17th March, K.Lumpur: Singapore national bowlers were making good progress on the penultimate day of qualifying at the 33rd Canon Malaysian International Open on Wednesday.
Remy Ong, who recently had a string of good results but was unlucky when he finished second runnerup in the inaugural Dubai Open. Ong went on to advance into the stepladder finals of the H.H. Emir CUp in Doha last month but was denied a podium finish.
Determined not to go away without a title especially showing consistent form these few months, Ong will certainly be Singapore’s strongest contender for the Men’s Open Masters crown – a title which has eluded the 31-year-old thus far.
The Singaporean made his first few attempts but struggled to find his line managing only 1258 for 13th spot in the mixed pool yesterday.
But he returned to the lanes today to reel off 679 and then fired a superb 704 for a 6-game aggregate of 1383 which moved him up to tie with Naif Oqab of UAE in fifth spot in the overseas pool.
Hong Kong wonder kid and Asian Youth Championship Masters gold medalist, Michael Mak scorched the lanes to grab the lead with 1458 from team-mate, Wu Siu Hong, who dropped to second with 1439.
Last year’s European Tour first runnerup, Dominic Barrett of England impressed in his debut at the championship to take up third in the standings with 1430 followed by Thailand’s Badin Lerdpiriyasakukit fourth with 1386.
Malaysia’s national backup squad member, who topped the local pool with 1455, was second overall in the standings. Chong Jun Foo, Kang Bo Long and Mohd Noer Said completed the top 4.
Meanwhile, Singapore women also made good progress in their second qualifying day. 2008 AMF World Cup champion, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan led the charge with 1375 to take up third spot behind Indonesia’s Tannya Roumimper and Hong Kong Sylvia Kong.
Shayna Ng and New Hui Fen have confirmed their places in the Masters finals with a sixth and eighth place finish in the overseas pool with 1308 and 1242.
The top 3 positions in the local pool were dominated by Malaysian national backup squad members with Dayang Khairuniza, Sin Li Jane and Nur Syakirah Yeoh with 1334, 1303 and 1300 scorelines respectively.
The top 4 men qualifiers from the local pool and top 4 women qualifiers from the overseas pool would earn by into the Round 2 finals as the rest will have to battle it out in Round 1. Likewise, the top 3 women (local pool) and top 3 women (overseas pool) will also earn byes.
Qualifying ends tomorrow and the Masters finals will be staged over two days on March 18 and March 19.