It may not have been the most ideal National Day present to bring home to Singapore, but nonetheless bowlers Shayna Ng and New Hui Fen are still proud of what they achieved at the prestigious US Women's Open on Sunday.
Ng finished third in Addison, Illinois to match Jazreel Tan's bronze-medal finish last year. New was fourth.
Said Ng, the reigning Sportswoman of the Year: "I was going to try to win it and say it's a birthday present for Singapore but that didn't quite work out."
Ng, 27, and New, 24, amassed total pinfalls of 11,843 and 11,774 over 48 games to enter the step-ladder finals as the second and third seeds respectively.
However, both were ousted by the United States' two-time defending champion Liz Johnson, who dispatched New 215-200 before beating Ng 209-180 to advance to the championship match. She then beat compatriot Shannon Pluhowsky 208-143 to clinch her fifth crown.
Ng had pipped Johnson by a single pinfall last December to win the All Events title at the Women's World Bowling Championships, becoming the first Singaporean kegler to achieve that feat.
The US Women's Open is one of the most difficult tournaments held in the country, owing to its intensive schedule and oiling patterns which, according to Ng, many professional bowlers "rate as one of the toughest patterns they have bowled on".
Finalists had to bowl 24 games over three days of qualifying, and then 16 games in each of the following two days.
Ng said the challenge for her and New was to remain at the top of their game throughout.
She said: "In the past two days, we bowled for about 10 hours a day. And I have had to focus for every shot.
"It was like a marathon."
Ng, who will be arriving back in Singapore tomorrow morning, added: "Of course this is not as ideal as winning. But I felt that I've given my best and the outcome was not within my control. I am going home with no regrets."