44th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open
Another dominating performance by Korea
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10th April, Bangkok: Youth Under-21 Masters second runner-up, Lee Won Seok led two titles winner, Park Geon Ha and Hwang Sung Hyun to sweep the top three positions of the Men's Grade A Masters finals at the 44th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open.

Hoping to break Korea's domination in the last four masters finals, Lapasdanai Chusaeng of Thailand took an early lead with a scorching 264 in his opening game to lead Hwang Sung Hyun of Korea by 6 pins.

Hwang posted 205 in his second game to take over the lead ahead of Youth Under-21 and Men's Grade B champion, Park Geon Ha in second, 19 pins adrift. Lee was third while the Thai slipped down to fourth.

Park rolled a superb 255 in the third game to become the new leader with Lapasdanai recovering with 246 to move into second. Lee trailed in third with a third Korean, Jo Young Bin taking up fourth spot.

Top 3 winners, Park Geon Ha, Lee Won Seok and
Hwang Sung Hyun

Park held his lead after another good game in the fourth with Jo leapfroging into second spot ahead of Hwang and Lee dropping down to fourth. Two splendid games from Lee saw the Korean becoming the new leader, 21 pins ahead of Park. There was nothing between Lee and Park as they shared the lead past the halfway mark as Hwang trailed the leading duo.

Lee rounded off stronger with 246 and 204 to clinch the title with 1835. Park almost won his third consecutive title but settled for second with 1808. Hwang took third spot with 1749 while Men's Grade B Masters second runner-up, Napat Buspanikonkul of Thailand stormed home to snatch fourth position with 1723 leaving Jo rounding out the top five with 1683.

Lee pocketed the top prize of 120,000 Thai baht as champion with Park earning an additional 60,000 baht as first runner-up. Hwang celebrated his 20th birthday by earning 30,000 baht as second runner-up.

Meanwhile, 2010 World Bowling Writers Hall of Famer and two-time PBA Player of the Year, Mika Koivuniemi of Finland triumphed in the Senior Masters with a 6-game total of 1335. The Finn, who took over the lead after the fourth game, had to fend off a strong challenge from 2008 ABF Tour TOC winner, Andrew Frawley for the victory.

The Aussie settled for second position with 1320, 15 pins from the champion. Macau's Cheng Peng Sheng rolled a big game of 257 in his final game to snatch third position with 1317. 2010 Indonesia Open champion, Hsieh Chin-Liang of Chinese Taipei finished fourth with 1232.

Pollakit Thanasang of Thailand completed the top five with 1231. Koivuniemi won 40,000 baht for his effort with 20,000 baht going to Frawley and 10,000 baht to Cheng.

Top 3 winners, Andrew Frawley, Mika Koivuniemi and
Cheng Peng Sheng

The Men's and Ladies' Open Masters qualifying rounds will commence April 11 for the next three days over three blocks of five games each. The bowlers will be divided ionto four squads. Their Round 2 and Round 3 finals will be held on April 14.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok.

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