Brunswick staffer Ronnie Russell from Indiana, USA put on a bowling masterclass for the contenders and spectators in Thursday evenings 18:00 squad, opening his six-game stint with 248 and consolidating the series with five solid 200-plus games to total 1487 to steal the tournament lead from Swiss Larry Ventobel's 1455, set last weekend.
Asked what he had for breakfast to spur him on to play so well, he had a one word answer: "Pizza!"
"Actually I am a very happy bunny and was very pleased with my performance. The lanes were good, the carry great and I had to make very few changes as I went across the house. I have bowled in quite a few tournaments now in Asia and Europe and lover the 75 per cent competition and 25 per cent socializing, something we just don't experience in the United States. I just love it."
The top eight players are now in the 1400-club and for a time it looked as though Russell was going to be a lone member of a 1500 group, but his final game of 213 robbed im of that status. Maybe cohort Loschetter will beat him to it tomorrow when three good squads take to the lanes at 10:00, 14:00 and 18:00.
But the day's events did not end there. Chris Loschetter, Ronnie Russell, Brunswick's Pat Mitchell and yours
truly were enlisted on to a jury to judge the regional round of the 2011 Miss Italia beauty competition, me as the jury president. 31 beautiful Italian girls paraded first in sparkling dresses and then in bikinis before the jury and a huge crowd packed in front of a huge stage at the rear of the Red & Black bowling center. When the finalists were announced, the jury members got to go on stage to present the sashes and kiss those honored. A tough job, but someone had to do it.
When Russell commented earlier that bowling in Europe and Asia is 75 per cent competition and 25 per cent socializing, he is quickly finding out that here in Asti it is 50-50. Host proprietor Riccardo Piunti runs an incredible center and it is filled with an ambience hardly equalled anywhere else. It will be an incredible success for tournament bowlers when it joins the European Bowling Tour next year.
Just two squads take to the lanes on Friday, 14:00 and 18:00. Presumably, the local nightlife is so enjoyable that only a few wanted to play the 10:00 am scheduled 10:00 am squad.
Saturday will have the final qualifying six-game squads, 9:00, 13:00, 17:00 and 21:00, then the action switches to elimination rounds on Sunday through to the final to decide the champion of this inaugural event.
Full results on www.brunswickitaliachallenge.com.
Web streaming: www.ustream/channel/brunswick-italia-challenge
Further information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOURNAMEENT LEADERS AFTER JUNE 23:
|7||Jørgensen, Lars Mulle||DEN||M||1410||220||15||2||R|
|Qualified to final step 1 (Position 9 - 36)|