Li Jane on track for second title on US Tour


Famous five: (from left) Dasha Kovalova, Sin Li Jane, Clara Guerrero, Daphne Tan and Tannya Roumimper are all set for the USBC Queens title showdown.

PETALING JAYA: Sin Li Jane is on course to become the first Malaysian bowler to win a second title in the prestigious Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour in the United States.

The gutsy 27-year-old powered into the top-five stepladder finals of the USBC Queens tournament in Kansas with another sterling show at the Northrock Lanes in Wachita.

On Sunday, she downed Colombia’s Anggie Ramirez and American Erin McCarthy.

On Monday, she continued her great run at the same venue with victories over teammates Shalin Zulkifli 747-557 and Esther Cheah 769-714 before powering past Colombia’s Clara Guerrero 761-701 to reach the finals of the winners’ bracket.

However, her five-match unbeaten run finally ended when she went down 636-662 to Ukraine’s Dasha Kovalova. But it did not matter as Li Jane had booked her place in the stepladder finals as the second seed while Kovalova is the top seed.

Li Jane is guaranteed a top-three finish and set to pocket no less than US$8,000 (RM33,500).

After capturing her first PWBA crown at the Lincoln Open in 2017, Li Jane just needs another two wins in the stepladder finals to land a second title on the Tour.

“I’m really looking forward to battle it out for the Queens title which is the most sought after on the PWBA Tour,” said Li Jane.

“I’m so delighted to have made the stepladder finals as second best finisher out of a massive field of 192 bowlers.

“The last time I made the finals was in 2016 but I lost in the very first playoff match to end up fifth.

“I have been bowling great over the past two days and I’m hoping to bring this form into the final day.”

Li Jane also emerged as the most impressive bowler in the entire match play stage by posting the highest average in the tournament’s history.

She averaged 248.72 in six matches, surpassing USBC Hall of Famer Kim Terrell-Kearney’s mark of 240 set during the 2002 event.

Completing the five-woman cast for the stepladder finals are Guerrero, Singapore’s Daphne Tan and Indonesia’s Tannya Rou­mimper, who made it through the “elimination bracket”.

This championship features a unique double-elimination format and a bowler is given a second chance in the “elimination bracket”.

Following their defeats to Li Jane, neither Esther nor Shalin were able to take advantage of the repechage round.

Esther lost 681-707 to Tannya while Shalin was beaten 634-667 by Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republic.


   

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