ABF Tour Thailand 2016
Maiden victory for Japan and Korea

18th April, Bangkok: Sam Cooley of Australia bagged his third tour title at the ABF Tour Thailand 2016 with victory in the Men's final while Sharon Koh of Malaysia clinched her first tour title in the Women's division.

Cooley almost shot a perfect game en-route to defeating Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand, 295-216 in the Men's title match for his second win in Thailand as Koh edged Hee Kar Yen, 227-213 in the all-Malaysian women's final.

Thai challenger, Yannaphon started off poorly with an opened frame as the Aussie doubled in his first two frames. Although the Thai recovered with four strikes-in-a-row, Cooley blitzed the lanes reeling in strikes after strikes.

Yannaphon was unable to response further while Cooley continued to down more strikes. The Aussie almost rolled the second perfect game of the tour since its inception in 2004 but had a wash-out in his final throw for five pins to end with 295 to win the match against Yannaphon's 216.

"This is my second tour win in Thailand and I couldn't be more happier," said Cooley, who won his first tour title in Bangkok back in 2013, added his second in Hong Kong in 2014.

Sam Cooley with third tour trophy
The champion picked up the top prize of US$1,000 while Yannaphon pocketed US$500. Cooley had advanced to the final after he dispatched Muhd Nur Aiman of Malaysia, 235-195 in the first semi-final match. Yannaphon had an easy victory over Eric Tseng of Hong Kong, 236-199 in the other semi to face the Aussie in the final. Tseng and Nur Aiman picked up US$250 each.

The champion also rolled big games of 267 in his opening round against Syaffique Ikhwan of Malaysia and another big game of 264 in the second round against Annop Arromsaranon of Thailand.

With the Malaysians returning to the tour this year, they proved to be a force to reckon with after seven of them made the Top 16. The all-Malaysian women's final was a closely fought match with nothing seperating the duo mid-way through the match.

Although Hee Kar Yen had an early double in the third and fourth frames, Koh responded with a double of her own in the fourth and fifth frames to draw level. Koh rolled another double to open a small gap and struck twice again in the tenth and 11th frames to seal victory.

"I'm glad to have the opportunity to bowl in the tour starting this year after our congress has given the go ahead," said Koh, who earned the top prize of US$1,000 for her victory. "It was a really close match against Kar Yen but I'm glad I came out on top."

The champion reached the finals after beating Tannya Roumimper of Indonesia, 224-204 in the second semi-final match while Hee had an easy victory over another Indonesian, Novie Phang, 191-148 in the first semi.

Sharon Koh beaming with her first-ever tour trophy

Koh scrapped through the opening round beating Thitima Thongsaard of Thailand, 188-179 but sailed past compatriot, Dayang Khairuniza, 227-190 in the second round to reach the semi-finals. Hee was lucky to advance after a lowly Round 1 game of 163 against Hong Kong's Milki Ng.

But she had a better game in the second round by beating Sharon Limansantoso of Indonesia, 195-167 to book her place in the semis. Hee settled for US$500 while both Indonesians took home US$250 each.

Ms Vivien Lau, seretary general of World Bowling and ABF Tour organizing chairman was on hand to present the prizes to the winners. The ABF Tour Thailand 2016 leg is the first of six legs to be staged in East Asia with the official partner, Alisports providing the prize money of US$4,000 for each leg. The next stop will be in Macau, China on June 27.

For further information and details, please contact ABF Tour Committee at Tel: +852 2893 6039, Fax: +852 2893 6290; Email: hktbc@netvigator.com.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok.

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