Scramble for finals heats up

3rd June, Singapore: The scramble for a place in the Masters finals heated up as the 43rd SIngapore International Open qualifying round comes to an end this evening at Orchid Bowl @ Orchid Country Club. Singapore’s youngster, Howard Saw sat firmly atop the Men’s Open Masters local qualifying pool with his superb 956 posted several days ago while the overall leader and Thailand’s Surasak Manuwong’s score of 1061 looked unbeatable.

As scores began to soar, several bowlers made the cut notably, Yannaphon Larpapharat who improved from his earlier score to 941 to take up fifth in the overseas pool. Joining him was Badin Lerdpiriyasakulkit with 918 in 11th position.

Two Taiwanese, Cheng Chao-Yu and Tsai Ting Yun are safely in the same pool in sxith and tenth positions respectively. Five Malaysians, led by the highest scorer, Aaron Kong also made the cut.

Bahrain’s representative in the finals was Osama Khalfan, who only made it at the 4.30pm squad with 910 who knocked out 2008 champion and current Asian Ranked No. 1, Hussain Al-Suwaidi from the mixed pool.   The top 13 from the local pool, top 13 from the overseas pool and top 12 from the mixed pool will be joined by the defending champion, Shaker Al-Hassan of UAE and the top 4 qualifier from the single-game desperado squad will contest the finals over two blocks of 8 games on June 4 and 5. Meanwhile in the Women’s division, Sin Li Jane and Esther Cheah of Malaysia made the cut today with scores of 903 and 901 to join their team-mates, Shalin Zulkifli, Zandra Aziela and Wendy Chai, who qualified earlier.

Kristel Oh remained atop the overall standings and the local pool with 963 as Shalin topped the overseas pool with 943. Ex-national, Jennifer Tan occupied the last spot of the local pool with 864.

Indonesia is well represented by four qualifiers with Ivana Hie leading Thailand Open champion, Tannya Roumimper, Putty Armein and ABF Tour TOC winner, Sharon Limansantoso. Chinese Taipei also has three qualifiers and Hong Kong two.

The current cut off for the women is occupied by Tan Yan Ling with a score of 842 with Bernice Lim just one spot above her with 857.   The top 10 from the local pool, top 10 from the overseas pool, top 9 from the mixed pool will be joined by the defending champion, Sharon Koh of Malaysia for their finals over two blocks of 8 games each. The top 4 men and top 4 women at the end of the two blocks will advance to the stepladder grand finals to determine this year’s champion.

  Photos by Terence Yaw for SBF.