44th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open
Korean, Indonesian tops Squad D
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11th April, Bangkok: Lee Won Seok of Korea rolled the first 300 en-route to topping Squad D and becoming the new leader of the Men's Open Masters first block of qualifying at the 44th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open while Sharon Limansantoso of Indonesia took the Ladies' Open pole position.

Lee, who finished third in the Youth Under-21 Masters finals and won the Men's Grade A Masters title last night, started off the block with a sizzling 278 to lead ex-Thai national bowler, Somjed Kusonpithak and Youth Under-21 Masters and Men's Grade B champion, Park Geonb Ha shring second spot.

The 19-year-old Korean National Sport University student added two consistent games of 226 and 228 in the second and third games. 2014 Asian Games Singles bronze medallist, Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand trailed in second by 26 pins.

Perfect gamer and overall leader, Lee Won Seok

Lee set the lanes ablazed with the tournament's first 300 in the fourth game to extend his lead to 114 pins. Park bounced back to take up second as a third Korean, Oh Jin Won moved up into third. The leader needed only 125 or more to overhaul leader, Lin Pai-Feng of Chinese Taipei and he did not disappoint with 217 to top the squad as well as becoming the new leader with 1249 by 102 pins.

Park settled for second behind Lee with 1154 but was 3 pins short of toppling the Taiwanese for second overall. Joshua Chow of Hong Kong and Sithiphol tied third in the squad with 1106 while Oh completed the top five with 1091.

In the Ladies' division, the tussle for the lead in the early stages was amongst Shin In Choi, Choi Hyeon Ji and Lee Hyeon Gyung in the first two games. Putty Armein of Indonesia grabbed the lead after the third game, 14 pins ahead of a fourth Korean, Min Hyeon Ji.

Armein held the lead for another game but with team-mates, Tannya Roumimper and Sharon Limansantoso close on her heels. Limansantoso ended the strongest with 220 to clinch pole with 1022.

Lee Hyeon Gyung fired a big game of 256 to tie second spot with Min on a total of 1021, just 1 pin behind the Indonesian. Roumimper and Armein rounded out the top five with 1008 and 1006 respectively.

Esther Cheah, Siti Safiyah and Shalin Zulkifli all of Malaysia, remained in the top three positions in the Ladies' Open overall standings after three squads. Limansantoso only managed yo take up 11th overall.

Ladies' Top 3, Lee Hyeon Gyung, Sharon Limansantoso and Min Hyeon Ji

The fourth and final Squad C on the first day of qualifying will be contested late tonight. Bowlers will resume with their second block of 5 games tomorrow and the third and final block on April 13.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok.

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