3rd Kingdom International Open

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Colombian wins title on second chance

8th May, Riyadh

Andres Gomez of Colombia needed a second chance to beat topseed, Hussain Al-Suwaidi of UAE in the fourth game of the finals to win the 3rd Saudi International Open title on Friday evening.

Gomez, who had topped the semi-finals and sailed through Stage 1 double elimination knockout rounds yesterday, edged Qatar's Saeed Al-Hajri, 2-1 in the second stage to earn a bye into Stage 4.

The Colombian was, however stretched to the third deciding game after he tied one-all with Kuwait's Khaled Al-Dubyyan 180-218 and 234-202. Gomez progressed with a narrow victory over the Kuwaiti, 214-207 to move into Stage 6.

When Gomez met fifth-seed Hussain Al-Suwaidi, who progressed into Stage 6 by defeating Kuwait's Basil Al-Anzi, 2-1 in Stage 4, a closely fought opening game saw Hussain winning 245-237.

border Andres Gomez with his champion's trophy

But on Gomez's stronger long oil condition, the Colombian bounced back with a 215-204 win over the Emirati forcing the tie into the deciding third game. Several opened frames from both the contenders produced a lucky victory for Hussain.

Meanwhile, South Africa's Guy Caminsky had a narrow victory over globe-trotting Tim Mack of USA, 2-1 in Stage 6 to meet Gomez for a spot in the finals against Hussain. The Colombian earned a second crack at the title after he beat the South African, 2-1 in Stage 7.

The Stage 8 title match turned out to be a cracker as Gomez easily took the first game, 246-201 but struggled in the second going down 168-222 to move into the third game. Relishing on the long oil condition, Gomez won the right to challenge for the title in the fourth and final decider after winning it 263-182.

And Gomez gave little chance to his opponent as he took a huge lead with a double in frames 3-4 and four bagger in frames 6-9 to open up a hugh margin. Hussain had no answer for the Colombian going down 182-212 for Gomez to eventually clinch the title, 3-1.

"After I bowled good in the finals yesterday, I'd expected to be in the top 5 but to go all the way to win the title is simply amazing," said the delighted 35-year-old Gomez, who had picked up this year's national title and the Cream of Crop Championship in Florida last month.

"The closer you get to the title, the tougher it becomes. Coming back after losing to Hussain is like a cat having many lives. When it appeared that I was gonna lose, somehow I came back to win the match.

border Top 3 winners, Hussain, Gomez and Caminsky

"In this format, it was important to finish as number one seed. I struggled the whole week on short oil while others were doing well on it. So when my opponent chose the easier short oil, I knew that I can take them on their weaker condition. So that gave me a slight edge."

Hussain settled for second to win US$14,000 while the champion took home a whopping US$25,000. Guy Caminsky finished third to win US$8,000 while Tim Mack picked up US$5,000 for fourth place.

The two Kuwaitis, Basil Al-Anzi and Khaled Al-Dubyyan, who had good runs making into Stage 5 but lost to Mack and Caminsky respectively, settled for US$3,000 each. A total of 82 bowlers from 17 countries took part in the immensely popular championship.

On hand to present the winners trophies and cheques was H.R.H. Prince Nawaf Bin Mohammad accompanied by the owner of Universal Bowling Center, H.R.H. Prince Abdul Hakim and major sponsor, Mr Joe Hilal, Director of Operations of Domino's Pizza Saudi.

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Unexpected end to Stage 1 finals

7th May, Riyadh

An unexpected end was witnessed when only three of the Top 8 moved into the winners' pool as the rest were beaten to the losers' pool during the Stage 1 double elimination round of the 3rd Saudi International Open.

Topseed, Andres Gomez of Colombia cruised into the next stage defeating 16th seed, Naif Oqab of UAE, 2-0 in the best-of-3 games Stage 1 finals winning by 246-180 and 209-184 following the second block of the Top 32 finals.

