National rookie grabs lead
2nd June, Singapore: National development squad rookie, Kristel Oh Shao Jing grabbed the lead of the Women's Open Masters table as the qualifying rounds of the 43rd Singapore International Open moves the final day tomorrow. After having made more than ten attempts in the qualifying rounds over the past week, Kristel Oh finally made good on her 11th try rolling 236, 236, 235 and 257 for a sizzling 963 total which hauled the 20-year-old to the top of the Women's Open Masters leaderboard.
Kristel first tasted success when she took the Women's Graded Masters crown in the 2008 Singapore National Championship. She also triumphed in the National Championship Youth Girl's Open the following year.
Since being ropped into the national development squad, Kristel will be hoping to prove her merit with a good performance in the finals this weekend and perhaps earn her more outings in open championships this year.
"I was struggling with my earlier attempts and I decided to scuff the bowling ball I was using and it did the magic," said Kristel Oh. Her effort dislodged overnight leader, Cherie Tan in second spot in the local pool.
Malaysia's Shalin Zulkifli, who almost brought home a perfect game in her last game at the 2.30pm squad, finished off her tenth attempt with 289 and a total 943 but fell short by 20 pins to overtake the Singaporean.
Shalin took over the lead in the overseas pool with Zandra Aziela giving Malaysia a one-two finish on 931. Chinese Taipei's Li Hsiao-Ping impressed with 910 to take up third spot. The current cut off mark is 832 by Hong Kong's Sylvia Kong, ninth in the mixed pool.
The Men's Open division lead looked unlikely to be challenged after Thailand's Surasak Manuwong posted an incredible 1061. Malaysia's Aaron Kong separated the Thais in second with 970 ahead of Somjed Kusonpithak third with 962.
Singapore's youngster, Howard Saw topped the local pool with 956 followed by Justin Lim Chun Liang in second with 950 and ex-national, Sam Goh third with 939 and Suadi Open champion, Remy Ong fourth with 927.
Five bowlers surpassed the 900-mark today with Hong Kong's Rickle Kam occupying eighth with 928, Malaysia's Zaid Izlan tenth with 914, Zulmazran Zulkifli first in the mixed pool with 907, Indonesia's Ryan Lalisang second in the mixed pool with 906.
Hong Kong's Eric Tseng was the fifth bowler with exactly 900 to take up fifth in the mixed pool. With a few squads remaining to day and the last qualifying day tomorrow, the cut off will surely by higher.
There were very little changes in the Youth Boys and Youth Girls division as their last chance to qualify will be at the 6.30pm squad today. Their Masters finals will be held tomorrow at 9.30am.
Photos by Terence Yaw for SBF.