National champion stakes claim on title

27th May, Singapore: Two-time national champion, Jazreel Tan staked her claim on the Women's Open Masters title of the 41st Singapore International Open as she stormed into the lead on Monday at Superbowl Safra Mount Faber.  The recently crowned Malaysian Open champion posted 891 in her ninth attempt to lead Singapore's charge in their bid to regain the women's title since ex-national Evelyn Chan last won it in 2003.

The 18-year-old Jazreel, who was sensational when she was crowned the national women champion in 2004 at the age of 15. But she was unable to repeat her amazing feat the following year.

Jazreel almost won the women's Masters gold medal in the 2005 Manila SEA Games but had to settle for the silver after going down to Liza Clutario in the stepladder finals. The Oakland University of Technology student was so near to winning the Masters gold medal when she made her debut in the 2006 World Women's Championship in Mexico.

She rebounded by recapturing the national women's crown in 2007 and then went on to claim her first-ever international title when she triumphed in the Malaysian Open in March this year.

"I just couldn't score well and maintain consistency in my other previous attempts," said Jazreel. "It was a lot better yesterday and I left very little pin 10s. I'll make a few more rounds just to try out other lines so that I can do well in the Masters," added the Singaporen youngster who hvae never made the stepladder finals in the championship.

Ex-national, Valerie Teo remained in secon just 6 pins behind the leader with 2002 World Ranking Masters champion, Jennifer Tan third with 883. Malaysia's Zandra Aziela topped both the overseas and overall table with 902 posted 2 days ago.

Other title contenders from the Singaore national team are Ong She-Na (876), 2005 national champion, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan (862), last year's second runnerup, Cherie Tan (859), Sabrina Lim (845), Amanda Ng (834), Gina Lim (833) and Daphne Tan (830).

While Singapore national youth, Eugene Low continued to top the local pool with 946 followed by veteran, Jack Wong and Remy Ong second and third with 938 and 935 respectively, 2006 Singapore Open champion, Lee Yu-Wen and 2005 national champion, Jason Yeong-Nathan all have a shot in title with good finishes in fourth ans sixth spots.

Qatar's Abdulla Al-Qattan, meanwhile shot the highest 4-game total of 968 to take overall top spot and head the overseas pool. Zulmazran Zulkifli and Daniel Lim also impressed with 967 and 940 to put Malaysia in the fray for the men's crown.

Zulmazran, who bagged the Malaysian Open Masters title in March, also did well to finish second in the 8th World Ranking Masters in Jakarta early this month while Lim, who lost to Finn Mika Koivuniemi last year, will be looking to go one notch up this time round.

Photos by Terence Yaw for SBF.