Singaporean squeezes into Stage 3
18th December, Doha: Last year's second runnerup, Remy Ong squeezed into Stage 3 finals of the 9th Qatar International Open Bowling Championship in tenth and final position in the Stage 2 finals on Friday evening. Having qualified third with 1367 to earn two byes into Stage 3 finals, Ong was pushed down into seventh position on the final day of qualifying. The seventh position meant that Ong could only earn one bye and had to battle it our in Stage 2 instead.
The Singaporean did not have the best of starts managing only 204, 191 and 199 in the first half of the 6-game finals and was way down the field of 24 finalists.
A sizzling 255 in the fourth helped the left-hander to move up into the top 10 but encountered another set back after a lowly 197 which meant Ong would require a big score in the last game to stand any chance of advancing.
Ong almost lost the opportunity when he encountered a 5-pin split in the eighth frame but managed to convert it and then miraculously struck home to end with 234. Fortunes was on the Singaporean's side when Australia's George Frilingos rolled a poor 186.
The Aussie's misfortunte allowed Ong to finish tenth with 1280 to squeezed into Stage 3 finals. Sweden's Robert Andersson snatched pole position with 1392 from Norway's Tore Torgerson in second with 1379.
Another Australian, Andrew Frawley claimed third spot with 1348 ahead of England's Dominic Barrett and Norway's Mads Sandbekken finishing fourth and fifth with 1344 and 1340 respectively.
Ong's team-mate and reigning national champion, Lee Yu-Wen was less fortunate after he crashed out in the earlier Stage 1 finals in 24th position. Sweden's Mathias Arup led Stage 1 with 1444 followed by Malaysia's Zulmazran Zulkifli and USA's Tim Mack second and third.
But all the top three failed to advance into Stage 3 after Zulmazran finished 16th, Arup 21st and Mack last and 24th position in Stage 2.
The top 10 advanced into the Stage 3 finals together with the top 6 qualifiers from the preliminary rounds over the past week for another six games. The top 8 at the end of Stage 3 will proceed into Stage 4 for another 6 games with pins carried forward.
The top 4 finishers at the end of Stage 4 will proceed further into the knockout Stage 5 finals in which the No. 1 seed will be matched up against the No. 4 seed while No. 2 seed will face No. 3 seed for a two-match total pinfalls.
The winner will meet in the championship match on a two-game total pinfalls to decide the champion and a chance to win the top prize of 30,000 Euro and 15,000 Euro as first runnerup. The losers in Stage 5 will receive 5,000 Euro each.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Doha.