of Singapore captured her first Professional Women’s Bowling Association title, winning the 2018 PWBA Las Vegas Open
on Saturday night at South Point Bowling Plaza.
Ng, the No. 2 seed, defeated top seed Diana Zavjalova of Latvia, 231-211, in the championship match. The stepladder finals were streamed live on Xtra Frame, the Professional Bowlers Association’s online bowling channel.
A 28-year-old right-hander, Ng opened the championship match with strikes in the first six out of seven frames, but the match was far from decided. Zavjalova, despite beginning the match with an open frame, stayed patient with spares in frames two through four and then rolled four consecutive strikes.
Trouble struck Ng in the eighth frame, as she left the 4-6-10 split, to give Zavjalova the opportunity to shut out Ng with strikes in the ninth and 10th frames.
But, Zavjalova left the 4-6-7 split in the ninth frame and Ng produced spares in the ninth and 10th to claim her first title.
“It means a lot to me,” said Ng, who led the tournament after the first two rounds of qualifying. “I’ve been on tour for a couple of years now and I’ve made a couple of shows, but I’ve never won anything yet. So, this means a lot to me to win a title of my own and having my own little flag (champion’s banner). It really means a lot to me.”
Ng had a pair of third-place finishes – the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open and, prior to the Tour’s return in 2015, the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Queens (winner was Zavjalova) – but now has her first victory in the United States.
“With the first two TV shows I made, it was inevitable that one gets nervous,” Ng said. “But, I kept knocking on the door and my chances are coming more and more. When we get used to the nerves, we are able to execute better.
“But, at the end of the day, it’s not about bowling against your opponent, it’s about bowling against yourself. So, I was just telling myself to stay in the moment. It doesn’t matter what she bowls, as long as I do my best and I execute well. That’s the most important aspect of the game today.”
The Singapore national team has been a constant presence on the PWBA Tour since 2015, with four players each winning one title. Jazreel Tan won the 2015 PWBA Lubbock Sports Open as a non-member, Cherie Tan captured the 2016 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open and 2016 PWBA Rookie of the Year New Hui Fen claimed the 2016 PWBA Tour Championship.
Ng is happy to join her teammates as PWBA champions.
“It definitely ranks near the top,” Ng said. “I’ve won a couple of international titles in Asia and in the World Championships, but I’ve never won on the PWBA. So, this definitely means a lot to me. I’ve seen their names on the flag and I’ve always wanted one myself, so this couldn’t have been better.”
Ng advanced to the title match after defeating USBC Hall of Famer and 26-time PWBA titlist Leanne Hulsenberg of Pleasant View, Utah, 193-167. Hulsenberg was searching for her first title since the relaunch of the PWBA Tour.
Hulsenberg opened the stepladder finals with a 213-202 victory over fellow USBC Hall of Famer and reigning three-time PWBA Player of the Year Liz Johnson of Palatine, Illinois.
Competition this week at the PWBA Las Vegas Open at South Point Bowling Plaza included two eight-game qualifying blocks on Friday to determine the 32 players for Saturday’s Round of 32. An additional eight-game block Saturday morning narrowed the field to 12 players, who bowled six additional games to determine the stepladder finalists.
The 2018 PWBA Tour season continues next week with the PWBA Sonoma County Open at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, California.
Qualifying and match-play rounds of PWBA Tour events are broadcast on Xtra Frame, which also will be the live-stream home for the stepladder finals of seven standard events. Click here for more information about the PWBA Tour.
2018 PWBA Tour Schedule features 14 events, including four Majors