2017 Philippine International Open
Singapore youth wins Round 1
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23rd May, Manila: 2012 Asian School Championships Team silver medallist, Marcus Leong defied all odds to win the Men's Open Masters Round 1 finals of the 2017 Philippine International Open ahead of Merwin Tan of TBAM-Prima-RP in second and Hengki Susanto of Indonesia third.

Nicco Olaivar of PBA-Philippines and 2016 Asian School Team and All Events gold medallist, Merwin Tan set the early pace with 236 in their opening game to share the lead ten pins ahead of 2017 ABF Tour Thailand leg first runner-up, Jay Leon Guerrero of Guam.

Olaivar added another superb second game of 252 to stretch his lead to 25 pins as Singapore's Ahmad Safwan moved up into second spot. JM Villanueva of MBA-Philippines and Hengki Susanto took up third and fourth while Tan slipped down to fifth.

Safwan rolled two strong games of 246 and 216 to take over the lead at the halfway mark as Tan recovered to move back up to second spot, 34 pins adrift. Hengki stayed close to the leading duo in third with Guerrero in fourth.

Men's Open Round 1 winner, Marcus Leong

Despite managing only 186 in the fifth game, Safwan kept the lead as Tan continued in second but reducing the lead to 21 pins. The Indonesian maintained third, a further two pins away. A stunning 278 in the sixth game from Marcus Leong saw the Singaporean leapfrog the leading trio to take over the running. Tan and Hengki trailed in second and third.

Leong then extended his lead slightly with 208 in the seventh game with Hengki moving ahead of Tan into second position. The 20-year-old Singaporean hung on to win the round despite just managing 188 for a total of 1685.

Tan bounced back to clinch second position with 1681 while Hengki settled for third with 1674. Guerrero and Safwan completed the top five with 1655 and 1608 respectively. 2016 Asian School Masters gold medallist, Mostafa Almousawi of Kuwait claimed sixth position with 1597.

JM Villanueva, Ebrahim Aljadi of Kuwait, Benshir Layoso of MTBA-Philippines, Ivan Tse of Hong Kong, Nicco Olaivar and Keith Tan of Singapore finished seventh to 12th positions to make the cut for Round 2 finals. Francis Tan of Malaysia missed the cut by 4 pins finishing 13th position with 1549.

The top 12 will be joined the top six local and top six overseas seeded qualifiers for another eight games in Round 2 Finals commencing at 10.00am. The top three finishers at the end of the second round will proceed to the stepladder shootout finals.

Top 3 finishers, Merwin Tan, Marcus Leong and Hengki Susanto

Photos by Terence Yaw in Manila.

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