PETALING JAYA: Bowler Megat Zaqrul Haiqal Megat Zairudin finally got it right in his third attempt to win a title in the Singapore Open.
Zaqrul made it to the stepladder finals as the fourth qualifier but stayed cool and composed to go all the way to beat top seed Aiman Raedyin Lim Jen of Singapore 202-174, 246-213 to lift the youth division title in Lion City.
He had lost in the stepladder finals in the 2019 and 2022 editions when he finished as the first runners-up.
This time, a change of ball in the last two games certainly did the trick for Zaqrul.
"Megat was in the zone and was very focused on making good shots during the final match," said coach Alex Liew.
"We had discussed at using two different balls for both lanes and it worked pretty awesome as he blazed the lanes with 246 pins in the final game.
"He pulled off an excellent job fighting from 4th to first to finally bring home the trophy this year."
Nur Jeehan Iezzaty Suffian however was unable to make it a double joy as she fell in the second match of the stepladder finals after losing 147-196 to Zoe Wang Szen Ying.
Zoe however, went down to compatriot Lim Shi En in the deciding game.
Qualifying (top four only)
Men: 1. Aiman Raedyin Lim Jen (Sin) 1796, 2. Majid Ali (UAE) 1752, 3. Zach Sales Ramin (Phi) 1746, 4. Megat Zaqrul Haiqal Megat Zairudin (Mas) 1717. Selected: 10. Tsen Fan Yew 1615, 15. Syabil Azam 1541 , 16. Mohd Danial Abu Samah 1527, 21. Airel Amri Suhaimi 1485.
Women: 1. Lim Shi En (Sin) 1757, 2. Nur Jeehan Iezzaty Suffian (Mas) 1633, 3. Zoe Wang Szan Ying (Sin) 1620, 4. Nur Irdina Hazly (Sin) 1618. Selected: 5. Nurul Anis Nabila Mohd Nizam 1583, 7. Anis Hannani Romzi 1581, 9. Adelia Nur 1563, 13. Adania 1544, 17. Nada Nawwarah Abdul Jalil 1522, 20. Nur Hazirah Ramli 1477.
First match: Zaqrul bt Zach 199-186
Second match: Zaqrul bt Majid 209-168
Final: bt Aiman 202-174, 246-213
First match: Zoe bt Irdina 202-111
Second match: Zoe bt Jeehan 196-147
Final: Shi En bt Zoe 149-199, 154-148