Two-time tour champion, Hussain Al-Suwaidi of UAE edged Indonesia's Ryan Lalisang, 196-193 and had an easier victory over his opponent, 193-169 in the second game to win 2-0. The third higher seed, Saeed Al-Hajri of Qatar also sailed through 2-0 over Kuwait's Yaqoub Al-Shatii.

The first of the surprise result was seeing 15th-seed, Ahmed Al-Rahimi of Bahrain taking out second-seed, Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand but in a third and deciding game to win 2-1. Fourth-seed, Surasak Manuwong of Thailand also lost to Kuwait's Khaled Al-Dubyyan, 1-2.

border Two Kuwaitis, Khaled Al-Dubyyan and Basil Al-Anzi advanced

Fifth-seed, Yousef Falah fell to the hands of South Africa's Guy Caminsky, 0-2 while the last of the Thais, who dominated the Top 32 finals, Yannaphon Larpapharat lost to Kuwait's Basil Al-Anzi, 0-2.

Sixth-seed, Tim Mack went down to local favourite, Hassan Al-Shaikh in three tightly fought games, 1-2. The winners of this stage moved into Group A winners' pool while the losers will have another chance to make a come back if they can win their matches in Stage 2 in Group B losers' pool.

Gomez will meet the fancied Qatari, Saeed Al-Hajri, Ahmed Al-Rahimi is matched up against Basil Al-Anzi, Hussain against the Saudi, Hassan Al-Shaikh and Khaled Al-Dubyyan against Caminsky in the winners' bracket.

border Debutant, Guy Caminsky making good headway

The losers' bracket matches will involve Naif Oqab vs Yaqoub Al-Shatti, the all-Thai Sithiphol vs Yannaphon, Lalisang vs Tim Mack and finally, Surasak Manuwong vs Yousef Falah.

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Colombian snatches pole position

7th May, Riyadh

Seasoned South American campaigner, Andres Gomez of Colombia, snatched top spot in the Top 32 finals of the 3rd Saudi International Open to advance into the double elimination knockout rounds as topseed.

Andres Gomez hauled himself from 16th position after the first block of 8 games on short oil to take the coveted top spot after faultless performance in the second block of 6 games on the long oil.

The Colombian, who started his second block with a superb 254 opening game as Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand overtook his fellow-compatriot, Surasak Manuwong for the lead with Bahrain's Yousef Falah hot on his heels just 2 pins adrift.

Surasak recovered with a 258 in the second game after an aweful 145 first game to return to the top ahead of the lanky Yousef in second and Sithiphol third.

border Andres Gomez snatching pole position in the final game

Unknowned to the leading trio, Andres Gomez followed with 223, 201 and 209 and was within striking distant. As the lanes got tougher, Gomez relished on the difficult condition to reeal in 258 and 223 in his final two games to snatch pole.

The topseed totaled 2694 over 12 games thanks to the strong 1368 in the second block. Sithiphol settled for second with 2688, just 6 pins off Gomez while UAE's Hussain Al-Suwaidi claimed third spot with 2679.

"I felt good after I scored 1326 in the first block," said the slightly surprised Colombian. "I started with two good games in the long oil and that really got me going. I've had a torrid time in the short oil the whole week and to shoot 126 over was pretty satifactory."

"It's gonna be a different ball game in the knockout finals and I hope I can keep up my momentum and make good progress."

border Top 32 finals top 3 finishers, Sithiphol, Gomez and Hussain

First block leader, Surasak Manuwong finished fourth with 2663 ahead of the globe-trotting Tim Mack of USA fifth on 2628. Yousef Falah of Bahrain, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand, Seed Al-Hajri of Qatar, Kuwaitis Yaqoub Al-Shatti and Basil Al-Anzi completed the top 16.

Others making the top 16 cut were Saudi Hassan Al-Shaikh, South Africa's Guy Caminsky, Kuwait's Khaled Al-Dubyyan, Indonesia's Ryan Lalisang, Bahrain's Ahmed Al-Rahimi and UAE's Naif Oqab.

