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Southpaws claim Masters titles

6th June, Singapore: Southpaws, Shaker Al-Hassan of UAE and Sharon Koh of Malaysia came away with victories in the Men's and Women's Open Masters finals of the 42nd Singapore International Open on Sturday evening.

42nd Singapore Open logo

Topseed, Shaker Al-Hassan of UAE was stretched into the second decider to claim his first international title this year. Shaker narrowly lost the first match to American PBA, Sean Rash, 190-192 but regained his composure to romp home a comfortable victory over his opponent, 232-150 in the deciding title match.

Shaker, who was third in the first block yesterday, finished top of the field with 3652 to head into the stepladder finals as topseed. Sean Rash finished second with 3631 followed by Thailand's Somjed Kusonpithak thid with 3517.

Overnight leader, Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong shared fourth spot with Jaya Ancol's Ryan Lalisang, who shot 268 in his final game to finish

Men's Open champion
Shaker Al-Hassan with his first victory this year

with 3512 while defending champion, Hussain Al-Suwaidi edged Kuwait's Yaqoub Al-Shatti for the final stepladder spot.

The first stepladder match saw Hussain advancing after he edged Wu, 204-203 as Lalisang struggled to find his form with 188. In the closely-fought second match, American PBA bowler, Rash pipped third-seed, Somjed 224-223 by striking out in the last frame as Hussain could only shoot 178.

Topseed, Shaker appeared in control in the title match against the American but a costly split in the ninth frame allowed Rash to strike out again to edge the Emirati, 192-190 to force a sudden-death decider.

But Shaker regained his composure to romp home a comfortable victory over his challenger to win his first international title, 232-150.

"My confidence grew when I was able to qualify for the finals with a good score," said the 40-year-old Shaker and winner of two titles last year. "I had many close call this year taking a few podium finishes but not winning any. For sure I'm happy with this win."

"Shaker should have sealed the match with a solid pocket in the last frame of the first match but was unlucky to leave pin 7," said the winner of four PBA titles, Sean Rash of Wichita, Kansas.

"He bowled well the whole week and in the finals so he really deserve the victory. The standard of bowling is extremely high and I'm lucky to get where I am considering only being here for the last three days."

Shaker won a whopping S$25,000 and the title while Sean Rash took home S$10,000 and Somjed S$5,000. Hussain settled for S$3,000 while Lalisang and Wu tied fifth spot and shared the combined S$4,500 prize money.

Meanwhile, Malaysia had a field day when they took the top 3 positions of the Women's Open Masters finals. Topseed and southpaw, Sharon Koh claimed the title in one match defeating challenger, Siti Safiyah Amirah, 211-181 in the all-Malaysian title match.

Sharon led both the first and second block with a total of 3772, 150 pins ahead of compatriot, Shalin Zulkifli in second with 3622. Defending champion, Cherie Tan of Singapore finished third with 3504.

Siti Safiyah, who squeezed into the stepladder finals with a strong final game of 257, advanced into the next match by defeating last

Women's Open Top 3
Top 3 winners, Sharon, Siti Safiyah and Shalin

year's runner-up and fourth-seed, Zandra Aziela and fifth-seed, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan of Singapore, 245-230-228 in the first match.

Siti Safiyah posted another superb game to defeat second-seed and another Malaysian, Shalin Zulkifli and third-seed, Cherie Tan, 248-222-226 to challenge topseed, Sharon. But Siti just could not find her form going down, 181-211 in one match.

"I had struggled in the qualifying rounds two days ago but coach, Holloway suggested I use a different ball and I managed to make the finals," said the 21-year-old Sharon Koh, who made the 2007 and 2008 stepladder finals but failed to come off with a win.

"I bowled well in the two blocks using the same ball and I was very comfortable with it during the stepladder finals against Siti. I finally nailed the title after two near misses. With the victory, I'm hopeful of making the World Women's Championship squad."

Sharon Koh took home S$5,000 with Siti and Shalin settling for S$2,500 and S$1,200 respectively. Cherie Tan took home S$800 for finishing fourth, Zandra S$500 and Jasmine S$300.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Singapore.

Classy performance by Malaysians

5th June, Singapore: Malaysian women put in a classy performance in the Open Masters fist block finals on the 42nd Singapore International Open with Sharon Koh and Shalin Zulkifli finishing first and second and Zatil Iman in the top 6.

42nd Singapore Open logo

Last year's stepladder finalist, Sharon Koh and Shalin Zulkifli set the lanes at Superbowl SAFRA Mount Faber on fire as the duo posted a superb 279 in the opening game to tie for the lead. A slight setback suffered by Shalin allowed Singapore's Jasmine Yeong-Nathan to take over second spot after the second game.

Sharon continued to fire 217, 265, 234, 227, 236, 215 and 209 to end the first block in the lead with a total of 1882. Shalin recovered with 255 in her third game, then suffered another 182 in the fourth before registering 279, 236, 204 and 245 to seal second spot with 1879, just 3 pins off her team-mate.

Jasmine also stormed home to clinch third spot with 1766 after two

Women Open 1stBlk Leader
Sharon Koh leading the first block but just by 3 pins

lowly games in the third and fourth. 2007 Singapore Open champion, Zatil Iman vying for a spot in the World Women's Championship, showed determination to finish fourth with 1756.

"I had a great start with 279 and was happy to tie with Shalin," said the southpaw Sharon Koh. "I had all good games except for the last game where I had two splits but fortunately I had enough strikes to end the game with 209 and the lead.

"It's a close fight between me and Shalin and whoever finish in the lead tomorrow will surely have a good chance of winning the title. I lost the first stepladder match last year and I hope I can make amends.

"A good result here will defintely increase my chances to be selected for the World Championship squad," added Sharon.

Reigning World Ranking Masters champion, Siti Safiyah Amirah was not far away to make the top 6 stepladder finals cut finishing seventh, just 2 pins from Korea's Kim Eung Jung. Singapore national champion, Geraldine Ng did well to take up fifth with 1743.

Other Malaysian women vying for the three spots in the World Championship, Zandra Aziela finished 11th with 1666 ahead of Wendy Chai in 14th with 1627 and Sin Li Jane in 18th on 1596. Defending champion, Cherie Tan only managed 13th position with 1649.

Women Open 1stBlk Top 3
Top 3 women, Sharon Koh, Shalin and Jasmine Yeong-Nathan

The bowlers will continue their second block finals at 12.00 noon on Saturday and the men will contest their first block earlier at 9.00am. The top 6 men and top 6 women will advance into the stepladder finals.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Singapore.

Asian champion tops first block

5th June, Singapore: Asian Champion, Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong topped the intensely fought first block Men's Open Masters of the 42nd Singapore International Open ahead of UAE's Shaker Al-Hassan in second and Malaysia's Adrian Ang third.

42nd Singapore Open logo

Wu Siu Hong and Singapore's Lionel Lim shared the lead with a superb 259 opening game, just 1 pin from Malaysia's Aaron Kong in second and Mohd Noer Said in close company. But their lead only last the first game after Aaron followed it up with 235 in the second game to take over the running.

Aaron continued relentlessly with 223 and 224 yet was overtaken by compatriot and last year's runner-up, Adrian Ang by 1 pin at the halfway mark. But Aaron bounced back with 219 and 204 in the fifth and sixth games to regain the lead, 3 pins ahead of Hong Kong's Cyrus Cheung closing in.

A strong 236 from Hong Kong's Wu Siu Hong saw the Asian champion

Adrian Ang
Wu Siu Hong leading the first block

taking over the lead with American PBA bowler, Sean Rash making his bid after a sizzling 268 in the seventh game and Adrian still in third.

But Wu prevailed to end with 233 which was good enough for him to top the field with a total of 1821. Shaker Al-Hassan of UAE stormed home to snatch second spot with 1791 while Adrian settled for third with 1784.

"I started off well and when the lanes changed slightly, I tried to make adjustment but landed with a poor 174 in the third game," said the 25-year-old three times Hong Kong Open champion and Masters gold medalist at the 2006 Asian Championship, Wu Siu Hong.

"When I saw everyone else bowling from the outside, I did the same and I was able to make back some ground. From then on, I just focus on making sure I keep my consistency. I'm hopeful for the second block tomorrow and try to keep my position."

Cyrus Cheung, who made the finals from last night's desperado squad, did well to finish fourth with 1765 while pace-setter, Aaron Kong fizzled off to end up in fifth with 1763. Singapore's top contender, Remy Ong stormed home for sixth position with 1748.

Men's O 1stblk Top 3
First block top 3, Shaker Al-Hassan, Wu Siu Hong and Adrian Ang

American PBA, Sean Rash dropped to seventh after a disasterous final game of 151 and his compatriot, Tim Mack who missed a perfect game by 1 pin in the seventh game, managed only a 12th place finish. Defending champion, Hussain Al-Suwaidi of UAE ended up in 15th position. The bowlers will continue their second block finals at 9.00am on Saturday and the women will contest their first block later at 6.00pm.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Singapore.

Youths snatch victories in last game

5th June, Singapore: Hong Kong's Rickle Kam and Singapore Sports School's Kristel Oh snatched victories in the fina game of the Youth Boy's and Girl's Masters finals of the 42nd Singapore International Open on Friday morning.

42nd Singapore Open logo

Malaysia's Aris Ardilla and Asian Youth Games bound, Syimir Abd Razak set a cracking pace with 258 and 255 in the opening game to lead the field of 24 finalists. The duo continued to lead the pack with each trading the lead up the fifth game.

A superb 258 from Singapore's Ng Chiew Pang in the sixth game took the youngster to the front, 44 pins ahead of Hong Kong's Rickle Kam in second as the two Malaysians fizzled out of contention.

A weak 149 saw the lead being handed to Rickle, who shot a modest 212 as early leader, Aris bounched back to trail Ng in third. The lanky Hong Kong youth ended the 8-game finals with 235 and a total of 1789 to claim the title.

Youth Boy's Champion
Rickle Kam winning his forst international title

Ng recovered with 224 in his final game to settle for second with 1759 while Aris Ardilla was contented to finish third with 1734. Syimir Abd Razak of Malaysia and Singapore's Eugene Low rounded up the top 5.

Meanwhile, Singapore girls dominated the Youth Girl's Masters finals by sweeping the top 3 positions. Singapore Sports School's Kristel Oh snatched the title from pace-setter and national youth, Gina Lim in the final game.

Teo Li Ying set the early pace with 224 but her lead quickly switched to Gina Lim after the second game. Gina kept a consistent pace throughout and looked set to win the title for the second time.

Gina's lead was reduced from 24 pins to just 4 after she shot 187 in the seventh game and then handed the title to Kristel with another poor 160 in her last game. Kristel, who won two gold medals at last year's Asean University Games, fired 244 and 173 to snatch victory with 1596.

Youth Girl's Winners
Youth Girl's winners, Gina Lim, Kristel Oh and Teo Li Ying

Teo Li Ying settle for third with 1587 behind Gina, who amassed 1587 for second position. Nazrinnah Mohd Kamil was Malaysia's best finisher in fourth with 1563 followed by Clara Lau in fifth position with 1538.

The Men's Senior title went to Men's Graded B first runner-up, Md Salleh Abu Basar. The 51-year-old totaled 1643 to win his first-ever bowling title after bowling for more than 15 years and seriously in the last 5 years.

Steven Tan Teck Lee and Jimmy Lim tied second spot with 1604 while pace-setter, Adam Chew missed out on the podium to take fourth position. Jenny Oon led from start to finish to claim the Women's Senior crown.

