Bowler Jazreel Tan triumphant in Texas
Less than a week after national bowler Joey Yeo lifted the inaugural Bowling World Open title in Tokyo, Jazreel Tan kept the nation's flying high internationally when she won the Professional Women's Bowling Association (PBWA) Lubbock Sports Open in Texas yesterday morning (Singapore time).
The Singaporean, who won gold for the Republic in the women's masters event at the 28th South-east Asia Games here last month, beat American Stefanie Johnson 257-246 in the step-ladder finals at South Plains Lanes.
Tan, 25, pocketed US$10,000 ($13,700) for her win - her first PWBA tour championship success.
She made the step-ladder finals as the top seed after dominating the field from the opening pin, leading all bowlers with a 216-pinfall average.
Other Singaporeans Shayna Ng, Cherie Tan, Daphne Tan and New Hui Fen also competed at the event.
"I never thought I'd get on the women's tour, let alone win a tour title," said Tan, a two-time collegiate Player of the Year at Wichita State from 2009 to 2013.
"It's been a tough journey for me so far and, to be able to come out here and win on my first try, it's an amazing feeling. Hopefully, things will continue to fall into place, and it feels great to come to Texas and represent Singapore."
The four-time NCAA national champion didn't miss a beat in the championship round against Johnson, an 11-time Team USA member.
Tan opened the final with three consecutive strikes and never once trailed. Despite a late comeback by her opponent, the Singaporean stayed poised and finished with five strikes over the last six frames.
"I'm usually a late starter and my performance was kind of surprising to me," said Tan.
"To be able to have the lead from start to finish is something I've never done before, and it felt different because I was constantly worried about losing my lead.
"I was able to remain calm when the pins were not falling and stay on top."