The Stage 1 knockout finals will commence after the lane maintenance and will resume with the Stage 2 tomorrow. Immedaitely after Stage 1 finals, all the participants will be ferried away for a one hour ride for the 'Desert Camp' party hosted by H.R.H. Prince Abdul Hakim.

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Thai keglers shine in first block semi

7th May, Riyadh

Thai keglers, Surasak Manuwong and Sithiphol Kunaksorn almost finished 1-2 in the first block of the 3rd Saudi International Open semi-finals but was spoilt by Kuwait's Khaled Al-Dubyyan snatching second spot.

Burly Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand, shot a good 235 opener and plus the 100 pins he earned for finishing seventh in the qualifying rounds, took the early lead with 335, just 2 pins from Bahrain's Yousef Falah, who shot 203.

But it was Sithiphol's compatriot, Surasak Manuwong who blazed the lanes at Universal Bowling Center with awesome games of 245, 235 and 278 in his next three games to open up a commanding lead of 66 pins.

Yousef and Sithiphol tied at 1013 to continue to trail the Surasak in joint second with UAE's Hussain Al-Suwaidi making his bid.

border Surasak and Sithiphol finishing first and third

Despite shooting a lowly 180 in the high-scoring short oil condition, Surasak was able to lead the field of 32 finalists albeit only 39 pins ahead of Hussain, who took over second spot as Yousef dropped down to third.

"The short oil is much easier to bowl and we have to score as high as possible," said the first block leader, Surasak. "It's not going to be easy in the second block long oil."

The winners of the best-of-3 games matches will advance into the winners' pool while the losers will have a chance to progress if they could win in the next round. Those who lost twice will be elimiated.

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Bahraini youngster claims pole

6th May, Riyadh

Bahraini youngster, Ahmed Al-Rahimi claimed pole position on final day of qualifying at the 3rd Saudi International Open late Wednesday evening after tieing with Thailand's Yannaphon Larpapharat a squad earlier.

Ahmed Al-Rahimi of Bahrain, who had tied with Thailand's Yannaphon Larpapharat for the lead at the 6.30pm squad with 1874, made further improvement with another sizzling display on the much more challenging long oil condition to firm up his pole position.

The 23-year-old student from Manama posted 896 to give him an 8-game aggregate of 1891 to lead Yannaphon by 13 pins. Bahrainis are making an impact in the championship with Sinai Open champion, Yousef Falah also firming up third spot with 1860.

Current Asia Ranked No. 1, Hussain Al-Suwaidi, who was third a short while ago, dropped to fourth with 1855 ahead of Surasak Manuwong rounding up the top 5 with 1849.

border Youngster, Ahmed Al-Rahimi firming up pole position

With two more squads to go, bowlers are scrambling to improve their scores using the much easier short oil conditions. For those who have better short oil scores will wait for the final squad at 11.00pm to make improvements and to clinch a qualifying spot.

The current three Saudis who have more or less made the cut were Abdullah Lafi (1707), Feras Abulfaraj (1690) and Badr Al-Shaikh (1684) while Yasser Mohammad of Saudi Arabia, who won the local tournament has also booked his spot in the finals.

Sitting dangerously in 25th and 26th positions were Colombia's Andres Gomez with 1739 and the last spot occupied by Kuwait's Ayad Al-Amiri with 1728. The final two slots will be reserved for the top 2 in the two-game desperado squad which will be held after the last squad.

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Good showing from Asia No. 1

6th May, Riyadh

6th May, Riyadh: Current Asian Ranked No. 1 and two-time tour winner, Hussain Al-Suwaidi of UAE put up a spirited qualifying effort to move into third spot of the 3rd Saudi International Open on Wednesday.

Having assured himself a place in the finals from his earlier attempts in tenth, Hussain Al-Suwaidi of UAE improved on the much more difficult long oil condition of 835 to 898 late yesterday to haul himself up to third with 1855 in the quaifying table.

