Tan on a roll from the start

Singapore bowler Jazreel Tan beat American Stefanie Johnson to win the PWBA Lubbock Sports Open.
Singapore bowler Jazreel Tan beat American Stefanie Johnson to win the PWBA Lubbock Sports Open.PHOTO: SINGAPORE BOWLING FEDERATION

S'pore bowler savours PWBA title amid solid field in Texas as she is usually a slow starter

After more than a decade of bowling at the elite level, Jazreel Tan is certainly not unfamiliar with the thrills of victory.

But even she could not explain the commanding fashion in which she won the Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) Lubbock Sports Open yesterday.

The 25-year-old Singaporean defeated American Stefanie Johnson 257-246 in the step-ladder finals, winning the Republic's first title on the newly-relaunched PWBA Tour.

Tan led the event through 12 games of qualifying and 16 games of round-robin match play, held over two days, before beating Team USA bowler Johnson to pocket the top prize of US$10,000 (S$13,700).

"It was pretty amazing," she told The Straits Times in a phone interview from Lubbock, Texas.

 

BREATHING SPACE

"It gave me some leeway to take my time to think and try out different things and be more daring with decisions."

JAZREEL TAN, on how taking the lead from the start helped her plan her strategy

"I'm usually quite a late starter and this is the first time that I've led from start to finish.

"I've never been in this position before but it's nice.

"It gave me some leeway to take my time to think and try out different things and be more daring with decisions."

While the new PBWA Tour is only into its first season, the Lubbock event attracted a near-capacity field of 74 competitors, many of them experienced bowlers.

Johnson has been on the Team USA side for more than a decade. The Texan had qualified for the step-ladder finals fourth but was in stellar form, taking out compatriots Danielle McEwan (233-159) before beating Missy Parkin (213-158) for a spot in the championship match.

"The field was pretty strong, a lot of the main Team USA bowlers were here," said Tan, a four-time first-team All-American and two-time collegiate player of the year at Wichita State from 2009 -13.

Tan added that she was wary of the momentum that Johnson was riding on.

"I was just trying to take it one shot at a time.

"I knew she would post a big score and I had to continue doing what I've been doing. Thankfully, the strikes came," she said.

A mistake from Johnson in the seventh frame after posting four straight strikes gave Tan the lead and the championship.

Said Tan: "I managed to stay calm, grind out the games and at least keep myself in the running."

Her team-mates Shayna Ng, Cherie Tan and Daphne Tan made matchplay after finishing among the top 16.

New Hui Fen missed out in 17th.

The team will compete in the Wichita Open, another PWBA event, next in Kansas.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2015, with the headline 'Tan on a roll from the start'. Print Edition | Subscribe