The 52-year-old Jenny, who also won the Women's Senior title at the 2008 National Championship, totaled 1533 for a convincing victory. Tan Ai Ber and Lucy Ong-Law finished second and third with 1429 and 1398 respectively.

The Men's Open Masters first block finals will be staged at 1.30pm while the Women's Open Masters will take place at 5.00pm later today.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Singapore.

American storms into the lead

4th June, Singapore: American PBA bowler, Sean Rash stormed into the lead of the Men's Open Masters qualifying table on the final day of qualifying rounds at the 42nd Singapore International Open on Thursday.

42nd Singapore Open logo

Sean Rash, who finished third in his first appearance in Singapore back in 2004 in which his compatriot, Tim Mack won, scorched the lanes at Superbowl Safra Mount Faber with a record-breaking 1040 to take over pole position.

The 26-year-old PBA bowler from Witchita, Kansas with four PBA titles shot 255 in his opening game then followed it up with 237 then a sizzling 290 and ending his only second qualifying round with 258.

"The lanes are not as easy as you think," said Sean Rash, who won the USBC Masters back in 2007. "I left alot of pin 10s in the second game but when the lanes got drier, it had better carry.

Sean Rash
Sean Rash making an immediate impact

"I could remember very distinctly when I lost to Daniel Lim in the 2004 stepladder finals and he eventually lost to Tim (Mack) in the finals. I love to bowl here in Singapore and maybe I'm luckier this time."

Fellow-compatriot, Tim Mack of USA, who arrived late yesterday, also made an immediate impact after he amassed an superb 1005 to move into second. Mack had an average start in the first two games but set the lanes on fire with 276 and 277 in his last two games.

"This is my thirteen appearance here in the Singapore Open and I love to come here," said the 37-year-old American, who has won the Singapore Open three times in 1999, 2000 and 2004. The globe-trotting American recently made the PBA Tour trials finishing eighth.

"The trail was really very close. I was about 100 pins from third and ten pins ahead of the fourth placed bowler after the fourth squad. We had to bowl five squads of 8 games each on five different oiling patterns.

Hussain Al-Suwaidi
Hussain Al-Suwaidi hoing to win the Asian Ranked No. 1 back-to-back

Overnight leader, Shaker Al-Hassan of UAE settled for second with 1012 ahead of Tim Mack in third. Perfect gamer, Sithipol Kunaksorn of Thailand and Naif Oqab of UAE rounded up fourth and fifth on 998 and 994.

The scores are substantially higher this year. The cut off at 13th position in the mixed pool is 932 and belonged to Ivan Lo of Hong Kong. Ryan Lalisang is first reserve with 931.

There were little changes in the Women's overseas pool with Esther Cheah firmly in the lead with 953. Vanessa Fung of Hong Kong notched up 934 to move up to third behind Jaya Ancol's Shalima Zalsha of Indonesia second with 948.

The top three positions in the local pool remained unchanged with Daphne Tan and Jasmine Yeong-Nathan leading Singapore's challenge in first and second. Ex-national, Yap Seok Kim took third with 940.

Reigning national champion, Geraldine Ng and Malaysia's Tengku Emanina shared ninth and last two slots in the mixed pool with a cut off mark of 855. Qualifying will end in the early hours of June 5. Bowlers who failed to make the cut will still have a last chance in the one-game desperado squad.

Vanessa Fung
Vanessa Fung did well to improve
to third

Photos by Terence Yaw in Singapore.

UAE southpaw stakes claim on title

3rd June, Singapore: Shaker Al-Hassan of UAE become the first competitor to surpass the 1000-mark as he staked his claim on the Men's title of the 42nd Singapore International Open at Superbowl SAFRA Mount Faber.

42nd Singapore Open logo

The 2008 Saudi Open and ABF Tour Saudi leg champion, had earlier posted 893 and had slid into the mixed pool of the Men's Open Masters table, made his fourth attempt to reel in a sizzling 1012 to also become the new leader.

