Singapore team members excited to participate in the 2021 Open PWBA Spokane
Cherie Tan, Shayna Ng, New Hui Fen, Jazreel Tan, Bernice Lim and Daphne Tan traveled to the United States to participate in the next two stops of the 2021 PWBA Tour program, their journey starting at Lilac Lanes & Casino.
The official training session for the Spokane Open takes place on Thursday and competition kicks off Friday with two six-game qualifying rounds.
The top 32 athletes will advance and play another six-game block on Saturday to determine the 12 players for the final round of the competition. An additional block of six matches will determine the four players for the stepladder final, based on the total fall for 24 matches.
The Spokane Open finals are on Saturday at 9 p.m. EST, with the winner taking home $ 10,000. All qualifying rounds and stepladder finals will be streamed live on BowlTV.com.
Although Team Singapore members have only participated in a limited number of events since the relaunch of the PWBA in 2015, their impact has certainly been noticed in the leaderboard and the winner’s circle.
Five of the six players competing in the Spokane Open have won a PWBA event in the past five seasons, with Cherie Tan (2019 PWBA Players Championship), New (2016 PWBA Tour Championship) and Lim (2016 United States Bowling Congress Queens) victories. All six athletes also made an appearance in the stepladder final of a major championship during this period.
Ng won two standard PWBA Tour events (2018 and 2019) and Jazreel Tan won in 2015 before joining the PWBA.
New’s victory in the Tour Championship also helped her win the PWBA Rookie of the Year award for 2016, despite just six tournament appearances during the season.
The Spokane Open and the upcoming US Women’s Open (August 24-31) will mark the first time that team members have competed in any capacity in about 20 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Singapore’s latest events were in December 2019 at the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines, which included gold medals in singles (New), team (New, Ng, Cherie Tan, Daphne Tan) and in Masters (New), as well as the Storm -Domino’s Pizza Cup in South Korea, won by Cherie Tan.
“We haven’t been able to compete at all since December 2019,” said two-time PWBA Tour champion Cherie Tan. “We were only able to train intermittently due to the COVID measures in our country.”
Even with the additional logistics required to cross the Pacific Ocean more than 8,000 miles to the Pacific Northwest and knowing that they will have to quarantine themselves in a hotel for 14 days upon their return to Singapore, it was important for the team to come back to mingle with the best players of the PWBA Tour.
These events will also serve as a tune-up for Singapore for the International Bowling Federation World Championships in November. The 2021 IBF World Championships will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 3-26, and the IBF Super World Championships (adult men and women) will be held November 6-15.
“The competitive environment is something we cannot replicate at home no matter how hard we train,” Ng said. “It will be good for us to shed some dust as we prepare for the World Championships in November.”
The international presence will be strong at the Spokane Open, with 13 countries represented in the field of 67 players. Historically, many athletes competing on the PWBA Tour each week have represented their countries at events such as the IBF World Championships.
“These events will be of great help to us,” said Cherie Tan, who won the Masters gold medal at the 2019 IBF World Championships. “These are our only events before the World Championships, and most of these players are competing at the World Championships, so the level of competition will be quite similar. “
While the trip certainly has a business side to it, these six players are also ready to take advantage of the moment and see if they are able to continue the success they have enjoyed in previous seasons on the PWBA Tour.
“I think we’re all very, very excited,” Ng said. “Just being able to be here to compete with the rest of the ladies on tour is a privilege for us, and given the madness, we feel extremely excited and lucky to be here. We have to manage our expectations because we Haven’t competed in so long, but if either of us can figure out a way to win that would be great. We’re just here to get back into the competition and finally have some fun too. “
The PWBA returns to Washington for the first time since 1986, when Leila Wagner won the 1986 Hammer Western Open in Tacoma, and this week’s event will mark the tour’s first trip to Spokane.
The PWBA Spokane Open is the 16th of 20 events on the 2021 calendar, and the tournament will also feature multiple players in the midst of a hotly contested race for the PWBA Player of the Year.
Two-time champion Julia Bond of Aurora, Ill., Leads with 95,750 points, but is now just 275 points ahead of England’s Verity Crawley (95,475), who won it with three. back-to-back appearances in the PWBA Summer Classic Series summer championship earlier in August, after winning his first career title in June at the PWBA Greater Nashville Open.
Ukrainian Dasha Kovalova (92,280) and Shannon O’Keefe of Shiloh, Ill. (90,645), two-time reigning PWBA player of the year, are also within 5,200 points of first place.
Kovalova has had two wins this season and is now a four-time champion, and O’Keefe kicked off the 2021 season with her 14th career title at the PWBA Bowlers Journal Classic.