Rafiq (facing camera) is in the lead in the men's Masters after the first round on Saturday. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star
SINGAPORE: Winning certainly breeds confience.
And it’s no different for the Malaysian bowlers.
Buoyed by their win in the team of five event on Friday, Malaysia’s men got off to a great start in the Masters.
Three Malaysians are in the top five going into the second round today.
Top of the 16-man field is none other than Rafiq Ismail, who put himself in pole position with a commanding 1,956 pinfalls after eight-games on the medium-oil pattern at the Orchid Bowl in the Orchid Country Club.
The 18-year-old recovered from a 199-pinfall opening game to storm back by knocking down lines of 269-205-247-225-279-241-231 for 60 bonus points and go 165 pins clear of second-placed compatriot Ahmad Muaz Fishol, who amassed a 1,828 total.
Only the top three after the second round will make the step-ladder finals. And it’s a close battle for the last spot.
Thailand’s Yannaphon Larpapharat is third with 1,791 pinfalls – just two pins ahead of Indonesia’s Billy Muhamad Islam (1,789) and eight in front of Malaysia’s Adrian Ang (1,783).
Timmy Tan is eighth on 1,691 pinfalls while Alex Liew, who enjoyed a flying start with an high opening game of 279, is ninth on 1,684 pinfalls.
In the women’s competition, Singapore’s 25-year-old Jazreel Tan put in a spirited performance to blaze lines of 180-235-245-259-225-285-297-227 and 70 bonus points for a 1,897 total.
Filipina Krizzah Tabora is second with 1,744 pinfalls, just four ahead of Tannya Roumimper of Indonesia.
The Malaysian women will be looking to get back into contention with another eight games to go.
Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi is the top Malaysian finisher after round one, having amassed a 1,617 total to share sixth place with Indonesia’s Alisha Nabila and singles gold medallist Daphne Tan of Singapore. The trio are just 69 pins behind Roumimper.
Natasha Roslan (1,654) is ninth, followed by Esther Cheah (1,624) 10th, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman (1,617) 11th and Sin Li Jane (1,613) 12th.
The Star Online