Monday, March 25, 2013

Ronnie Russel Wins First Title in Germany Qualifies for TOC

After 10 years and 142 tournaments, Indianapolis area native Ronnie Russell captured his first Professional Bowlers Association Tour title Sunday, earning a berth in the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions which gets underway Wednesday at Woodland Bowl in his home town.

Russell, a 33-year-old right-hander, defeated Sweden’s James Gruffman, 224-210, to win the Brunswick Euro Challenge (BEC) at Dream Bowl Palace. The tournament is part of the World Tenpin Bowling Association-PBA International Tour. It was the final event leading into the PBA Tournament of Champions.

Russell jumped out to an early lead in the title match, starting with three strikes, but the tall Swedish left-hander fought his way back. Russell got a big break when Gruffman left the 4-6-10 split late in the game. With a strike on his first ball in the 10th frame, Russell locked up the title.
With his win, Russell became eligible to compete in the PBA Tournament of Champions for the first time, eliminating Cincinnati’s Brian Himmler, who held the 48th and final berth among eligible PBA Tour champions. The Barbasol PBA TOC features an exclusive field of the 48 most recent PBA Tour champions along with any past TOC champions who elect to enter. The tournament will conclude next Sunday with a five-player stepladder final airing live on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The Brunswick Euro Challenge is the fourth tournament on the 2013 European Bowling Tour schedule and one of only two "Platinum" events this season, the EBT's highest tournament category. The BEC is also the seventh stop of the World Bowling Tour and the second of three WBT events in Europe in 2013.

For the first time in 10 years of BEC competition, Europe's richest tournament will be contested at Europe's biggest bowling center, 52-lane Dream-Bowl Palace in Unterföhring near Munich, Germany.

The 106.000 Euro tournament, which runs from March 19-24, offers a 15.000 Euro top prize and a PBA International title if won by a PBA member.

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