Mika Koivuniemi comes from behind to defend Brunswick Ballmaster Open title


    2011 European Bowling Tour #1 / World Bowling Tour #1

    Extends Finnish winning streak to 15 and becomes fourth player to win three Ballmaster titles

    201011PBAMikaKoivuniemi.jpg201011PBASeanRash.jpgDefending champion Mika Koivuniemi (pictured left) won three consecutive matches to claim his third Brunswick Ballmaster Open title in the 41st running of Europe's most prestigious event Sunday at Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland.

    In the title match, Koivuniemi topped fellow PBA champion and No. 1 seed Sean Rash (right), United States, 236-191, to earn the 12.000 Euro top prize and 150 ranking points. Koivuniemi, the No. 2 in the 2010 European Bowling Tour men's ranking will automatically overtake the lead in the 2011 ranking.

    Koivuniemi became the fourth player in the 41-year history of Europe's most prestigious event, who has won three titles. He joins his compatriots Simo VÀhÀkorpela, Lasse LintilÀ and Pasi Uotila in the elite group of three-time titlists.

    Koivuniemi's victory marked the 15th consecutive year that a Finnish bowler has won the Ballmaster. It was also Koivuniemi's fifth title on the European Bowling Tour.

    2010EBT10PaulMoor.jpg2011EBT01KimmoLehtonen.jpgThe eight-time PBA champion, a native Finn who lives in Hartland, Mich., United States, grabbed the fourth and final spot for the stepladder finals despite losing his position round match against 12-time PBA champion Chris Barnes, United States, 246-234.

    In the opening match of the four player shoot-out between two two-time Ballmaster champions, Koivuniemi eliminated his fellow countryman Kimmo Lehtonen (left), 235-224. He carried the momentum into the semifinal against three-time EBT ranking champion Paul Moor (right) and flew past the Englishman, 279-196.

    Rash received 8.000 Euro for second place, Moor got 4.00 Euro for third and Lehtonen 3.000 Euro for fourth place.

    2009 World Games champion Krista PöllÀnen, Finland, finished in ninth place to win the women's ranking in Helsinki and to become the first women's ranking leader of the 20111 EBT season.

    2010BallmasterOpenBanner.jpg The 41st Brunswick Ballmaster Open kicks off the 2011 European Bowling Tour and is the first of six "EBT Gold" events in the 2011 season. The tournament will be held from Saturday Jan. 1 through Sunday Jan. 9, 2010 at 36-lane Tali Bowl in Finland's capital city Helsinki.

    The Ballmaster is also the first of five tournaments of the inaugural World Bowling Tour organized by the World Tenpin Bowling Association for 2011.

    Players compete for total prize money of 90.000 Euro with 12.000 Euro going to the winner, 8.000 to the runner-up and 4.000 and 3.000 to third and fourth place finishers, respectively.

    Since the inception of the European Bowling Tour in the year 2000, the Ballmaster has been the season-opening event of the Tour. Heading into its 12th season the 2011 EBT will feature 22 tournaments - 2 Platinum, 6 Gold, 7 Silver and 7 Satellite - in 17 countries, three in Denmark, two each in Finland and Spain and one each in Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. The total prize fund of the 2011 Tour exceeds 1.1 million Euro.

    The first edition of the Ballmaster Open back in 1971 was won by legendary Austrian player and coach, Josef Wiener. The "Big Finn", PBA champion

    Finnish bowlers will do their utmost to extend their winning streak as Finns have won the Ballmaster in each of the last 14 years. The last non-Finnish winner was Tore Torgersen, Norway, back in 1996.

    Qualifying ran from Saturday, Jan. 1 through Saturday, Jan. 8, and ended with Squad 16 and the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad slated for 11.30 p.m. local time (CET +2) on Saturday night. Women will receive 8 pins handicap each game, a standard for women on the European Bowling Tour.

    A total of 48 players - the top 44 from the overall qualifying standings plus the top 4 from the Desperado Squad - qualified for the finals on Sunday, Jan. 9. No byes were given in this tournament.

