|SingaporeBowling is proud to announce that Tracy See successfully defended her Singapore Nationals Woman’s Champion title and accompanying her on the podium is the youngest champion for the men – sixteen year old Cheah Ray Han.
After a marathon of 4 and a half hours and 12 games of bowling, the men’s division saw Ray Han achieving the top seed with a 2715 pinfall. Fellow team mate Jonovan Neo followed him in the second position with a 2673 pinfall. Senior division men’s champion Hairon Awang cracked the top three with a 2634 pinfall and rounded off the stepladder finalists. Defending Champion Timothy Tham could not find his form that led him to win last year’s Singapore Nationals and his runner up position during the Singapore International Open and ended up in the 11th position with a 2485 pinfall.
The women’s division saw Tracy See, the defending champion, defend her title gallantly by claiming the top seed with a 2595 pinfall. Cherie Tan, the 2016 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open Champion showed that seniority still counts for something by coming in second with a 2548 pinfall. Charlene Lim, replicating her Singapore Open form rounded the top three and proceeded to the stepladder finals with a 2542 pinfall.
The stepladder format of a one game playoff between the second and third seeds were exciting to say the least. It was a one-sided affair during the men’s first final with Hairon producing nine strikes to achieve a 248 game, the crowd cheering on raucously for the outsider to beat a national bowler. Jonovan had a tougher time of it by having three open frames and could only manage a 178 game. The women’s side was quieter with a tense match between Cherie and Charlene. In the end, only six pins separated the both of them, the lanes giving them problems as they both had two open frames each. But Cherie prevailed with a 189 to 183 scoreline and went on to face Tracy in the finals.
The women took turns taking the lead in the finals and it came down to the wire. Tracy bowled a 197 by her tenth and final frame and Cherie needed a double in order to win. However, she could only manage a strike and the two pins that was left on the pin deck on her second shot meant that she became the runner up with a final score of 190.
The men had the same issue with both taking turns with the lead. Hairon closed out his tenth frame with a 200 score and Ray Han had to strike out the last three in order to win. However, he was unable to double and left his final frame open for a 186 score. Ray Han’s top seed advantage meant that the contender Hairon forced a replay and the two started from scratch.
The second game saw both Ray Han and Hairon slipping up in the beginning stages, Ray Han having an open first frame and Hairon the second. However, Ray Han roared back with a vengeance after that and produced eight strikes that gave him a commanding 237 score. Hairon could not replicate his form from the first game and ended with a 186 score. The champion for the Senior division could only manage to clinch the 1st runner up position.
When asked about his feelings on the match, Ray Han told SingaporeBowling, “I had a relaxed mentality about the match because I knew that if I lost the first one, I still had a second game to fix my problems. So when I went into the second game, I knew what I had to do in order to get better quickly. I want to tell the younger bowlers that so long as you continue to work hard, your dreams do come true.”
Tracy made the decision to go second in order to finish first. “I was more anxious about facing Cherie in the finals rather than defending my title. I made the decision to let her finish after me precisely because I didn’t want that extra pressure. I am very happy to have defended my title and hopefully, this win will be able to help me get a SPEX scholarship next year. I would love to compete on the PWBA tour with Cherie and the other SPEX scholars.”
It was fitting that Singapore’s very first world champion Adelene Wee was present as the Guest of Honor to present the trophies to these young guns, the ones who will continue to fly the Singapore flag high. SingaporeBowling would like to congratulate Tracy and Ray Han on becoming the 47th Singapore Nationals champions.