Final block needed to make cut

29th March, Kuwait: It needed the third and final block of the qualifying rounds for Singapore’s Justin Lim Chun Liang to make the Top 32 Finals of the 7th Kuwait International Open Bowling Championship after an inspired run. Lim was the best Singaporean performer in the first block played on Sunday after knocking down 1287 over six games with team-mate, Jason Yeong-Nathan posting 1267 to finish third and fourth in Squad B.

Their good start put the duo in 17th and 22nd positions overall, well inside the Top 32 cut. But Lim had a lack-luster outing in the second block managing only 1172 despite ending in third in the squad with a 12-game total of 2450.

Jason also faired poorly with 1141 for ninth position on 2408. Mark Wong bowled a better second block to take up eighth with 2410 while Basil Low finished 11th after two blocks with 2376 and Eugene Low 15th with 2276. With a mounting task ahead of the five Singaporean national bowlers, Lim put in a scintilating performance after he shot 1337 for an 18-game total of 3787 to finish his final block second in Squad B behind leader, Yousif Falah of Bahrain. Jason also fought on galantly to roll 1285 to take up fourth in the squad with 3693 behind UAE’s Naif Oqab, who took third spot. Lim earned a spot in the Top 32 finals after finishing 16th overall but Jason was less fortunate in 36th position missing the cut by 30 pins.

“I knew I had to work very hard in the third block if I was to have any chance of making the cut,” said the 17-year-old Justin Lim, who shot a perfect game at the same bowling centre during the Asian Youth CHampionship in January this year.

“I had a good start with two high games which really inspired me. I struggled in the third but luckily uncle Francis urged me on and guided me all the way. I’m glad to make the cut and now I must work even harder.”   Mark Wong ended his debut in 48th position with 3594 (average 199.67), Basil Low 64th position (average 193.28) and Eugene Low 73rd (average 186.28). Swedes, Robert Anderson and Martin Larsen dominated the qualifying to occupy the top 2 positions with 4051 and 4020.

Top female, Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysia took third spot with 3972, thanks to a 5 pin handicap per game she received. Three-time European Tour champion, Osku Palermaa of Finland and England’s Darren Cundy rounded up the top 5.

The top 28 plus top 4 local advanced into the Top 32 finals in which they will bowl 8 games with pins carried forward. The top 15 plus one local will make the cut for the Top 16 round-robin matchplay finals over two blocks Tuesday and Wednesday.

The top 5 will proceed to the stepladder grand finals to determine who will win the top prize of US$25,000. The top 4 women finishers will also contest their stepladder finals for the women’s title.

Detailed scores: Block 3 Squad B | Block 3 Combined | Photo Album. Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.