American storms into the lead

4th June, Singapore: American PBA bowler, Sean Rash stormed into the lead of the Men's Open Masters qualifying table on the final day of qualifying rounds at the 42nd Singapore International Open on Thursday.  Sean Rash, who finished third in his first appearance in Singapore back in 2004 in which his compatriot, Tim Mack won, scorched the lanes at Superbowl Safra Mount Faber with a record-breaking 1040 to take over pole position.

The 26-year-old PBA bowler from Witchita, Kansas with four PBA titles shot 255 in his opening game then followed it up with 237 then a sizzling 290 and ending his only second qualifying round with 258.

"The lanes are not as easy as you think," said Sean Rash, who won the USBC Masters back in 2007. "I left alot of pin 10s in the second game but when the lanes got drier, it had better carry.


"I could remember very distinctly when I lost to Daniel Lim in the 2004 stepladder finals and he eventually lost to Tim (Mack) in the finals. I love to bowl here in Singapore and maybe I'm luckier this time."

Fellow-compatriot, Tim Mack of USA, who arrived late yesterday, also made an immediate impact after he amassed an superb 1005 to move into second. Mack had an average start in the first two games but set the lanes on fire with 276 and 277 in his last two games.

"This is my thirteen appearance here in the Singapore Open and I love to come here," said the 37-year-old American, who has won the Singapore Open three times in 1999, 2000 and 2004. The globe-trotting American recently made the PBA Tour trials finishing eighth.

"The trails was really really very close. I was about 100 pins from third and ten pins ahead of the fourth placed bowler after the fourth squad. We had to bowl five squads of 8 games each on five different oiling patterns.

Overnight leader, Shaker Al-Hassan of UAE settled for second with 1012 ahead of Tim Mack in third. Perfect gamer, Sithipol Kunaksorn of Thailand and Naif Oqab of UAE rounded up fourth and fifth on 998 and 994.

The scores are substantially higher this year. The cut off at 13th position in the mixed pool is 932 and belonged to Ivan Lo of Hong Kong. Ryan Lalisang is first reserve with 931.

There were little changes in the Women's overseas pool with Esther Cheah firmly in the lead with 953. Vanessa Fung of Hong Kong notched up 934 to move up to third behind Jaya Ancol's Shalima Zalsha of Indonesia second with 948.

The top three positions in the local pool remained unchanged with Daphne Tan and Jasmine Yeong-Nathan leading Singapore's challenge in first and second. Ex-national, Yap Seok Kim took third with 940.

Reigning national champion, Geraldine Ng and Malaysia's Tengku Emanina shared ninth and last two slots in the mixed pool with a cut off mark of 855.

   Photos by Terence Yaw for SBF.