HONG KONG—The Open Masters Finals of the Amateur Bowling Federation (ABF), 41st Hong Kong Tenpin Bowling Championships were concluded at the South China Athletic Association Bowling Centre on Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 30, with Korean men and women winning the Open Masters Finals. ABF is a member of World Bowling.
According to the bowlers I have spoken with, Korea is now the top 10-Pin Bowling country, at least in Asia. From the WBT Rankings Korea has 10 players in the top 100 in the WBT rankings but none in the top 30 places, whereas USA has 38 in the top 100 and 12 players in the top 20. So it seems that USA is still the leading Tenpin Bowling country.
Michael Mak of Hong Kong ranked 23 in the world was the highest ranked player in the tournament.
In the women’s rankings USA are again leading the table with the top 3 places but interestingly Singapore has a string of 4-players ranked at 8 to 11. Honk Kong does not have a ranked player in the 359 listed. Korea is well represented with 16 players in the top 100.
Esther Cheah of Malaysia ranked 59 was the top ranked woman in the tournament.
The Hong Kong International Open is listed in the World Bowling International Calendar but the higher level International World Tour events take place mainly in USA and the Middle East but of the 21 Bowling Tour events Korea and Japan each hold a Major tournament,
Open Masters Finals
The first round of the Open Masters Finals (Block 1) were played on Saturday August 29 with 33 men and 24 women taking part in 8-game events to fill the balance of places needed to make 24 men and 21 women in the Block 2 play offs. A total of 6-players were seeded in both the men’s and women’s Masters Finals after the Qualifier competition, leaving 18 men’s places and 15 women’s places to be filled from the Block 1 results for the Block 2 Finals.
Block 2 Open Masters Finals playoffs (8-games) took place on Sunday morning August 30, from which the top 6-players in both the men’s and women’s competition moved forward to Step Ladder Finals.
In the Step Ladder Finals the 4th, 5th and 6th players from Block 2 Finals play one game and the winner moves forward to play the 2nd and 3rd players, in a similar 1-game match, the winner moves to play a one-on-one final with the top player from the Block 2 competition. In the head to head final, if the top player wins the first game that person will be crowned champion but if the challenger wins the first game a second deciding game will be played.
Women’s Step Ladder Finals
In the women’s Step Ladder Finals, Lee Na Young (KOR), Veronica de Souza (MAC) and Natasha Roslan (MAS) played first and Lee Na Young was successful in moving to step-2 to meet Lim So Hyun (KOR) and Esther Cheah (MAS). Lim So Hyun won to play the head to head final with defending Champion, Victoria Chin (MAS).
The Challenger Lim So Hyun, was successful in winning the first game 213-177 pushing the final into a second decisive game. Lim also won the second game, this time 226-167 to become the Women’s Open Masters Champion. Victoria Chin was 1st Runner Up and Esther Cheah finished 2nd Runner Up. Lim took the top women’s prize of HK$26,000, Chin received HK$7,000 and Cheah HK$7,000.
Men’s Step Ladder Finals
In the men’s Step Ladder Final Tony Wong (HKG), M. Surasak (THA) and Lee Tak Man (MAC) played first with Tong Wong (last year’s Youth Champion) moving forward to play Michael Mak (HK) and Kim Dong Gyun (KOR). Kim strung together 7 consecutive strikes to end his game scoring 258 to win and move forward to meet fellow countryman Son Young Seok for the title.
The all Korean men’s Step Ladder Final head to head was a low scoring match played in good spirits which the top seed Son Young Seok won with a score of 170 against 167 for the challenger Kim Dong Gyun. Son picked up the top prize of HK$55,000 and Kim received HK$22,000. Michael Mak was 2nd Runner Up collecting HK$14,000.