Aussies Ready for Exciting Finale at Malaysian International Open

By Matt Stevens
May 4, 2024

After 11 days of intense qualifying rounds, the 42nd Malaysian International Open Bowling Championship is approaching its thrilling finale at Sunway Mega Lanes in Sunway Pyramid, Malaysia. Competitors were required to achieve their best six-game total to qualify to advance to either Round 1 or 2 of the Open Masters competitions. With the qualifying stages now complete, attention shifts to the final rounds where this year’s champions will be determined.

A large contingent of Australian bowlers has delivered exceptional performances at this prestigious event and NTS Open Head Coach Don Lindsay has liked what the experience has provided those that have travelled.

“This has been an exceptional tournament for our athletes with seven making the finals. The competition and standard of bowling make this trip a must for our preparations for overseas competition. Exciting opportunities lay ahead with Australia very competitive on the World Stage, especially in the men’s division”.

Let’s delve into the qualifying highlights from the Australian team.

Bec Whiting

Leading the Australian charge in the Women’s Open Masters was the formidable 2019 World Cup champion, Bec Whiting. Whiting showcased her ability with a stellar six-game total of 1,315 (scores of 680 and 635), securing her 3rd place in the mixed pool. Her outstanding performance ensures her progression to the first round of the Master’s finals.

“Bec Whiting showed she is World Class making it to the final, and our other ladies learnt more this week than in a year on our local circuit. This tournament and others like it need to become a permanent fixture” commented NTS Open Head Coach, Don Lindsay.

Western Australia’s Siarn Ottaviano also made a notable impact, finishing 12th in the reserves pool. Ottaviano averaged an impressive 208.83, culminating in a six-game total of 1,253. Her performance and finishing place help explain the level of talent that has been on show within the division over the Championships. Additional commendable efforts came from Allison Oag and Kylie Bailey, who placed 17th and 19th in the reserves pool with scores of 1,207 and 1,189 respectively.

Bec Whiting now advances to the first round of the Master’s finals as one of 27 bowlers set to compete over 8 games starting Saturday with the hope to finish in the top 16 to advance to the second round. Tenpin Bowling Australia extends best wishes to Bec as she begins this phase of the competition.

L-R: Siarn Ottaviano, Kylie Bailey, and Allison Oag
Sam Cooley

In the Men’s Open Masters, the Australian squad was prominently led by two-time champion and PBA superstar Sam Cooley. The hardworking bowler from Shellharbour Tenpin in NSW delivered an exceptional performance, posting a score of 1,492 (765 & 727), not only securing the top spot in the overseas pool but also recording the fourth-highest score among all qualifiers. Wan Muhd Zarif Ikram Bin Wan Mazlan from Malaysia led all qualifiers with a total of 1,523.

L-R: Jordan Dinham, Sam Cooley, and Blake Walsh

Jordan Dinham, another bowler from NSW, became a focal point of the tournament on Thursday night after scoring the event’s fifth perfect game of 300. His outstanding efforts resulted in a total score of 1,463 (733 & 730), placing him third in the overseas pool, just behind Jaris Goh from Singapore who scored 1,488.

Blake Walsh, the young rising star from Ballina, continued his impressive run after finishing as the runner-up in the Youth Open Masters. In the Open division, he maintained his form, amassing a total of 1,458 to secure the fourth position in the Overseas Pool. All three bowlers showcased exceptional skill, averaging over 240, and as a result, they will bypass the first round, moving directly to round 2 of the finals — a privilege reserved for the top four qualifiers from the overseas pool.

L-R: Scott Robertson, Callum Borck, and Bernie Grueso Jnr

Additionally, NTS Open bowler Scott Robertson had an outstanding final day, finishing 3rd in the Mixed Pool with a score of 1,429. He was joined by fellow Australians Callum Borck, who placed 8th with 1,421, and Bernie Grueso Jnr, who finished 14th with 1,409. These athletes will progress to Round 1 of the Men’s Open Masters as 3 of 36 bowlers that will complete 8 games in the round. Their goal is to secure a spot in the top 16 to advance to the second round, joining their fellow countrymen Cooley, Dinham, and Walsh.

Tenpin Bowling Australia extends its best wishes to all finalists as they prepare for the next challenging round.

To check out all the final standings, and head to the official webpage of the event, click the relevant links below:

L-R: Sam Cooley, Callum Borck, Timmy Tan, and Aaron Midgley

A big shoutout to Australian NTS bowler Aaron Midgley for securing the silver medal in the Men’s Open Singles. The Singles event saw bowlers  post 3 game totals. A bowler may try in as many attempts but the scores would only be listed in the Singles event and not counted in the Masters Qualifying. Midgley, from Caboolture Bowl in QLD posted a total of 732 to capture the silver medal. Congratulations Aaron!

A further congratulations to Blake Walsh who captured the gold medal in the Youth Open Singles event after posting a winning total of 750. Congratulations Blake!

We congratulate all the Aussies for representing the country with pride over the last eleven days and send our best wishes for luck and high scoring to the Australian’s flying the flag in the next rounds of this prestigious event.

Keep up with all the latest by visiting abf-online.org – brought to you by ASIAN BOWLING FEDERATION – 42ndopen_May03.htm

Round 1 action will kick off at 10 am local time which is around 12:00 pm AEST. Streams are available on the event webpage on the link above.

Credit to abf-online.org for the photos used in this recap.

Blayne Fletch and Cameron Johnston

Craig Blachut & Jesse Ellis

Jordan Bunphim & Blake Walsh

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