Bowling: Ng fends off spinners and Tan for victory

Shayna Ng (left) got the better of her fellow Singaporean Cherie Tan in Shanghai.
Shayna Ng (left) got the better of her fellow Singaporean Cherie Tan in Shanghai.PHOTO COURTESY OF SHAYNA NG

By Shayna Ng's lofty standards, the season has not been shabby - it just has not quite translated into a win on the lanes.

That changed yesterday at the Hao's Bowling Centre in Shanghai, when she beat team-mate Cherie Tan 223-205 in the women's stepladder final to win the China Open - her first victory of the year.

Ng entered the step-ladder finals as top seed, having performed consistently throughout the qualifiers for a score of 1,295 pinfalls over six games in the second round.

Not that the 27-year-old took that as an indication that she would be the favourite. After all, despite being consistent all year, the reigning Sportswoman of the Year had yet to pick up a title until yesterday.

She posted top-10 finishes at the highly competitive Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) Sonoma County Open and Sacramento Open, and was also third at the US Women's Open, a Major on the PWBA circuit.

"I've had very consistent showings at all the PWBA stops - I just didn't execute well enough for a win," she said shortly after her victory yesterday. "Going into the final against Cherie was no easy feat. It was anybody's game and we both bowled great. I'm just thankful I finished well."

Team Singapore keglers rarely compete in China, since the country does not often host international Opens. The last time Ng bowled in China was at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.

Besides the relatively unfamiliar environment, the bowlers also had to adapt their strategy since many of China's bowlers are spinners, rather than the more ubiquitous hook style.

Said Ng, who won 30,000 yuan (S$6,174): "There were a lot of spinners here, which affected the lane play and we couldn't use our normal strategy because it wouldn't have worked. That was the challenging part as I've never bowled against so many spinners before, so I'm glad I overcame it."

Tan, who ensured an all-Singaporean title decider after she beat Indonesia's Sharon Limansantoso and Tannya Roumimper with a score of 199 (versus 167 and 194 respectively). She won 18,000 yuan as runner-up.

The Hao's Bowling Centre will next host the QubicaAMF World Cup from Oct 14-23. Singapore will be represented by Bernice Lim in the women's event, while Norman Cai will fly the flag for the men.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2016, with the headline 'Ng fends off spinners and Tan for victory'. Print Edition | Subscribe