Dominating double victory
2nd June, Singapore: The Koreans put in a dominating display of their prowess by winning the Men’s and Women’s Open Masters titles of the 45th Singapore International Open which ended at Orchid Bowl on Saturday evening.
Choi Bok-Eum of Korea had earlier edged fourth-seed and defending champion, Shaker Al Hassan of UAE and first round leader and second-seed, Derek Chan of Singapore, 195-193-150 to face his team-mate and top seed Hong Hae-Sol in the finals.
Both made little headway in the first four frames of the championship match and when Choi had an opened frame in the fifth, Hong appeared more relaxed as he struck out from frame eight to end the match with 225.
Choi, who had another opened frame in the ninth, had to settle for second spot when he managed only 174. Derek dropped one spot to third while Shaker remained in fourth position after the stepladder finals.
“This is my first international open title and I’ll cherish this moment for a long time,” said the 21-year-old Hong, a member of the national team which won the Guangzhou Asian Games Team gold medal in 2010.
The champion won S$20,000 (approx. US$16,000) with Choi settling for S$10,000. Chan earned S$5,000 and Shaker took home S$3,000.
In the earlier 6-games Round 2 finals, Hong ended the finals in the lead with 3661 pinfalls, 92 pins ahead of overnight leader, Chan in second with 3569. Choi took third spot with 3532 while Shaker advanced into the stepladder finals in fourth with 3492.
Cho Young-Seon, who was third in Round 1, missed the cut by 38 pins to finish fifth followed by Lim Dong-Sung, Kim Tae-Young and Jang Dong-Chul in sixth to eighth positions.
Meanwhile, the women’s title match was another all-Korean affair with top seed and national rookie, Jung Da-Wun clinching her first international title by beating third-seed, Kim Moon-Jeong 213-202.
An early opened frame in the title match put Kim on her back foot and chasing the game. The challenger nearly forced her team-mate into a second decider but Jung doubled up in her last frame to pull off the victory.
Kim had earlier ousted second-seed Gye Min-Young and fourth-seed and Singapore’s hopeful, Kristel Oh 235-177-192 to face the top seed in the final.
“I’m very happy to win this title and I’ve to thank my congress for giving me this opportunity,” said the 28-year-old Jung, who won S$6,000 (approx. US$4,800). Kim settled for S$3,000 while Gye and Oh took home S$1,500 and S$1,000 respectively.
In the earlier Round 2 finals, Jung ended comfortably in the lead with 3427, 109 pins ahead of Gye Min-Young in second with 3318. Kim Moon-Jeong finished third with 3291 and Oh made the cut in fourth with 3260.
Jazreel Tan of Singapore missed the cut by 42 pins in fifth with 3218 followed by Singaporean Daphne Tan Shi Jing in sixth with 3185. Tannya Roumimper of Indonesia, who was second in Round 1 felled to seventh with 3180.
Mr Kensaku Konishi, President and CEO of Canon Singapore (the major partner of the championship) was on hand to give away the prizes to the Men’s Open winners while Mr Chi Joong-Sup, President of the Korean Bowling Congress gave away the prizes to the Women’s Open winners.
Photos by Terence Yaw.