24th June, Macau: Defending champion, Asato Shusaku led his Japanese team-mate, Ryoya Tanaka for a one-two finish in the Men's Open Round 1 Masters finals at the 2023 Macao-China International Open with Joel Tan and Darren Ong of Singapore tieing third spot.
2023 PBF Philippine Open champion, Darren Ong got off to a cracking start with a 269 opener to lead Shin Sung Min of Korea National Sports University by 14 pins. Macau's Chiu Hou Leong and Tanaka shot big games to stay with the leading duo.
Macau national bowler, Lam Iek Long added a superb 252 to his 231 opening game to take over the running. Ong slipped behind Lam in second after an average 204 in the second game as Chiu took over third spot.
Lam upped his pace with 247 and 212 to extend his lead over the Singaporean to 31 pins past the halfway mark. Tan and another KNSU finalist, Choo Si On in close company. Despite managing a lowly 189 in the fifth game, Lam remained in the lead albeit, only 5 pins with Ong still in hot pursuit.
Ong shared the lead with Hong Kong Open first runner-up, Michael Mak of Hong Kong after the sixth game as Lam's pace dropped substantially to slip to third. A good game of 247 from Ong gave the leader a 73 pins cushion going into the eighth and final game.
But disaster struck when Ong rolled 159. Defending champion, Shusaku fired a stunning 266 to snatch top spot with 1758. Tanaka also storm home with 254 and 252 to give Japan a one-two finish with 1750.
Tan rolled 244 in his final game to tie third spot with Ong on 1747. Chiu rounded out the top 5 with 1728. The cut in 18th position went to Stanley Lau of Hong KOng with 1614, averaging 201.8. The top 18 advanced to Round 2 finals tomorrow, joined by the 6 seeded qualifiers from the general standings for another 8 games.
The top 6 at the end of the round will proceed to the Stepladder Shootout finals to determine this year's champion.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Macau, China.