Singapore bowler Neo clinches first international title
Soon-to-be enlistee emerges from all-Singaporean final in Dubai to bag trophy and $9k prize money
Singapore bowler Jonovan Neo bagged his first international title when he won the Dubai International Bowling Centre (DIBC) Open in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday morning (March 18, Singapore time).
The 21-year-old, who is awaiting national service enlistment, pipped fellow Singaporean Muhd Jaris Goh in the final of his first step-ladder appearance in an international tournament.
Although Neo lost the first game 258-234, as the top seed, he has the advantage of a second game which he won 248-201 to clinch the title and 25,000-dirham (S$9,000) prize money.
Goh, a diploma in sports and leisure management student, got the runner-up spot and a prize money of 12,000 dirham, while third spot, which came with an 8,000-dirham purse, went to the United Arab Emirates' Khamis Al Shamsi.
Neo had finished as the top seed after the third round of six games with 1,466 pinfalls, with Khamis (1,451), Goh (1,391) and the UAE's Mahmood Al Attar (1,322) following him into the step-ladder finals.
Goh then defeated Mahmood 215-193 and Khamis 255-190 to reach the final.
Overall, it was a commendable performance by all five Singaporean bowlers, who finished in the top nine out of a field of 89 competitors from 12 countries.
Joel Tan, Darren Ong and Timothy Tham clinched fifth, seventh and ninth spots respectively.