SINGAPORE - Twice, it came down to the 10th and final frame for national bowlers Cherie Tan and Jazreel Tan and both times the result did not go the way of the Singaporeans as they finished second and third respectively at the Nationwide PWBA Greater Cleveland Open on Saturday (April 27).
Fortune instead favoured American Josie Barnes, 30, as she claimed a narrow victory in the season opener of the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour and the US$10,000 (S$13,600) winner's cheque.
In the stepladder final against top seed Cherie, Barnes was trailing by a single point going into the final frame. Barnes, bowling first, hit three consecutive strikes which meant Cherie needed to do the same to claim the title.
The 30-year-old south-paw was denied a strike on her first delivery however, with the 9 pin still standing. She went on to lose to Barnes 223-213.
The semi-final against Jazreel was also high on drama. Jazreel had finished first, knocking three strikes in the 10th frame to force Barnes to collect 26 pins to win.
Barnes knocked two strikes and toppled seven pins to win 234-232.
Despite the defeat, Cherie, who led each round during the week and averaged a leading 239.17 pinfalls after 30 games of qualifying, was pleased with her consistency.
She said: "It's a great start for the tour and four of us made top 12 (teammates Bernice Lim was sixth and New Hui Fen was 10th overall).
"Unfortunately, the stepladder final didn't go my way. But at the end of the day, I'm pleased with my performance as I bowled well. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going for the next few stops and do well as a team."
She and her teammates will next compete in the May 2-4 PWBA Twin Cities Open in Eagan, Minnesota.
There was plenty to work on for Jazreel, who drew positives from her run to the semi-final at Yorktown Lanes. She rolled nine strikes to beat American Shannon Pluhowsky 266-225 in the first knock-out round.
Jazreel, 29, said: "My game has been pretty bad for a while and everything I have tried thus far hasn't worked. Still continued to work on it hoping it'll get better someday, so pretty glad it kinda worked out this weekend.
"Still don't think I have it all figured out yet but I guess this is a small step towards the right direction again. And that's a morale booster definitely.
"It's a pretty good start as a team and we have four more stops to go so still tons to work on and do but all we can do and control is continue to work on our game while we are still out here and be in the best condition we can be."