12th June, Hong Kong: Four-time Hong Kong Open champion, Wu Siu Hong and 2016 first runner-up, Michael Mak will be eyeing the Men's Open Masters crown of the on-going 46th Hong Kong International Open at SCAA Bowling Centre.
Although both are Hong Kong's local seeded qualifiers, Wu and Mak will no doubt make efforts in an attempt to qualify in the top 3 bracket and crucially earn a bye thereby skipping Stage I finals. If they can achieve this, they will surely be strong contenders.
A third local seeded qualifier, Tony Wong will not need that spot as he has set the lanes ablazed. Wong became the second bowler to score past the 800-mark series with 812 yesterday evening to add to his 790 series, giving him a 6-game aggregate of a record-breaking 1602.
This puts him firmly in top spot. His team-mates, James Lui was the first to surpass the 800-mark with 802 and a 752 second best series to take up second spot with 1554. Danny Lee occupied third spot with 1547.
Missing the top 4 cut was Ivan Tse, also a national bowler, just by two pins to settle for fourth position with 1545. Wu's best attempts thus far was 778 and 753 to stay in sixth with 1531, behind Alex Yu in fifth with 1533.
In the Women's Open division, ex-international Gloria Yung became the first female to register a perfect game this morning to move up into second position in the local pool with 1435. Overnight leader, Joey Yip remained in pole with 1502.
Gigi Leung slipped down to third with 1388. Like the men, the top 3 will earn a bye, skipping Stage I finals and automatically into Stage II finals on Saturday, June 17. Newcomer, Melanie Chan will be the only local seeded qualifier while Ilya Syamim of Singapore is the defending champion.
Kelly Chan missed the top 3 cut in fourth with 1368. Sammi Koa of Hong Kong headed the mixed pool with 1285 while the cut in eighth position went to Zoe Chui of Hong Kong with 1185. Overseas bowlers from Indonesia, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Chinese Taipei have arrived and will start their qualifying rounds soon.
An opening ceremony will be held at 7.00pm local time at SCAA Bowling Centre to be attended by dignitaries and invited guests, to officially declare open the 46th Hong Kong International Open Bowling Championships.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong.