Canadian topped ladies’ first block

4th May, Lake Wales: Caroline Lagrange of Canada, topped the ladies' first block of 8 games of the World Ranking Masters 2007 on long oil at Kegel Training Centre on Friday morning.

Diandra Asbaty was quite a favorite with the crowd after coming off a disappointing runner-up finish in the USBC Queens in Charlotte, North Carolina and then had to rush down here to Florida. Sara Vargas from Colombia, had the advantage of working here at the Kegel Training Center so was right up to date with the lanes.

A 278 opener from England's Zara Glover made her intentions known to this field with just one leftie - no two-handers and no spinners! The big shockwave was seeing Diandra Asbaty of USA down in 25th place but it won't be long before she will be back in contention.

In game 2, the guns they were a'blazing at the Kegel Corrall this morning. A 279 from Canada's Caroline Lagrange brought her up into second place but Glover still had four pins advantage.

A 241 from Asbaty also brought her up from 25th to 18th and only one bowler, Paola Gomez from Colombia having yet to hit a 200 game.

By Game 3, a very handy 735 over the first three games kept England's Zara Glover in first place as she increased her lead to 28 pins over Canuck Caroline Lagrange. The Canadian's 279 was still the highest game of the day and Gomez was still lacking a 200 game.

Glover was still there at the top by game 4, withstanding and repelling all challengers. A 258 this time brings her 49 pins above the constant challenge of Caroline whilst the rest in the top eight chop and change. Five from the American zone, one from Asia and two from Europe in the prestigious top eight.

Pass the halfway mark, it was hard to believe that Glover could dominate the leaderboard for so long and it was a case of fingers crossed that she didn't suffer the fate of fellow countryman Paul Moor in the men's division last night.

Diandra Asbaty was slowly climbing back up the leaderboard and looked a little happier than she did first thing this morning. Another 278, this time from German Patricia Schwarz, now a resident of Finland, brought her up into fourth place.

Game 6 and things were getting a little bit tighter. The gap between the frontrunners had dropped to 19 pins, so the next game will be vital for both players.

Steady bowling by Aumi Guerra from the Dominican Republic brought her into contention, maybe from the wise coaching of Craig Woodhouse, the WBW Outstanding International Coach of 2007.

There were a lot more sub-200 games creeping into the equation as the girls felt the pressure and also the fatigue. They had been out there on the lanes for over four hours, now and there were still two games to go.

Well, we thought it was coming and we were proved right. Caroline Lagrange stuck to her guns and a 202 shot her into pole position as Glover hit a lowly 177 after a 185 to surrender the lead.

Now the one to watch was Guerra as her bowling was so consistent and a high final game could promote her into first place to bag that $1,000 squad prize.

And what a great final game this was - strings of strikes right across the house and Caroline Lagrange of Canada putting on a great spurt in the home straight with a 289 and a nice fat bundle of $1,000 for leading the squad.

Zara Glover fought back hard with a 269, but it was nowhere near enough to bridge the gap.

One of the last players to finish was Choy Poh Lai of Malaysia and she was on a string of ten strikes and looked really good for the tournament's first perfect game. Unfortunately, a stubborn four-pin stopped that happening but she matched the 289 of Lagrange.

Perhaps surprisingly, there were just two Europeans in the current top octet. They face three from the Asian zone and three from the Americas.

Detailed scores: Women's Squad 1 | Photo Album.

Photos courtesy of Bowlers Journal International.