Malaysia's Muhd Nur Aiman had just taken over the lead with 994 but his lead was short-lived after Shaker's fine effort. And as the competition heated up, five bowlers to a pair of lanes was the order of the day forcing the squad times to fall some two hours behind schedule.

At the 8.30pm squad which started at 11.30pm late last night, Thailand's Sithipol Kunaksorn became the third bowler to shoot the

Shaker Al-Hassan
Shaker Al-Hassan posting a
sizzling 1012

magical 300 and a total of 998 to storm into second spot forcing Aiman yet another position down.

The first perfect game was shot by 2004 Singapore National champion, Helmi Chew two days ago and two-time Malaysian national champion, Adrian Ang registerd the second 300 yesterday. Although Ang's 300 only gave him a total 887, the youngster did improve with 986 to tie in fifth with Naif Oqab of UAE.

There were no changes in the top 3 positions of the local pool which saw Singapore national youth, Eugene Low in pole with 985. Gregory Gan and Remy Ong finished second and third with 974 and 960 respectively.

The last spot in the mixed pool was occupied by Singapore's Aloysius Pek with a score of 900 which may be higher on the final day of qualifying tomorrow.

Sithiphol Kunaksorn
Sithipol Kunaksorn shooting the
third perfect game

There were also no changes in the women's division with Daphne Tan, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan and Yap Seok Kim occupying the top 3 positions of the local pool. Malaysians Esther Cheah and Shalin Zulkifli occupied the top 2 spots while Indonesia's Tannya Roumimper in third.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's national youth and Masters finalists in the recent Asian Schools championship, Hurul Ainul Abu Razak became the first women and the fourth competitor to score a perfect game this afternoon.

But her achievement went to waste as the 16-year-old only managed 171, 145 and 156 in her next three games and failing to improve her 819 qualifying score and putting her as first reserve in the Youth Girl's table.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Singapore.

Hurul Ainul
Hurul Ainul, the first women and fourth perfect gamer
Malaysians steal limelight

2nd June, Singapore: Malaysian national bowlers stole the limelight at the 42nd Singapore International Open as Muhd Nur Aiman and Esther Cheah took over the lead of the Men's and Women's Open Masters qualifying table on Tuesday.

42nd Singapore Open logo

Two-time national champion and Asian Championship Masters gold medalist, Adrian Ang was the first to make an impression when he became the second bowler to shoot a perfect game at the 2.30pm squad but his 4-game total gave hime only 887.

Ang started off with 192 and then brought together 12 consecutive strikes to register the second perfect 300. But a poor 182 and 210 in his two subsequent games gave last year's runnerup only 887.

Reigning national champion, Muhd SYafiq Ridhwan almost shot another perfect game in the same squad but was contented with 289 in his final game. Syafiq downed 194, 222 and 236 in the first three games for an effort of 941 to take up third in the overseas pool.

Muhd Nur Aiman
Muhd Nur Aiman storming into the overall lead

Undoubtedly, the day belong to Asian Championship Team gold medalist and last year's Selangor Classic champion, Muhd Nur Aiman after he scorched the lanes with 994 to top the overall standings.

Overnight leader, Naif Oqab settled for second with 986 followed by Hong Kong's Wu Siu Hong claiming third spot with an improved 962. Syafiq dropped down to seventh with Daniel Lim in 13th with 907.

Singapore national youth, Eugene Low also took over the lead in the local pool after an impressive effort of 985 dislodging Gregory Gan into second with 974 and Helmi Chew, who shot the first perfect 300, into third with 948.

Adrian Ang
Adrian Ang shooting the second perfect 300

Malaysian women also had a great start with Esther Cheah, who came to Singapore from her studies break in Nabraska to compete here, stormed into the lead of the overseas pool with 953.

