PETALING JAYA: It was a glorious double for Malaysia at the Indonesian Open bowling championships.
Ahmad Muaz Fishol staged a remarkable comeback to win the men’s Masters title while Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman bagged the women’s crown at the Ancol Bowl in Jakarta on Sunday.
Muaz was in his element as he outplayed American professional D.J. Archer 258-216 and 298-204 in the final. It was his first title since winning the 2014 PBAP Bevida-Storm International Masters Classic in Manila.
“I’m really happy to win an Open tournament after a lapse of two years ... it’s been a while,” said the 23-year-old Muaz, who received 150mil rupiah (RM48,000) for his efforts.
“I would like to dedicate this win to my mother (Fadzilah Che Ani). She celebrated her 51st birthday three days ago.”
Muaz had barely made the top-six cut for the stepladder finals. After the eight games in the second round, he was placed sixth with an eight-game total of 1,783 pinfalls. Archer, a two-time US PBA Tour winner, topped the field with a 1,933 total.
In the first stepladder roll-off, Muaz posted 237 to see off fourth-placed Tommy Jones of the United States (161) and fifth-placed Marcus Kiew of Singapore (203).
Muaz continued his march in the roll-off, chalking up 257 to beat second-placed Kim Bolleby of Thailand (238) and third-placed Lee Tak Man of Macau (153) to reach the final.
The women’s final was an all-Malaysian affair with first-placed Siti Safiyah taking on veteran Shalin Zulkifli.
Shalin, who fought from fifth place to reach the title playoff, forced a tiebreaker after winning the first game 226-197. But Siti Safiyah recovered her composure to win 253-182 to take home 70mil rupiah (RM22,000).
The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for Shalin as she also finished second in the championships in 2006 and 2012.
“I finished second and third on too many occasions since I last won a title (World Ranking Masters) in 2009. To have finally won today is very fulfilling,” said Siti Safiyah.
*Malaysia unless stated
Second stage (after eight games): 1. D.J. Archer (US) 1933, 2. Kim Bolleby (Tha) 1902, 3. Lee Tak Man (Mac) 1868, 4. Tommy Jones (US) 1857, 5. Marcus Kiew (Sin) 1816, 6. Ahmad Muaz Fishol 1783.
First roll-off: Ahmad Muaz Fishol 237 bt Marcus Kiew (Sin) 203 and Tommy Jones (US) 161.
Second roll-off: Ahmad Muaz Fishol 257 bt Kim Bolleby (Tha) 238 and Lee Tak Man (Mac) 153.
Final: Ahmad Muaz Fishol bt D.J. Archer (US) 258-213, 298-204.
Second stage (after eight games): 1. Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman 1854, 2. Sin Li Jane 1838, 3. Shannon Pluhowsky (US) 1812, 4. Jasmine Yeong Nathan (Sin) 1810, 5. Shalin Zulkifli 1809, 6. Esther Cheah 1787.
First roll-off: Shalin Zulkifli 204 bt Esther Cheah 194 and Jasmine Yeong Nathan (Sin) 180.
Second roll-off: Shalin Zulkifli 216 bt Sin Li Jane 201 and Shannon Pluhowsky (US) 186.
Final: Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman bt Shalin Zulkifli 197-226, 253-182.