Singaporean eying first major title

4th June, Singapore: Asian Youth Games two gold medalist, New Hui Fen turned in a superb performance for her first major title after finishing second in the Women’s Open first block finals of the 43rd Singapore International Open on Friday evening. 2008 Malaysian Open champion and national bowler, Jazreel Tan had a great start with a 246 opening game but had to contend with second after Malaysian reigning national champion, Sin Li Jane fired a higher 266.

Asian Youth Games two gold medalist, New Hui Fen shot the highest game of the block with 278 to surge into the lead, 32 pins ahead of Li Jane as Jazreel dropped off her pace with a poor 186.

Youth Girls first runnerup, Gina Lim registered three consistent games of 225, 224 and 241 to take over the running with the Taiwanese hot on her heels as both Hui Fen and Li Jane slipped away from the lead.   Li Jane bounced back galantly to regain the lead but lost to Hui Fen again after the sixth game as the duo fought fiercely for the lead. But the Malaysian ended the first block stronger to take pole position with 1764. Hui Fen settled for second with 1746, just 18 pins adrift while Hsiao-Ping took third spot with 1712. Two Malaysians, Esther Cheah and Zandra Aziela rounded up the top 5 with 1704 and 1682 respectively.

“The high game helped me to take the lead in after the second game and another high game in the sixth also gave me a brief lead,” said the 18-year-old Hui Fen. “I need to be more consistent in the second block in order to give myself a chance to fight for the title.

“But I’m happy with my performance today and really have to work much harder tomorrow,” added Hui Fen. Other than Hui Fen, the next best Singaporean was 2008 champion, Cherie Tan, who finished ninth with 1630.   Other national bowlers in the finals were Daphne Tan in 11th, Jazreel Tan 12th, Gina Lim 15th, Kristel Oh (tie) 17th, Bernice Lim 20th, Shayna Ng 23rd, Amanda Ng 25th, Anthea Soh 27th, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan 28th, Geraldine Ng 29th and Teo Li Ying 30th.

The women will resume with their second block of 8 games tomorrow morning followed by the men in the afternon. The top 4 finishers will advance to the stepladder finals.

  Photos by Terence Yaw for SBF.