Hussain, who went to Naples, Italy for the World Ranking Masters as Asia's No. 1, was disappointed not to make the top 8 after the three blocks of qualifying and managing only 16th position.

The UAE national bowler, who had a better finish in the previous year in Jakarta where he ended up in eighth, looked poised to make amends with revitalised performance here in the finals tomorrow.

border Current Asia Ranked No.1, Hussain Al-Suwaidi

"I went to Naples with a lot of confidence after winning two tour titles," said the 28-year-old Hussain. "But I was so disappointed with myself after failing to make the top 8. I've since put that behind me and I look forward to a better performance here." Newly-crowned Thailand Open, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand maintained his lead in the table with 1874 ahead of Sinai Open champion, Yousef Falah of Bahrain in second with 1860. Hussain is third with 1855.

First perfect gamer, Surasak Manuwong of Thailand took fourth spot with 1849 followed by Kuwait's best performer, Yaqoub Al-Shatti sharing fifth spot with another Thai, Sithiphol Kunaksorn on 1847.

Meanwhile, Jaya Ancol's Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia, who failed to get a visa for the World Ranking Masters last week, shot the highest 4-game series on the long oil condition with 975 to take up seventh on 1844.

Season campaigner, Tim Mack of USA did well to finish eighth with 1840 ahead of UAE's Hulaiman Al-Hamley ninth and 2008 World Tenpin Masters champion, Guy Caminsky of South Africa tenth.

border Ryan Lalisang doing well to take up

Qualifying will end later this tonight and there will be a one-game desperado squad for an additional two to join the top 26, three local Saudi qualifiers and the top qualifier from a local tournament to advance into the Top 32 quarterfinals on Thursday.

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Thai regains top spot

5th May, Riyadh

Early leader, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand improved his short oil attempt to regain the lead of the 3rd Saudi International Open qualifying table on Tuesday.

Yannaphon, who left the Thai national squad to pursue his studies in the United State, signaled his return by winning the recent Thailand Open in April. The 26-year-old is on a strong run after he tie the lead with team-mate, Surasak Manuwong two days ago.

The Thai had knocked down 925 on his long oil and 896 on his short oil for an aggregate of 1821 to share the lead. But Surasak improved his tally by 6 pins to move away to the front leaving Yannaphon in second.

He improvement on his short oil attempt with 949 gave him a new tally of 1874 making him a new leader. Overnight leader and newly-crowned Sinai Open champion, Yousef Falah of Bahrain dropped to second with 1860.

border New leader, Yannaphon Larpapharat

Surasak settled for third with 1849 after a brief lead while Kuwait's Yaqoub Al-Shatti and another Thai, Sithphol Kunaksorn tied in fifth with 1847. Debutants, Nikita Koshelev of Russia and South Africa's Guy Caminksy did well to finish 11th and 14th respectively.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Cyrus Cheung became the second bowler to score a perfect game of the tournament. His achievement moved him up to 15th in the table on a total of 1750.

Earlier in the afternoon, Tim Mack and Guy Gaminsky with Talk Tenpin's John Egan were given a tour and threat to one of the 18 Dominos Pizza outlets in Riyadh by Joe Hilal, Director of Operation for Dominos Saudi Arabia.

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Dominos is one of the major sponsor of the 3rd Saudi International Open, which is also preparing a big Dominos pizza feast at Universal Bowling Center this evening for the participants.

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Bahraini storms into the lead

4th May, Riyadh

Newly-crowned Sinai Open champion, Yousef Falah of Bahrain stormed into the lead of the 3rd Saudi International Open as competition heated up towards the two final days of qualifying.

Yousef Falah had finished seventh in the table with 1752 on scores of 953 on long oil and 799 on short oil as Surasak Manuwong of Thailand remained firmly in pole position with 1849 followed by team-mate, Yannaphon Larpaharat in second with 1821.