Esther started a cracking pace with 277 then followed it up with 215, 241 and rounding it up with 220 for the lead. Overnight leader, Shalin Zulkifli dropped to second with 918. Malaysian women occupied the top 4 positions with Zandra Aziela and Choy Poh Lai third and fourth with 899 and 894.

Hong Kong's Vanessa Fung also impressed with a superb effort of 894 to take fifth spot spliting two other Malaysians, 2007 Singapore Open champion, Zatil Iman and reigning World Ranking Masters champion, Siti Safiyah Amirah sixth and seventh.

Esther Cheah
Esther Cheah staking her claim on the women's crown

The top 2 spots in the local pool remained unchanged with Daphne Tan and reigning World Cup champion, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan totaling 984 and 982 respectively. Teo Li Ying took over third spot with 917.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Singapore.

UAE bowler vying for title

31st May, Singapore: Shaker Al-Hassan will be vying for Men's Open Masters title of the 42nd Singapore International Open after an impressive qualifying effort to take up second spot on Sunday.

42nd Singapore Open logo

Shaker Al-Hassan, who lost to fellow-compatriot and eventual champion, Hussain Al-Suwaidi in last year's semi-finals, did well to post 893 to move into second spot of the Men's Open Masters overseas qualifying table.

With two titles won last year, Shaker has yet to get off the mark after several podium finishes this year. He will be a strong contender for this year's title. Team-mate, Naif Oqab continued to lead the table with 986 and is also a fancied contender.

In the local pool, Singapore's national youth, Gregory Gan maintained pole with a superb 974 scoreline to lead Andrew Lee in second with 947 followed by Jaime Liew third with 945.

Shaker Al-Hassan
Shaker Al-Hassan vying for the title

Current Asia Ranked No. 1 and runnerup in the Kuwait Open and Saudi Open, Hussain Al-Suwaidi of UAE, who will get a bye into the finals as defending champion, will be hoping to become the first bowler to successfully defend the men's crown.

Meanwhile, four-time Malaysian national champion, Shalin Zulkifli shot to the top of the Women's Open Masters overseas qualifying pool with a sizzling 918. Overnight leader and last year's runnerup, Zandra Aziela dropped to second with 899.

2008 World Ranking Masters champion, Wendy Chai improved on her earlier effort to take up third spot with 846 followed India's Prathima Hedge and Korea's Kim Eun Jung in fourth anf fifth respectively.

Daphne Tan continued to lead both the overall and the local pool with 984. Trailing Tan was reigning World Cup champion, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan in second with 982 while Asean University two gold medalist, Kristel Oh moved up to third with 898.

Shalin Zulkifli
Shalin Zulkifli taking over the lead in the overseas pool

With foreign bowlers from Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand arriving today and tomorrow, the the competition will intensify and forces the scores to go higher.

Qualifying continue through to June 4 and the Masters finals over two blocks of 8 games will be staged on May 5 and 6. The top 6 women and top 6 men at the end of the finals will advance into the stepladder finals.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Singapore.

Singapore youth takes over pole

30th May, Singapore: Singapore National youth, Gregory Gan took over the lead of the Men's Open Masters local qualifying pool of the 42nd Singapore International Open at Superbowl SAFRA Mount Faber on Saturday.

42nd Singapore Open logo

The 16-year-old Gan posted a sizzling 974 to move into pole position ahead of Andrew Lee and overnight leader, Jaime Liew. Andrew Lee, who had overtaken Jaime earlier, settled for second with a superb 947 while Jaime's 945 dropped him to third.

Former national champion, Helmi Chew took fourth spot with 937 as Bahrain Open champion, Remy Ong improved on his earlier attempt of 856 to 926 for fifth place. 2006 National champion, David Wong finished sixth with 924.

UAE's Naif Oqab remained the overall leader and led the overseas pool with 986 posted two days ago. India's Vijay M Punjabi notched up 849 to move into second spot ahead of Malaysia's Alex Liew third with 845.

