Jesse Ahokas of Finland won the qualifying of the Brunswick Ballmaster Open with 1533 total and an average of 255.50 for six games to lead 48 out of 550 players from 24 countries into the finals at Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland.

The 16-year-old son (right) of Finnish coach Jarmo Ahokas had games of 236, 257, 243, 256, 263 and 278 in squad 14 and was the only player in the 48th edition of the prestigious event who reached the 1500-plateau (250 average).

Malaysia’s Timmy Tan (left), who posted three 300 games in qualifying, including back-to-back perfectos in squad 14 to help grab second place with 1498. Shayna Ng of Singapore was the best of 91 women in third place with 1497, including eight pins handicap, an equality handicap provided to women in all European Bowling Tour events.

Osku Palermaa (right and above) of Finland was the only player in the last two qualifying squads who cracked the top 12, who will bypass the first round of the finals Saturday evening at 9 p.m. Eastern European Time (EET).

The two-handed player, who owns 13 EBT title along with five Professional Bowlers Association titles, led squad 15 with 1481 total (246,83), including games of 269, 223, 259, 245, 257 and 228, to leap into ninth place.

Jake Peters, USA, a one-time PBA titlist, was the cut for the bye with 1459 (243.17). Martin Larsen of Sweden was the only other player of squad 15 to make the qualifying cut. The eight-time EBT champion closed his 1428 (238.00) set with 246, 269 and 245 to leapfrog into 31st place.

Jamie Elliott of England became the seventh player, who achieved perfection posting the 9th 300 game on his way to a 1337 total, 71 pins below the cut line.

Elliott (right) and Tan will join Finns Timi Taalas (received 3.000 Euro for the first 300), Lauri Sipilä, Tomas Käyhkö and Matias Luosujärvi as well as Swede Martin Paulsson and any other bowler who achieves perfection in a winner-takes-all roll-off for 2.000 Euro at the end the tournament.

Christopher Sloan (left), two-hander from Ireland, was the only competitor of the final squad 16, who moved into the top 40. Sloan toppled 1445 pins, an average of 240.83, to leap into 21st place.

PBA and USBC Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III (right), USA, totaled 1439 pins, but was already in the top 40 with his high series of 1446, good for 17th place.

Juho Rissanen (left) of Finland took the 40th and last spot to advance with 1408 or an average of 234.67.

The top 40 will be joined in the finals by another eight players who qualified through a separate leaderboard of squads 9-10 and 1-8 and the Desperado Squad.

PWBA champion and Rookie of the Year 2017, Daria Pajak (right) of Poland led the desperados with 283, including eight pins handicap, and was followed by William Svensson (below left) of Sweden with 279 and Kert Truus of Estonia with 269.

The finals begin with a six-game qualifying round on Saturday evening at 9 p.m. featuring qualifiers 9-48. The top 24 will meet the top 12 qualifiers in round 2 Sunday morning at 10 a.m. EET (scroll down for more details).

Photos courtesy of Seija Lankinen.

The 48th Brunswick Ballmaster Open will be held from January 5-14 at 36-lane Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, the capital and largest city of Finland. Other than last year, when the BBO was a “platinum” level tournament, the 48th edition of the prestigious event is one of two “gold” events this season, the second highest of five EBT categories (satellite, bronze, silver, gold and platinum).

The BBO offers total prize money of 83.700 Euro, including all extra prizes, with 10.000 Euro going to the winner, 6.000 Euro to the runner-up and 4.000 Euro apiece to the third and fourth place finishers. Low to cash is 48th place, worth 800 Euro.

The tournament offers 3.000 Euro for the first 300 game, or for the highest game if there will be no 300 game.

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) ran from Friday, Jan. 5, through Saturday, Jan. 13, and concluded with the one-game Desperado Squad. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 – maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 48 players, including the top 40 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 2 from a separate leaderboard of squads 9-10 and the top 3 of squads 1-8, who are not among the top 40 plus the top 3 from the Desperado Squad, qualify for the finals. The top 12 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

The other 36 finalists bowl six games starting from scratch with the top 24 advancing to the second round. Those 24 join the top 12 qualifiers to bowl eight games starting from scratch.

The top 16 players will be seeded into two groups according to their positions: Group A (1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 16) and Group B (2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 and 15). Round 2 pins carry over. The group phase features seven games of round robin match play (no position round). During match play, players receive 30 bonus pins for winning a match and 15 pins each in the event of a tie.

The 15-game totals, including all bonus pins, will determine the top two players in each group who advance to the semi-finals (B1 vs. A2 and A1 vs. B2). The semi-final winners will bowl for the title (all one-game head-to-head matches).

The 2018 European Bowling Tour features 13 tournaments in 10 countries including two “platinum”, two “gold”, three “silver”, three “bronze” and three “satellite” events, which will offer total prize fund of more than 560.000 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 8 men and top 8 women, who will be eligible to compete in the 12th EBT Masters July 8, 2019 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.

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2018 Ballmaster Open – Standings after Squad 16 and Desperado Squad

Top 40 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 2 from a separate leaderboard of squads 9-10 (places 41 & 42) and the top 3 of squads 1-8 (place 43-45) , plus the top 3 from the Desperado Squad (places 46-48) advance to the finals. The top 12 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

300 games (9) – Timmy Tan (3), Timi Taalas, Lauri Sipilä, Tomas Käyhkö, Martin Paulsson, Matias Luosujärvi, Jamie Elliott.

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