Bowling: Bernice Lim bowls the men and women over

Singapore bowler Bernice Lim with the AIK International trophy. She beat top seed Jesper Svensson 240-233 with an eight-pin women's handicap in the step-ladder finals on Sunday.
Singapore bowler Bernice Lim with the AIK International trophy. She beat top seed Jesper Svensson 240-233 with an eight-pin women's handicap in the step-ladder finals on Sunday.PHOTO: SINGAPORE BOWLING FEDERATION

Singaporean, aided by handicap, wins Swedish mix-gender event

Singapore bowler Bernice Lim took full advantage of the mixed-gender tournament rules to win the AIK International in Stockholm.

The women receive an eight-pin lead and that buffer proved critical as she narrowly defeated top-seeded local hope Jesper Svensson 240-233 (with the handicap applied) in the final on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Swede has won seven Professional Bowlers Association Tour titles, including the 2016 PBA Tournament of Champions.

Lim, who beat 2017 SEA Games women's Masters champion Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysia 226-220 in the opener of the step-ladder finals, won 60,000 Swedish kronor (S$9,760).

Lim told The Straits Times yesterday: "I'm very happy since it's the first tournament of the year, so it's a good start to the year.

"I've been working on my game quite a bit, just trying to make it simpler and focus more on the process, and I think this (victory) proves my work has paid off."

Her last significant win was the 2016 Professional Women's Bowling Association USBC Queens event in Las Vegas.

The 26-year-old added that while she has bowled frequently in mixed-gender tournaments on the European tour in recent years, it was her first singles triumph in such an event.

"The two people I faced (in the two final games) were Shalin and Jesper, and they are really good," said Lim. "It was quite intimidating to bowl against them, but I also felt I had nothing to lose.

"So I just enjoyed myself, focused on my game and it turned out well."

Her team-mates Daphne Tan (14th), Shayna Ng (26th) and Jasmine Yeong-Nathan (33rd) were also in the field that comprised 359 men and 96 women.

Senior national assistant coach Jason Yeong-Nathan said he was very pleased with their performances and praised their consistency.

"In mixed-gender competitions, the lanes will play differently because girls bowl further to the right, and guys bowl further to the left," he noted. "Plus, guys are more aggressive and girls are usually mellower, so the atmosphere at these competitions is different.

"So it's good for our bowlers to gain this experience."

The quartet will next compete at the Brunswick Ballmaster Open in Helsinki, another mixed-gender tournament.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2018, with the headline 'Lim bowls the men and women over'. Print Edition | Subscribe