Convincing victory for Singaporean
8th April, Riyadh: Singaporean Remy Ong had a dream debut by winning the 4th Saudi International Open title in convincing fashion and undefeated throughout the final stages on Thursday. Remy Ong, who made the double elimination knockout finals in ninth position in yesterday’s Semi-finals, won the first game against challenger, Patrick Healey of USA 229-196 for a 35 pins margin in the two-game total pinfalls title match.
Both the title contenders were struggling in the early stage of the first match especially on the fresh lanes. While Ong hit the pocket most of the time but could not get the carry, Healey was struggling to find the pocket.
Ong sailed through the second game with 235-187 for a 464-383 victory to take title along with the top prize of US$25,000. The Singaporean also made history by becoming the first champion to win undefeated in all the stages.
“Starting on the fresh lanes for the title match was not easy,” said the delighted 32-year-old champion, Remy Ong, who won the title in convincing fashion undefeated throughout the final stages.
“I had to make a lot of adjustments and was only able to find the proper line to bowl so that I can get the carry. Both of us were struggling in the early stages. I was struggling to get the carry and I could see that my opponent was struggling to find the pocket.
“This victory has definitely made up for the disappointment in the Dubai Open and Emir Cup which I had a good opportunity to win. But I’ happy to come away with the win especially this championship being my first.
Ong beat Norwegian Mads Sandbaekken in the all-lefty Stage 6 encounter, 463-396 after edging Kuwait Open champion, Osku Palermaa of Finland, 384-375 in Stage 4. Ong first ousted Malaysia’s Zulmazran Zulkifli, 400-355 in Stage 2 then beat Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia 435, 407 in Stage 3.
Healey beat Kuwait’s Mohammed Kamel, 462-409 in Stage 6 finals before thrashing Sandbaekken, 424-296 in Stage 7 to advance to the Stage 8 title match against Ong. The 41-year-old former PBA settled for US$14,000.
“I’m not too disappointed for finishing second,” said the former AMF World Cup champion and 2008 Emir Cup champion, Patrick Healey Jnr. “Considering that I did lose a match in the second stage, I was able to win all my other ties to get me to the finals.
“This is quite an achievement by my standards. It’s good to know that you still having some bowling left in me especially when I’ already 41. I’m also delighted that I can still compete even though I’m a coach.
“To finish second ahead of so many top European and Asian bowlers has given the satisfation and to get me to work even harder. I’m hoping that I can do well in future tournaments this year.
Sandbaekken took home US$8,000 with Mohammed Kamel winning US$5,000 for finishing fourth. Dominic Barrett of England and Osku Palermaa won US$3,000 each for finishing fifth and sixth places respectively.
The only Saudi in the knockout stage, HRH Prince Abdul Hakim did well to reach Stage 4 finals to crash out to Healey, 407-421 and ended up in eighth position behind Semi-finals leader, Ryan Lalisang.
Detailed scores: Stage 8 Finals | Final Results | Photo Album.