Second youth title to Singapore
25th December, Penang: Michaela Oehler of the Singapore Sports School clinched a second youth title for the country to celebrate Christmas day with victory in the Youth Girl's Open Masters finals of the 37th Penang Pesta International Open. Michaela Oehler set a cracking pace with a sizzling 246 opening game to lead Sabah's Nabilah Kassim by 24 pins. The 16-year-old continued to set the pace with 217, 209, 299 and 227 in her four two games but a strong 268 from Jo Hyun Jung allowed the Korean youngster to take over the running at the halfway point.
But Jo dropped her pace with 184, 195 and 136 in games seven to nine as Michaela bounced back with 226, 220 and 195 to regain the lead, 91 pins ahead of the Korean.
Despite easing off with 192 and Jo recovering with a strong 257, Michaela held on to the lead to clinch her first-ever title with 2115. Jo settled for second with 2089 while Nabilah Kassim took third spot with 2011.
Singapore's Kristel Oh did well to finish fourth with 1987 with local lass, Fatin Hazwani Bt Hassan completing the top 5 with 1967. Girl's 16 and under second runner-up, Stacy Lian ended up in eighth with 1954.Korea's top bowler, Choi Bok Eum denied Johnathan Chan of Malaysia, who celebrated his 18th birthday on Christmas day a victory in the Youth Boy's Open Masters finals. Choi amassed 2340 to snatch victory in the final two games for the title.
Johnathan, who was second last year, again settled for second with 2318 ahead of another Korean, Jang Dong Chul third with 2200. Dinie Faliq B Mokhtar and another Korean youth, Kim Sung Jun rounded up the top 5.
Later in the day, SBF's Gregory Gan was the only Singaporean who made the cut for the second block finals of the Men's Open Masters when he finished fifth with 2239. Choi Bok Eum led the field with 2426 ahead of two Malaysians, Daniel Lim and Alex Liew in second and third.
Ex-national Vincent Lim of Singapore missed the cut in 15th followed by Benjamin Hong 16th. Suresh Elangovan was 20th, Asri Bin Asman 22nd while newly-crowned Senior Masters champion, Sandra Sageran and Singapore Sports School's Ng Chiew Pang ended at the tail end of the field.
None of the three Singapore women made the top 10 cut in the Ladies' Open division with Daphne Tan being the best performer in 11th position. Jennifer Tan and newly-crowned Youth Girl's 16 and under champion, Tan Yan Ling in 14th and 16th position.
The top 12 men and top 10 ladies will contest the round-robin matchplay second block finals on Boxing day with pinfalls brought forward from today's first block to determine this year champions.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Penang.