Tie for the Lead

by Bob Johnson 0

Mats Maggi, 23, from Brussels, Belgium needed to strike with the first ball of the tenth frame to overtake nightwatchman Ildemaro Ruiz's 1424 and so emerge the tournament leader after the second squad, fully subscribed, on Wednesday afternoon. However, a truly stubborn 10-pin put paid to that ambition and with that sparee and a following spare Maggi's total of 1424 tied with the Venezuelan.

Mats Maggi

"It wasn't really tough going across the lanes," Maggi explained after the squad. "This was my first entry this year so I tried to bowl and see the transition and I found it really easy from the beginning, so it wasn't difficult for me. I had the right ball and the right spped, so that worked well.

"I think I have bowled in Barcelona five or six times. This is my favorite tournament on the European Tour. There is such a nice atmosphere in this center, then there's a wonderful city, plus the sun, so it is a very good tournament."

In the overall standings, second and third places remain as last night with Osku Palermaa and Marcial Ovide second and third. Finland's Sami Lampo breaks up a Catalan double by slipping into fourth.

There is one more squad this evening and tomorrow we slip into the four squad days, all of which have plenty of entries.


Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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