2nd June, Kuala Lumpur: Hafiz Zainuddin of Malaysia and Shayna Ng of Singapore topped the Men's and Women's Open Round 1 Masters finals of the 41st Malaysian International Open 2023 at Sunway Megalanes on Friday to advance to Round 2.
Hafiz, who was the 2022 Singapore Open first runnerup, got off to a cracking start with a stunning 267 in his opening game to lead desperado squad qualifier and debutant, Majid Ali of UAE by five pins. Malaysia's Muhammad Zharfan was third with 246.
A third Malaysian and ex-international, Kang Bo Long added 236 to his 235 opener to take over the running briefly before Zainuddin bounced back with 259 in the third game after an average 194 in the second game.
The 23-year-old was on a roll knocking down 255, 226, 224 and 222 before easing off with 192 in his last game to top the field with an 8-game total of 1839. Kang traded second spot with a fourth Malaysian and 2021 SEA Games Team silver medallist, Nervern Nataneel before sealing second position with 1806.
Singapore's Mike Ong snatched third spot with 1720 followed by Megat Azqrul Haiqal of Malaysia in fourth with 1715. Netaneel rounded out the top 5 with 1692. The cut in 16th position went to Muhd Jaris Goh of Singapore with 1600, averaging exactly 200.
The top 16 made the cut for tomorrow's Round 2 finals, joined by the top 4 local seeded qualifiers and 4 overseas seeded qualifiers for another 8 games. The top 3 with the highest pinfalls at the end of the round will proceed to the stepladder finals shootout to determine the champion.
In the Women's Open division, Malaysian women had a good start when Natasha Roslan and Siti Safiyah Amirah shot 278 and 277 respectively to lead Singapore's Shayna Ng in third. Amirah took over the running after adding 234 in her second game.
Roslan kept pace with 225 for second spot while Ng stayed close with the leading duo. Roslan remained in the lead after a third game of 255. Ng fired a sizzling 269 to move into second. Amirah dropped out of contention with a disasterous 164.
Ng continued her relentless pace reeling in 236, 191, 202, 223 before ending with 200 to seal top spot with 1789. Roslan settled for second with 1774, just 15 pins adrift while Sarawak's Lavinia Kho Jia Jie stormed home to clinch third spot with 1724.
2021 SEA Games Triple gold medallist, Cherie Tan of Singapore survived the cut in tenth position with 1641, averaging 205.12 for the next round. Her sister, Daphne Tan missed the cut by 11 pins after finishing 11th.
The top 10 made the cut for tomorrow's Round 2 finals, joined by the top 3 local seeded qualifiers and 3 overseas seeded qualifiers for another 8 games. The top 3 with the highest pinfalls at the end of the round will proceed to the stepladder finals shootout to determine the champion.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.