44th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open
Topseeds crowned champions
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14th April, Bangkok: Topseeds Park Geon Ha of Korea and Shayna Ng of Singapore needed just a single match each to defeat their challengers to win the Men's Open and Ladies' Open Masters titles at the concluding the 44th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open.

Park, who ended the earlier Round 3 finals with 1473 to advance to the stepladder finals as topseed, started the title match with a strike and an eight-pin spare in the second frame. His challenger, Tun Hakim of Malaysia got off to a better start with a double.

The Korea responded with a double of his own in frames three and four as the Malaysian downed another strike in the third franme but stumbled to a split in the fourth which he failed to convert into a spare.

The topseed rolled three consecutive strikes thereafter to build up an twenty pin lead. Despite ending the tenth frame with a split and Tun Hakim doubling in the eighth and ninth frames, Park won the match and clinch the title, 213-205.

2018 champions, Park Geon Ha and Shayna Ng with their trophies and prize

The victory was Park's third in the championship. He had won the Youth Under-21 title on April 7 and his second title in the Men's Grade B finals. The champion almost won his third but finished second in the Men's Grade A finals on April 10.

Park earned the top prize of 330,000 Thai baht (approx. US$10,600) and a trophy. Third-seed Tun Hakim, who defeated seond-seed, Han Jae Hyeon of Korea and winner of the first match, Mika Koivuniemi of Finland, 241-225-186 in the semi-final match, took home 165,000 baht.

Four-seed and Senior Masters champion, Koivuniemi ousted fifth-seed, Syafiq Ridhwan of Malaysia and sixth-seed, Michael Mak of Hong Kong 244-213-218 in the first match to advance to the semi.

Han pocketed 80,000 baht while the Koivuniemi, Mak and Syafiq picked up 42,000, 25,000 and 20,000 baht respectively.

Han finished second to Park in the Round 3 finals with 1381 followed by Tun Hakim in third with 1364. Koivuniemi, Syafiq and Mak made the stepladder finals with 1334, 1305 and 1303. 2017 PBA-WBT World Bowling Tour Thailand champion, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand missed the cut by 19 pins in seventh position.

Park Geon Ha winning his third title

In the all-Singapore Ladies' Open title match between topseed, Shayna Ng and second-seed, Bernice Lim, Ng started off better with three consecutive strikes while Lim could only roll two. Ng encountered a split in the sixth frame allowing her team-mate to draw level.

But the topseed bounced back brilliantly with three strikes-in-a-row to chalked up a 30 pin lead and went on to end the tie with a convincing, 234-202 victory. Lim, earned the right to challenge for the title after she dispatched third-seed, Choi Chia-Chen of Chinese Taipei and winner of the first match, Nerosha Keligit of Malaysia, 225-189-155 in the semi-final.

Nerosha easily beat fourth-seed and a third Singaporean, New Hui Fen and sixth-seed, Nadia Pramanik of Indonesia, 245-179-193 in the opening match to advance to the semi. Ng pocketed 110,000 baht (approx. US$3,500) as champion.

Lim settled for 55,000 baht and Chou 28,000 baht. Nerosha, Pramanik and New took home 20,000, 15,000 and 10,000 baht respectively. Ng earned topseed for the stepladder finals with 1402 in the earlier Round 3 finals.

Lim gave Singapore a one-two finish with 1313 followed by Chou in third with 1305. New, Nerosha and Pramanik made the stepladder finals with 1285, 1274 and 1269.

Ladies' Open Top 3 Round 2, Aldila Indryati, Chou Chia-Chen and Tannya Roumimper

Top qualifier, Esther Cheah of Malaysia missed the cut by five pins in seventh position. The top 16 men and top 16 women qualified for the opening leg of the 2018 ABF Tour Thailand which will be held at the same bowling center, Blu-O Rhythm and Bowl Siam Paragon tomorrow.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok.

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