    The finals are similar to the old PBA format. All 48 finalists' bowled 8 games starting from scratch to cut to the top 16 who advanced to the match play portion with the pinfall of Round 1 being carried forward

    Those 16 bowled 15 games of round robin match play plus one game position round. Players earned 30 bonus pins for each match won and 15 points for a tied match. The top 4 players after 24 games including bonus determined the champion in a traditional stepladder final.

    The top 50 men and the top 50 women in each tournament of the 2011 European Bowling Tour will cash ranking points no matter from which country or World Tenpin Bowling Association Zone (Europe, Asia, America) he or she comes.

    The 2011 Brunswick Ballmaster Open champion and the women's ranking leader automatically take over the lead in the 2011 EBT men's and women's ranking.

    2011 European Bowling Tour Rankings by Bowlingdigital
    2011 EBT Men's Ranking
    2011 EBT Women's Ranking

    The top 16 men and the top 16 women at the end of the 2011 EBT season will qualify for the 2012 EBT Masters to be held in conjunction with the 3rd Dream Bowl Palace Open in Unterföhring near Munich, Germany April 30 and May 1, 2012.


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    41st Brunswick Ballmaster Open - Stepladder Finals

    Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland (Jan., 1-9, 2011)

    Championship Round:
    1. Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 750 (3 games), 12.000 Euro
    2. Sean Rash, United States, 191 (1 game), 8.000 Euro
    3. Paul Moor, England, 196 (1 game), 4.000 Euro
    4. Kimmo Lehtonen, Finland, 224 (1 game), 3.000 Euro

    Playoff Results:
    Match 1: #4 Koivuniemi def. #3 Lehtonen, 235-224
    Match 2: Koivuniemi def. #2 Moor, 279-196
    Championship: Koivuniemi def. #1 Rash, 236-191.


    Cashers (places 5-48)

    5. Chris Barnes, United States, 2.600 Euro
    6. Martin Paulsson, Sweden, 2.500 Euro
    7. Osku Palermaa, Finland, 2.400 Euro
    8. Ronnie Russell, United States, 2.300 Euro
    9. Krista PöllÀnen, Finland, 2.200 Euro
    10. Karl Wahlgren, Sweden, 2.100 Euro
    11. Peter Hellström, Sweden, 2.000 Euro
    12. Frederi Øhrgaard, Denmark, 1.900 Euro
    13. Mathias Arup, Sweden, 1.800 Euro
    14. Rasmus Hagelberg, Sweden, 1.700 Euro
    15. Ville Holmstrom, Finland, 1.600 Euro
    16. Kristoffer Hagelberg, Sweden, 1.500 Euro
    17. Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, United States, 1.200 Euro
    18. Jussi Lindgren, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    19. Mika Heino, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    20. Dennis Eklund, Sweden, 1.200 Euro
    21. Jesse Lindholm, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    22. Jouni Helminen, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    23. Toni Palermaa, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    24. Tore Torgersen, Norway, 1.200 Euro
    25. Tomas Leandersson, Sweden, 1.200 Euro
    26. Raymond Teece, England, 1.200 Euro
    27. Petri Lehtonen, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    28. Carsten Warming Hansen, Denmark, 1.200 Euro
    29. Tobias Karlsson, Sweden, 1.200 Euro
    30. Pasi Uotila, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    31. Kari Hurri, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    32. Marcus Henriksson, Sweden, 1.200 Euro
    33. Gery Verbruggen, Belgium, 1.200 Euro
    34. Mika MÀÀttÀ, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    35. Nina Flack, Sweden, 1.200 Euro
    36. Dominic Barrett, England, 1.200 Euro
    37. Ari Halme, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    38. Samuli Tiainen, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    39. Mattias Olsson, Sweden, 1.200 Euro
    40. Erik Andersin, Sweden, 1.200 Euro
    41. Arttu Sadeharju, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    42. Nicki Ainge, England, 1.200 Euro
    43. Tony Ranta, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    44. Heidi Manninen, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    45. Juha Maja, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    46. Perttu Jussila, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    47. Matias Kallio, Finland, 1.200 Euro
    48. Teppo RyhÀnen, Finland, 1.200 Euro


    2011 Brunswick Ballmaster Open - Final Round Two

    The top 16 from Round One bowled 15 games of round robin match play plus one game position round (30 bonus per win, 15 for a tie). The top 4 players advanced to the stepladder finals.