Gregory Gan
Gregory Gan taking over the lead of the local pool

Singapore's Ng Chiew Pang became the first bowler to surpass the 1,000-mark when he shot s scintillating 1001 to lead the Youth Boy's standings. India's Shabbir A Dhankot snatched second spot with a superb 932 with Gragory Gan third with 927.

Meanwhile, Daphne Tan Shi Jing maintained her pole position in the Women's Open division with a superb 984 to lead reigning World Cup champion and Sportswomen of the Year, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan in second with 982.

Two-time Singapore national champion, Jazreel Tan finished third with 895 ahead of last year's third runnerup, Shayna Ng and Bernice Lim fourth and fifth on scores of 868 and 863 respectively.

Last year's first runnerup, Zandra Aziela of Malaysia posted an improved 899 to take over the lead in the overseas pool to lead 2007 Asia Ranked No. 1, Kim Eun Jung of Korea in second with 835.

Zandra Aziela
Zandra Aziela leading the overseas pool

Overnight leader and newly-crowned World Ranking Masters champion, Siti Safiyah AMirah settled for third with 803 folllowed by India's Sabeena Salem and Malaysia's Wendy Chai fourth and fifth.

Qualifying continue through to June 4 and the Masters finals over two blocks of 8 games will be staged on May 5 and 6. The top 6 women and top 6 men at the end of the finals will advance into the stepladder finals.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Singapore.

Singapore girl grabs early lead

29th May, Singapore: National kegler, Daphne Tan Shi Jing grabbed the early lead in the Women's Open Masters qualifying rounds of the 42nd Singapore International Open underway at Superbowl SAFRA Mount Faber on Friday.

42nd Singapore Open logo

Two-time Singapore National Championship runner-up, Daphne Tan Shi Jing posted a scintillating 984 and an average of 246 over the four-game qualifying rounds to take the lead of the Women's Open Masters leaderboard.

Tan's best-ever performance since becoming a member of the national squad was finishing second in the 2007 Malaysian International Open and will be hoping to break the ice with a victory here following the footstep of her elder sister and defending champion, Cherie Tan.

The leader also won a Team silver medal at the 2007 World Youth Championship. Reigning World Cup champion and Sportswomen of the Year, Yasmine Yeong-Nathan trailed Tan in second, just two pins

Daphne Tan
Daphne Tan leading the qualifying table

adrift with 982 while two-time national, Jazreel Tan finished third with 895.

Newly-crowned World Ranking Masters champion, Siti Safiyah Amirah of Malaysia, topped the local pool with an initial attempt of 803 pushing overnight leader, Sabeena Salem of India second with 788. Zandra Aziela of Malaysia is third with 766.

Meanwhile, Singaporan youngster upstaged several fovourites to lead the Men's Open Masters local pool with a superb 945. Former National champion, Helmi Chew, who was the overnight leader, dropped to second with 937.

2006 National champion, David Wong posted 924 to take up third spot with Paiman Dali and Benjamin Hong rounding up the top 5 with 910 and 888. Newly-crowned Bahrain Open champion and Singapore's top bowler, Remy Ong finished ninth with 856.

But the overall and overseas pool lead went to UAE's Naif Oqab who shot 986 ahead of Alex Liew of Malaysia in second with 845. Two other UAE national, Ahmed Al-Ahmed and Mohammed Al-Marzouqi were the only overseas bowlers in the table with 828 and 733 respectively.

Naif Oqab
Naif Oqab topping both the overseas and overall table

Singapore's sensational kid, Shaun Lau certainly raised a few eyebrows as the 15-year-old topped both the Boy's Under-15 and Under-18 qualifying table. Lau shot 929 to lead the Under-15 and 922 to lead the Under-18.

Qualifying continue through to June 4 and the Masters finals over two blocks of 8 games will be staged on May 5 and 6. The top 6 women and top 6 men at the end of the finals will advance into the stepladder finals.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Singapore.

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