Bowling: Singapore's Shayna Ng claims maiden PWBA Tour title in Las Vegas

Shayna Ng (pictured, in 2017) won the Las Vegas Open on April 29, 2018.
Shayna Ng (pictured, in 2017) won the Las Vegas Open on April 29, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

LAS VEGAS - In her bowling career that has spanned for more than a decade now, Shayna Ng has won medals and titles at various international and regional tournaments.

The accolades include the all-events gold at the 2015 World Women's Championships, the 2012 AMF World Cup title, as well as the team gold at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

But the 28-year-old scored a first in her illustrious career on Sunday (April 29, Singapore time) when she won the Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) Las Vegas Open title. It was her first title on the PWBA circuit.

"It means a lot to me, I have been on tour for a couple of years now and I've made a couple of (TV finals), but I've never won anything yet. So this means a lot to me," Ng told the PWBA website, referring to the televised step-ladder finals.

Ng finished third in the 2016 US Women's Open and the 2013 United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Queens.

The Singaporean topped the 112-strong field after the two qualifying rounds with 3,640 pins at the South Point Bowling Center, but fell to third after the Round of 32 with 5,403 pins from 24 games, behind Latvia's Diana Zavjalova (5,502) and American Liz Johnson (5,424).

But Ng displaced Johnson in second place after the Round of 12 to enter the step-ladder finals on Sunday as the second seed.

She told The Straits Times: "It would have been ideal to be the top seed because if I were the top seed, I would just need to win one match (to win the title)... but I was glad it turned out well."

Leanne Hulsenberg beat her fellow USBC Hall of Fame inductee Liz Johnson 213-202 in the first round of the step-ladder finals, but lost 167-193 to Ng in the second round of the finals.

Ng told ST: "Both Leanne and Liz are super experienced players, they both are Hall of Famers and either would have been hard to beat.

"But, in bowling, your main opponent is really just yourself. It is really about overcoming the pressure and just staying in the moment to focus at one shot at a time.

"Having said that, I think the match against Leanne helped me loosen up a bit more, and allowed me to understand the lanes, the same ones that were used in the final match."

Ng used that advantage to beat Zavjalova 231-211 in the last round of the final to win her second title in two weeks. She had defeated team-mate Bernice Lim to clinch the Thailand International Open title in Bangkok on April 14.

"I guess I've just been bowling pretty decently and I'm jus trying to maintain my current form," said Ng, who collected US$10,000 (S$13,240) in prize money for her PWBA win.

"It's pretty surreal to be winning two titles back to back, but I'll take it and enjoy the moment while it lasts."

With her victory yesterday, Ng joins her team-mates Jazreel Tan (2015 Lubbock Sports Open), Cherie Tan (2016 Sacramento Open), Lim (2016 USBC Queens) and New Hui Fen (2016 Tour Championship) as winners on the PWBA Tour.

Singaporeans Daphne Tan (10th), Joey Yeo (12th), Lim (18th), Geraldine Ng (29th), Cherie Tan (31st), New (36th), Jazreel Tan (38th) and Tracy See (55th) also competed in the Las Vegas Open.

The bowlers will compete in the PWBA Sonoma County Open in California from Thursday to Saturday before returning to Singapore.