2018 Storm Lucky Larsen Masters Stepladder Finals at Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmö, Sweden. features Bill O’Neill (USA), Christopher Sloan (SWE), Kyle Troup(USA) and Jason Belmonte (AUS). Sandra Gongora (right) of Mexico and Daria Pajak of Poland were the only women who reached the third round of the finals, finishing in in 20th and 21st place, respectively.
A long road to the finals
The Storm Lucky Larsen Masters is the 9th stop of the World Bowling Tour 2018 and the 10th stop of the European Bowling Tour 2018. The tournament is a WBT “tier 2” event and second and last EBT “platinum” event this season, the highest of the five EBT categories (platinum, gold, silver, bronze and satellite).
Total 60 players advanced to the finals on Sunday, September 9, including the top 46 qualifiers, top 7 from an “Early Bird” competition (squads 1-16), top 2 senior bowlers (born in 1968 or earlier), top 2 U21 bowlers (born in 1997 or later), all not among the top 46, plus one player each from Turbo 4, 5 and 6 ranking (highest scores in game, 4, 5 and 6 (no extra entry fee required). The top 8 qualifiers received two byes for the finals, while qualifiers 9-33 got a first-round bye.
The other 27 players bowled four games from scratch before the field was cut to the top 11 who joined qualifiers 9-33 in the second round featuring another four-game block from scratch. The top 16 met qualifiers 1-8 in the third round to bowl eight games starting from scratch. The top 4 advanced to the stepladder finals.
PBA Tour title award
Due to an agreement between World Bowling and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), World Bowling Tour tournaments will award a PBA Tour title if the winner is a PBA member (who doesn’t accept handicap pins). However, when an event is U.S. based and not a PBA event (such as the New Mexico Open), no PBA title can be granted.
The second Storm Lucky Larsen Masters will be held from August 25 to September 9 at Baltiska Bowlinghallen, a 22-laner in Malmö, Sweden and offers an increased total prize fund of 1.038.000 Swedish Kronor (SEK), or approximately 98.600 Euro, with 150.000 SEK (€14.250) going to the winner, 110.000 SEK to the runner-up and 80.000 and 60.000 SEK to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively. Low to cash is 60th place worth 3.500 SEK or 333 Euro.
About Lucky Larsen Masters Championship
For years, Sweden was a hotbed of international bowling activity, hosting the Swedish Super Six Tour and bringing the best players in the world to the Scandinavian country. But in 2011, the Super Six Tour closed up shop after 12 years, leaving a void in a country passionate about bowling.
So, when Swedish superstar Martin Larsen got a call from a pair of bowling proprietors in Sweden wanting to start a tournament that would bring the big international stars back, he knew it would be good for the sport of bowling in his country.
The proprietors were so excited about Larsen’s involvement, they even named the tournament after him when the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters debuted in 2017. Now, in its second year, the tournament is poised to have more entries than last year.
Ultimately, Larsen said his dream would be for Sweden to host a regular stop on the PBA Tour that features a format similar to the ones used in the United States. The Lucky Larsen Masters features a traditional European format that allows multiple re-entries and just six-game totals decide who qualifies for the finals.
“It’s for sure an amazing feeling to have as many friends and competitors coming over and wanting to bowl,” Larsen said. “I’ve been traveling the world for almost 20 years, and I know what’s important to bowlers. I’m trying to take some of that knowledge with me to make it easy and enjoyable for the guys, even outside the lanes.”