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Sunday August 9, 2009

Shalin qualifies for another season on PBA Tour

PETALING JAYA: Bowler Shalin Zulkifli made the country proud after qualifying for another season of the Professional Bowler’s Association (PBA) Women’s Tour in the United States.

Shalin finished fifth in the US Women’s Open in Nevada on Friday after another 16-game total of 3,292 pins after the second stage to qualify for the match-play final.

But, more importantly, Shalin has managed to secure one of the 12 coveted spots for the Women’s Tour.

Shalin’s combined total of 8,660 over 40 games saw her becoming the only overseas bowler to make the top eight list for the match-play final stage.

She will take on former World Championships Masters gold medallist Diandra Asbaty in her opening match.

Shalin had led the 170-player field, comprising mostly American professionals, after the final day of preliminaries on Thursday.

A total of 48 bowlers advanced to the second stage, including Malaysians Sharon Koh, Zandra Aziela, Esther Cheah and Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman.

The US Women’s Open doubles up as a qualifying tournament for the PBA Women’s Tour, which starts in October.

Only the top 12 bowlers registered with the PBA will qualify for the Women’s Tour along with six winners from last year.

Shalin, in her comments posted on the US Bowling Congress website, said she was delighted to have earned one of the 12 exempted spots for the Women’s Tour for the second year running.

“My main goal for the week was to make it through the Tour Trials so that I could be out there competing again. I didn’t bowl well in the Women’s Tour last year. So I went home and trained really hard to get in shape for this year,” said Shalin.