Youths snatch under-18 Masters titles

3rd June, Singapore: Singapore youths snatched both the Boy's and Girl's Under-18 Masters titles of the 42nd Singapore International Open in the final game at Superbowl SAFRA Mount Faber on Wednesday morning.  Shaun Lau upstaged his older opponents to win the Boy's crown with an impressive 215 average while newly-crowned Girl's Under-15 champion, Daphne Aw took her second title in two days with victory in the Girl's Under-18 division.

Marcus Chan Wei Hao set the early pace with a 232 opening game to lead Asian Schools Singles bronze medalist, Paul Yap Henzhong in second, 23 pins adrift. But Chan's lead only lasted one game as Malaysia's Chong Jun Foo surged into the front after the second game.

Top qualifier, Shaun Lau, who was trailing Chong, overtook the Malaysian to lead by 9 pins but Chong regained the lead at the halfway mark by a similar margin of 9 pins.


Chong continued to fire consistently high games to lead the next three games and looked set to add to his collection of titles but disaster struck the 16-year-old Sarawakian when he downed 167 while Shaun stormed home with 236 to snatch the victory and the title with 1720.

"I didn't bowl well yesterday in the Under-15 finals and I missed a lot of spares," said the extremely shy 14-year-old Maris Stella Sec 2 student, Shaun Lau. "I knew I was trailing the Malaysian and I just made sure that I finish in the top 3.

"But I didn't realise that I had won it!" exclaimed the excited champion, who had top the qualifying table of the Under-15 and and Under-18 divisions. Shaun's best-ever effort was finishing third in last year's Under-16 Masters finals.

Chong, who won the Under-16 title in 2007, settled for second with 1698 while Tay Hu Chiang finished in the podium in third spot with 1662.

Undoubtedly, the star of the youth finals was Daphne Aw. The 13-year-old Methodist Girls School Sec 2 student had won the Girl's Under-15 crown yesterday with a convincing margin of 125 pins ahead of her nearest rival.

But her victory in this division was not as easy after a keen tussle with Filipina, Alyssa Marie B Corpuz for the lead had developed from the third game onwards. Alyssa had, at one stage, built up a lead of as much as 31 pins but was reduced to just 6 pins by Daphne before the final game.

A final game of 198 helped Daphne to take the win with a total of 1543, 33 pins ahead of Alyssa, who managed only 171 in her last game to end with 1501. Grace Tan LiWei did well to finished third with 1495.


"Winning yesterday was much easier but today I had to work extra hard and made sure I make good shots," said the delighted Daphne Aw, who enjoyed her first success by emerging as the 'C' Division Champion in the 2008 National Schools Championship.

Qualifying will continue for the next two days and the Youth Boys and Girls Masters finals will be held tomorrow morning. The Men's and Women's Open Masters will be staged on June 5 and 6.


Photos by Terence Yaw for SBF.