Jasmine takes historical World Cup victory

14th November, Mexico: Jasmine Yeong-Nathan took an historical victory for Singapore in a high-scoring Women's finals of the 44th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup as Derek Eoff retained the Men's title for USA in Hermosillo on Friday evening. In a high-scoring women's finals, topseed, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan of Singapore wasted no time in her attempt to stop the defending champion and challenger, Ann-Maree Putney of Australia retaining the title.

The leader of the Top 24 rounds and the quarterfinals struck nine consecutive strikes and had a split in her last frame. But it did not matter as she had easily took the game, 263-222 in the first match.

The Singaporean, already with a perfect game to her credit during the preliminary round, looked set to score her second after 11 consecutive strikes in in front of a TV telecast but left two pins standing in her final throw.   Putney mounted her challenge but went down galantly with a score of 245 to Jasmine's 298 giving the title to the topseed and its first-ever for her country.

"I just tried to throw the best ball I could and if that meant a 300, then that is what it meant,' said the 20-year-old media and communications student and newly-crowned champion.

"I've been having some psychology sessions before coming here and concentrating on my refocusing plan, coping with setbacks. These sessions have really helped me. I'm very happy and honoured to bring back the World Cup title to Singapore for the first time."

Jasmine paid tribute to her coach, Mervyn Foo. "He was in our national team for many years and it is great to have a coach who understands what a major tournament is all about."

This is the first time that Singapore has ever won the Bowling World Cup in either the men's or the women's section. "I've been keeping in touch with home by texting my family on my i-phone," Jasmine said. "I know there is a lot of interest in what I have done here but I don’t know what to expect when I get home."

Putney had earlier ended the hopes of debutant and third-seed, Zara Glover of England when the Aussie defeated Glover, 246-219 and 248-202 to meet the topseed and a chance to become the first Australian to successfully defend the crown. In the men's section, Derek Eoff retained the men's title for USA when he beat challenger, Martin Larsen of Sweden in the finals. But the victory was hard fought after being forced into the third and deciding game.

The topseed was edged, 221-229 in the first game and tied at 279 in the second strike-fest game. A 9 and 10 frame roll-off decided the second game in fovour of the American, 59-37. The Swede ran out of steam as Eoff rolled strikes after strikes to take the third game and the title.

"This is by far my biggest win ever, way ahead of anything else. I knew I would be up against some great players and I kept looking at the QubicaAMF web site to see who would be playing here," said the 28-year-old Eoff, who works for the USBC in the Sport Bowling programme.   "I was very lucky to have Jeri (Edwards) as my coach here. She has so much experience of previous World Cups and really helped me here this week."

In the first match, Martin Larsen of Sweden defeated third-seed, Zulmazran Zukifli of Malaysia, by two games to one, 203-187, 180-237 and 249-187 to advance into the finals against Eoff.

Eoff went to University in Nebraska, attracted there by their bowling programme, and studied for a degree in business management. He plays other sports, notably baseball, soccer and softball, but his key way to keep fit is to take his rescue dog, Reeses, for a walk.

The top country award went to Sweden, Martin Larsen having come second and Helen Johnsson 4th. The award for Sportsman and Sportswoman of the tournament will be presented at the farewell dinner and party later in the evening.

Detailed scores: Women's Finals | Men's Finals | Women's Semi-finals | Men's Semi-finals. Photos by Mervyn Foo, SingaporeBowling.