But the Sinai Open champion defied the odds to go one up with an improved 907 on his subsequent attempt on short oil to storm into the lead with an 8-game aggregate of 1860. relegating Surasak into second spot.

Kuwait's Yaqoub Al-Shatti also sprang surprise to take over the third spot with 1847 with 942 and 905 series on althernating oil conditions. UAE's Hulaiman Al-Hamley finished fourth with 1835 ahead of another Thai, Yannaphon in fifth.

border Yousef Falah taking over the lead

Khaled Al-Dubyyan of Kuwait took sixth spot with 1812 followed by double ABF Tour champion, Hussain Al-Suwaidi of UAE in seventh with 1792. USA's Tim Mack, UAE's Naif Oqab and Russia's Nikita Koshelev completed the top 10.

Several notable competitors making debuts at the championship are 2008 World Tenpin Masters champion, Guy Gaminsky of South Africa, who has finished 13th in the table with 1770. Two Russians, Nikita Koshelev and Alexley Sokolov are here and making slow progress.

Season campaigner, Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia just arrive today and will be hard at work while another debutant, Fredrico Reyna from Costa Rica is also busy making his qualifying rounds.

border Guy Caminsky making his debut at the championship

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UAE southpaw stakes claim on title

3rd May, Riyadh

Southpaw Naif Oqab of United Arab Emirates staked his claim on the coveted title of the 3rd Saudi International Open after surging into third spot of the qualifying table on Sunday.

Naif Oqab, whose last success was winning the 2007 Asian Indoor Games, missed an opportunity to end his drought when he topped the Round 2 finals of the Bahrain Open last month. But in the subsequent round, Naif missed the cut for the stepladder finals.

The southpaw had finished sixth after his first two attempts on the two different oling conditions, posting 812 on long oil and and impresive 917 on short oil for an 8-game aggregate of 1729.

Naif made his second attempt on the long oil today and made a slight improvement with 867 taking his tally to 1784 and good enough for third in the qualifying leaderboard.

border Naif Oqab hoping to end his title

Perfect gamer, Surasak Manuwong of Thailand, who is also hoping to break the ice after a string of seconds and thirds so far this year, continued to lead the pack with 1849 ahead of team-mate, Yannaphon Larpapharat in second with 1821.

Sinai Open first runnerup, Tim Mack of USA completed his two attempts on the dual oil condition with 805 and 974 for a total of 1779 placing him fourth in the table. Top Saudi is Hassan Al-Shaikh in fifth spot with 1776.

Others making headway were ABF Tour Kuwait semi-finalist, Mohammed Kamel of Kuwait in sixth position followed by newly-crowned Sinai Open champion, Yousef Falah of Bahrain seventh with 1752.

border Tim Mack moving up to fourth

Prince Mohammad Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, ABF Tour Bahrain leg champion, Eric Tseng of Hong Kong and Kuwaiti Khaled Al-Dubyyan completed the top 10 with 1742, 1732 and 1709 respectively.

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Perfect game for Thai

2nd May, Riyadh

Surasak Manuwong of Thailand shot the first perfect game of the 3rd Saudi International Open en-route to taking pole position of the qualifying table at Universal Bowling Center on Saturday.

Surasak Manuwong, who has yet to win a title after a string of podium finishes this year, had shared the lead with team-mate and Thailand Open champion, Yannaphon Larpapharat yesterday after posting the highest 4-game series of 1041 on short oil.

And the Thai blazed the lanes today to shoot the tournament's first perfect game in an attempt to improve his long oil score. His effort only bettered his earlier score of 780 by six pins despite the 300.

Still, his total of 1827 took him to the top of the leaderboard and ahead of his team-mate by six pins. Yannaphon settled for second with 1821 followed by early leader, Hassan Al-Shaikh of Saudi Arabia in third with 1776.

border Surasak Manuwong scoring the first perfect game

Prince Mohammad Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia moved up from sixth to take up fourth after he posted an improved 1742. ABF Tour Bahrain leg champion, Eric Tseng rounded up the top 5 with 1732 ahead of another Saudi, Badr Al-Shaikh sixth with 1666.

