ireland, 400 Euro
    8. Sue Abela, Malta, 400 Euro
    9. Annie Thorell, Sweden, 290 Euro
    10. Rob Thurlby, England, 290 Euro
    11. Glen Richardson, England, 290 Euro
    12. Marco Landman, Netherlands, 290 Euro
    13. Alexander Larsson, Sweden, 290 Euro
    14. Patrick Meka, Netherlands, 290 Euro
    15. Anže Grabrijan, Slovenia, 290 Euro
    16. Elco Gorter, Netherlands, 290 Euro
    17. Amanda Larkin, Ireland, 175 Euro
    18. Jonas Sjøgren, Sweden, 175 Euro
    19. Bart Van Kerckhoven, Belgium, 175 Euro
    20. Mark Muscat, Malta, 175 Euro
    21. Lyndon Walters, Wales, 175 Euro
    22. Daniel Balsom, England, 175 Euro
    23. Alex Christofi, Cyprus, 175 Euro
    24. Mauro Anastasi, Malta, 175 Euro
    25. Remco van Dommelen, Netherlands, 85 Euro
    26. Brett Armer, England, 85 Euro
    27. Giannis Stathatos, Greece, 85 Euro
    28. Damir Branezac, Croatia, 85 Euro
    29. Sam Rose, England, 85 Euro
    30. Anton Elofsson, Sweden, 85 Euro
    31. Raymond Takle, Norway, 85 Euro
    32. Lee Cocker, England, 85 Euro
    33. Ronny Moen, Norway, 85 Euro
    34. Tommy Petersen, Greece, 85 Euro
    35. Julius Emil Hopka, Norway, 85 Euro
    36. Lee Chatfield, England, 85 Euro



    24th Malta Open Championships - Round of 8

    Two games total pins; winners advance, losers eliminated, finish 5th to 8th place, earn 400 Euro


    24th Malta Open Championships - Round of 16

    Two games total pins; winners advance, losers eliminated, finish 9th to 16th place, earn 290 Euro



    24th Malta Open Championships - Final Round 2 Results

    Top 10 advance to the third round; places 11-18 finish in 17th to 24th place, earn 175 Euro

    300 game - Justin Scicluna



    24th Malta Open Championships - Final Round 1 Results

    Top 12 advance to the second round; places 13-24 finish in 25th to 36th place, earn 85 Euro