44th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open
Korean, Malaysian tops qualifying
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13th April, Bangkok: Twice perfect gamer, Lee Won Seok of Korea remained unchallenged at the end of qualifying round to finish atop the Men's Open standings of the 44th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open while Malaysia's Esther Cheah took over the Ladies' Open top spot.

Lee, who rolled the first 300 of the tournament in the first block and a second 300 in the second block, added a 1215 third block series to finish an undisbuted leader with a massive 3700 total, averging 246.67.

His compatriot and winner of the Youth Under-21 and Men's Grade A Masters titles, Park Geon Hu ammased 3465 to take up second position. Squad B winner, Lin Pai-Feng of Chinese Taipei rolled the tournament's fourth 300 to clinch third with 3442.

The top three Koreans earned a bye and will automatically advance to Round 3 finals. Atchariya Cheng, who topped Squad C over three blocks, topped the local pool with 3289.

Overall Men's and Ladies' Open leaders, Lee Won Seok and Esther Cheah

2017 PBA-WBT World Bowling Tour Thailand champion, Yannaphon Larpapharat finished second with 3179. Joining the duo was 2012 Thailand Open champion, Surasak Manuwong in third with 3166. The top three local qualifiers will also automatically advance to Round 3 finals.

Han Jae Hyeon of Korea, who was third overall was edged out by the Taiwanese to head the mixed pool with 3413. The cut in 26th position went to Ivan Tse of Hong Kong with 3157, averaging 210.47.

Syaffique Ikhwan of Malaysia missed the cut by 1 pin. The four qualifiers from the one-game desperado squad were Lau Kwun Ho (HKG-268), Akaash Ashok Kumar (IND-258), Ahmed Al Awadhi (BRN-253) and Chanathip Prempree (THA-252).

The 20 qualifiers in the mixed pool with the four desperado qualifiers will contest six games in Round 2 finals. The top 14 finishers of Round 2 finals will advance to Round 3 together with the six seeded qualifiers for another 6 games.

Meanwhile in the Ladies' Open division, winner of Squad A, Esther Cheah of Malaysia overhauled Squad C winner and overnight leader, Cherie Tan of Singapore by two pins to top the overseas pool with 3336.

Lee Won Seok remaining unchallenged to finish top of the standings

Tan settled for second with 3334 followed by team-mate, Shayna Ng in third with 3325. Kantaporn Singhabuboha also overtook team-mate and 2016 Thailand Open champion, Yanee Saebe by 9 pins for the local pool pole position with 2836.

Yanee settled for second position with 2827 while third position went to Natthida Sertluecha with 2781. The top 3 overseas and top 3 local qualifiers will automatically advance to Round 3 finals.

Bernice Lim of Singapore, who rolled the tournament's third 300 in the third block, headed the mixed with 3285. The cut in 22nd position went to Chou Chia-Chen of Chinese Taipei with 3030, averaging 202.00. Ladies' Open qualifiers positioned 7 to 22 (16 bowlers) will contest the 6-games Round 2 finals tomorrow.

The top 10 finishers in Round 2 finals will advance to Round 3 finals together with the six seeded qualifiers for another 6 games. The top 6 men and top 6 ladies at the end of Round 3 finals will proceed to the Stepladder shootout finals to determine the champion.

Squad A winner and new top qualifier, Esther Cheah

Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok.

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