Foreign bowlers make their mark

1st June, Singapore: Foreign bowlers made their mark in the qualifying rounds of the 43rd Singapore International Open as Surasak Manuwong of Thailand surpassed the 1,000-mark in his fifth attempt to lead the Men's Open table on Tuesday. The 32-year-old Surasak started off with 236 and 259 in his first two games and almost shot the tournament's first 300 but was unlucky to leave a single pin in his 12th and final throw of the third game for 299.

The 2007 SEA Games gold medalist ended with another splendid 267 for a sizzling 4-game total of 1061 to lead the Men's Open Masters overall qualifying standings. Surasak has always shown superb form in qualifying but has yet to win a title.

Overnight leader, Aaron Kong of Malaysia settled for second with 970 ahead of another Thai, Somjed Kusonpithak third with 962. Another Malaysian, Kang Bo Long and India's Dilbir Singh completed the top 5.   In the local pool, Singapore Sports School's Howard Saw surprised many when he posted 956 to take over the running and fourth overall. Saw's effort dislodged overnight leader, Justin Lim Chun Liang in second with 950.

Ex-national, Sam Goh showed he has what it takes to compete in the top level when he reeled in 939 to take up third spot with Remy Ong slipping down to fourth with 927 and Mark Wong improving to fifth with 915. The foreign women also made their mark after Sinai Open first runnerup, Zandra Aziela of Malaysia surged into the lead of the Women's Open Masters overseas pool with 931. Chinese Taipei's Le Hsiao Ping took second with 910.

National rookie, Kristel Oh outshone her more experienced team-mates after she scorched the lanes at the 4.30pm squad to register a superb 963 and moving into the lead of the local as well as the oversall standings.

Overnight leader, Cherie Tan Shi Hua and her youngster sister, Daphne Tan settled for second and third with 937 and 922 respectively. Amanda Ng and New Hui Fen completed the top 5 with 891 and 883.   Tan Yan Ling, who was third in the mixed pool of the Women's Open table, also topped the Youth Girls division with 894. Gina Lim slipped down to second with 861 while newly-crowned Girls Under-18 champion, Oriana Tay was third with 858.

Malaysia's Chan Wei Siang led the Youth Boys division with 907 followed by Jonathan Ang Wei Xiang in second and Keith Saw third with 891 and 890 respectively.

The qualifying rounds for the senior will end tonight while the rest of the divisions will two more days left. The Masters finals of the Senior division will be held tomorrow morning.

  Photos by Terence Yaw for SBF.