11th December, Doha: Singaporeans dominated Squad 16 as Remy Ong shot to the front of the overall qualifying standings of the 8th Qatar International Open with 1415 to top the squad with compatriot, Jason Yeong-Nathan in second.
Immediately after leading the 9.00am Squad 15 with 1301 to secure a spot in 25th position in the overall standings, the 30-year-old Ong moved onto his next attempt to try and improve on his score.
The Singaporean opened with a superb 248 then set the lanes at Qatar Bowling Center ablaze with a 280 scorcher in the second. At the halfway mark, Ong was already 172 over and looked set to beat the 1402 mark set by Finn, Osku Palermaa.
Ong, winner of two gold medals in the Busan Asian Games in 2002 and two gold medals at the 2006 World Men’s Championship, was unstoppable cruising home with 214 and 228 to give himself a total of 1415 and becoming the new pole sitter.
"I know I've taken over the lead but it’s not over yet. There is still the final to come," said Ong after scoring the highest six-games series thus far. "But I'm glad that I've made the cut for the Stage 3 finals together with Jason (Yeong-Nathan).
"The lines are extremely tight and if you lose a bit of focus, you're in trouble. I just made sure I maintain my rhythm and keep my concentration. Teammate, Jason Yeong-Nathan posted 1333 as a warm up squad prior to tomorrow's finals to finish second to Ong.
Jason had already made the top 6 qualifying group in fourth before being pushed down one rung by his teammate and new leader. Third in the squad was Canada's Caroline Lagrange, who shot 1325 plus the 48-pins handicap.
Lagrange's compatriot, Mark Buffa became the first competitor in the championship to shoot a perfect game. Buffa achieved the feat during game four and was looking good to move up the standings substantially until a poor final game gave him a total of 1297 and 32nd overall.
The final dash to make the top 38 cut for Stage 1 finals intensify in the last two squads of the championship. Those who fail will get another chance by entering for the desperado squad at midnight for the additional four slots.