45th Hong Kong International Open
Malaysian goes top of leaderboard
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17th July, Hong Kong: 2019 Malaysian Open champion, Ahmad Muaz of Malaysia surged into the top of the Men's Open Masters qualifying leaderboard at the 45th Hong Kong International Open with a stunning 1511 on Wednesday.

Muaz made his first attempt yesterday with 257, 227 and 278 for a sizzling three-game series of 762. He took to the lanes at SCAA Bowling Centre today posting 289, 259 and 201 for another splendid 749 series to leapfrog into the lead with a six-games aggregate total of 1511.

Newly-crowned ABF Tour Macau leg champion, Lee Tak Man of Macau added a superb 787 series to moved back up into the top bracket in second with 1469 while overnight leader, Ezno Hernandez of Philippines slipped down to third with 1466.

Muhammad Hafiz Zainuddin of Malaysia improved his six-game total but missed the top three by 12 pins to settle for fourth position with 1454. There were no changes seen in the local pool with Eric Tseng remaining in the lead with 1503.

Ahmad Muaz rolling two stunning 761 and 749 series for the lead

First perfect gamer, Wicky Yeung and Lau Kwun Ho occupied second and third positions with 1471 and 1448 respectively. Muhd Azizi Naim of Malaysia headed the mixed pool with 1364 while the cut in tenth position is tied between another Malaysian, Abang Afiq Yazid and Hong Kong's Joshua Chow on 1336.

Both Yazid and Chow have already surpassed last year's cut of 1309. With the final day of qualifying remaining tomorrow, the cut could possibly increase to the 1370-mark. At the 5.30pm squad, 2018 World Men's Championships Doubles gold medallist, Tun Hakim of Malaysia rolled the tournament's' fourth 300 in his first game.

Meanwhile in the Women's division, Alexis Sy of Philippines took over the lead with 1395 from 711 and 684 three-game series. Veronica De Souza of Macau also improved to move into second position with 1376.

Ex-Singapore international, Tracy See, who led briefly earlier today, slipped down to third with 1365. 2018 Macao-China Open champion, Nur Syazwani Sahar of Malaysia missed the cut for an automatic qualification into Stage 2 Masters finals by two pins in fourth position with 1363.

Joey Yip remained in the lead of the local pool with 1253 followed by 2017 World Championships Singles bronze medallist, Chan Shuk Han in second with 1239. Jackie Sun took over third spot with an improved 1221.

Malaysia's Faten Najihah headed the mixed pool with 1266 while the cut in ninth position went to Chinese Taipei's Chou Chia Chen on 1221. Last year's cut was 1277, much higher than this year. With less overseas women taking part this year, the cut would probably increase slightly.

Women's Open division new leader, Alexis Sy

The Senior and the Youth 18 & Under Masters finals will be contested tomorrow morning followed by qualifiying rounds for the rest of the day. A on-game Desperado Squad for the Men's Open division will be held after the last squad.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong.

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