27th September, Bangkok: Atchariya Cheng of Thailand snatched Round 2 finals victory of the 2019 PBA-WBT World Bowling Tour Thailand in his final game from pace-setter, AJ Johnson of USA at Blu-O Rythmn & Bowl on Friday.
Johnson, the 2017 World Championships Team gold and All Events silver medallist, set a cracking pace with a sizzling 258 in his opening game to lead compatriot and 2013 champion, Sean Rash by 19 pins. Desperado squad qualifier, Kyle Sherman of USA and Hong Kong's Wu Siu Hong rolled good games to stay close behind.
A stunning 269 from Atchariya took the Thai into the lead, 25 pins ahead of Johnson with the duo pulling away from the field. Atchariya kept his lead mid-way through the finals despite managing only 184. Johnson closed the gap to just 9 pins while Wu continued to keep pace.
Johnson rolled 223 in the fourth game to regain the lead as the Thai left-hander managed just 203 to slip down to third behind Wu, taking over second spot with a superb 235.
The 27-year-old American pro from Oswego, Ill., added another splendid 245 to increase his lead over his nearest rival from 9 to 31 pins. Atchariya bounced back with 225 to move ahead of Wu, who stumbled to a lowly 189 and slipping down to third.
Atchariya ended strongly with 258 to snatch the victory with 1358. Johnson managed 196 and had to settle for second with 1327. Wu recovered with 259 to claim third spot with 1325 while Rash and Michael Tan of USA completed the top five with 1274 and 1262 respectively.
Two Malaysians, Ahmad Muaz and Zulmazran Zulkilfi finished sixth and seventh, Two Singaporeans Remy Ong and Jazreel Tan eighth and ninth while Indonesia's Tannya Roumimper pipped Thailand's Surasak Mauwong by 2 pins for the tenth and final spot to advance to the next round.
The top 10 will be joined by the qualifiers ranked 10 to 24 for another 6 games in Round 3 finals, starting at 17:30 hrs. The top 12 with the highest pinfalls at the end of the round will advance to tomorrow's Round 4 finals.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok.