On course for a stepladder spot

5th June, Singapore: Reigning World Cup champion and Sportswomen of the Year, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan stepped up her game to finish a creditable third in the Women's Open first block Masters finals of the 42nd Singapore International Open on Friday evening.  Jasmine Yeong-Nathan had a stormy start in the opening game of the 8-game Women's Open first block finals with 267 but still found herself trailing two Malaysians, Sharon Koh and Shaling Zulkifli, who tied for top spot with 279.

As Shalin could only shoot 199 in her second game, the Singaporean registered 213 to move up to second behind Sharon, who held on to the lead with 217. But the 21-year-old 2005 National champion stumbled with two lowly games of 183 and 188 to allow the Malaysian duo to pull away.

Sharon continued to fire consistently to end the block with 1882 ahead of the recovering Shalin Zulkifli in second with 1879, just 3 pins separating the pair. Jasmine bounced back with 244, 208, 229 and 234 in the second half to storm home for third spot with 1766.


"I was very happy with the way I started today's finals but I was also a bit surprise to find trailing the Malaysians," said Jasmine, who raised a few eyebrows by winning the women's title of AMF World Cup in Mexico in November 2008.

"I struggled a bit in the third and fourth games and thankfully, my coach pointed out to me on a slightly different line to bowl thereafter. I'm glad I was able to bounce back with several high games to move up the field.

"I made the stepladder finals in the 2007 Singapore Open but was eliminated in the first match so my aim this time round would be to go all the way to the title match - if I do make the finals tomorrow. It'll be nice to add another trophy with a victory."

Reigning SIngapore national champion and first runner-up of the Malaysian Open in March, Geraldine Ng finished fifth to give Singapore a good position if two do make the top 6 cut after the second block.

Geraldine amassed a total of 1743 behind 2007 Singapore Open champion, Zatil Iman of Malaysia on 1756. Korea's Kim Eun Jung rounded up the top 6 with 1734. Other SIngaporeans in with a shot at making the cut were Amanda Ng in ninth with 1714, just 30 pins off sixth position.


Gina Lim (12th-1663), defending champion Cherie Tan (13th-1649), newly-crowned Youth Girl's champion, Kristel Oh (16th-1604), Bernice Lim (17th-1601), Jazreel Tan (19th-1584), Teo Li Ying (20th-1583), Nicole WOng (26th-1485), Daphne Tan (27th-1471) and Shayna Ng (28th-1421) were the other Singaporean women in the finals.

The bowlers will continue their second block finals at 12.00 noon on Saturday and the men will contest their first block earlier at 9.00am.

Photos by Terence Yaw for SBF.