Newly-crowned Sinai Open champion, Yousef Falah of Bahrain made his first attempt on short oil to register 799 behind runnerup, Tim Mack of USA, who also had his first attempt on short oil with 831.

Qualifying continues through to May 6th and the top 26 qualifiers, two from the desperado squad, three local Saudis outside the top 26 plus the top qualifier from a local tournament being run simultaneously will form the top 32 who will qualify for the Semifinals.

border H.R.H. Mohammad Al-Saud moving up to fourth

The semifinals will be contested over two blocks of 6 games and the top 16 at the end of the two blocks will advance into the slightly complicated knockout finals on Friday, May 8th. Top top 16 Asians will also qualify for the ABF Tour Saudi leg which will be held on May 9th.

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Thais share top spot

1st May, Riyadh

Newly-crowned Thailand Open champion, Yannaphon Larpapharat and Surasak Manuwong shared the top qualifying spot of the 3rd Saudi International Open at Universal Bowling Center on Friday.

Yannaphon, who shot the highest 4-game series on long oil with 925 and only managed 740 on the short oil condition to finish third yesterday, notched up an improved 896 on the short oil condition to give him a total of 1821.

The Thai had finished third to the Saudi's Al-Shaikh brothers of Hassan and Badr on 1665 yesterday now share the lead with Surasak Manuwong who shot the highest 4-game series of 1041 on short oil today.

Suarasak, who finished second in the Malaysian Open in March and third in the Thailand Open, is poised to take the lead once he improve on his 780 scoreline on the long oil condition.

border Yannaphon Larpapharat sharing the lead with his team-mate

Hassan and Badr Al-Shaikh of Saudi Arabia, settled for third anf fourth places with their 1776 and 1666 totals. Another local, Abdoh Al-Barqi rounded up the top 5 with 1657.

The Thailand national squad was the first overseas participants to arrive Riyadh after competing at the Sinai Open last week. More overseas bowlers from neighbouring Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE are expected today and tomorrow.

Some of the participants currently taking part in the World Ranking Masters in Naples are also expected to feature in the 3rd edition of the most prestigious championship in the Middle East.

border Surasak Manuwong poised to take over the lead

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Saudi brothers dominate qualifying

30th April, Riyadh

Saudi brothers, Hassan and Badr Al-Shaikh dominated the qualifying rounds of the 3rd Kingdom of Saudi International Open underway at Universal Bowling Centre by occupying the top 2 positions.

Hassan, who just returned from Australia for studies, shot a superb 896 on long oil and another 880 on short oil conditions for a total of 1776 and the lead in the qualifying leaderboard.

The leader, who together with his brother, Badr stunned Asia when the duo bagged the 2006 Doha Asian Games Doubles gold medal. Since then the brothers have taken a break from the game to pursue their studies in Australia.

Badr totaled 1666 with 766 on long oil and a stunning 900 on short oil to take up second spot behind Hassan.

border Hassan Al-Shaikh in action to claiming pole

Newly-crowned Thailand Open champion, Yannaphon Larpapharat also impressed with a total of 1665 after the Thai posted the highest 4-game series of 925 on long oil but only managed 740 for his best short oil attempt.

Saudi's Abdoh Al-Barqi and Thailand's Surasak Manuwong rounded the top 5 with 1657 and 1635. Pasut Punsanthaveekul, also from Thailand took sixth spot with 1619 followed by Prince Mohammad Al-Saud and Prince Abdul Hakim seventh and eighth positions.

Bowlers have to bowl a minimum of two squads on long oil condition and two squads on short oil conditions. Their best long and best short oil conditions attempts make up the total 8 games needed to make the next stage.

The top 26 qualifiers, two from the desperado squad, three local Saudis outside the top 26 plus the top qualifier from a local tournament being run simultaneously will form the top 32 who will qualify for the Semifinals.

The semifinals will be contested over two blocks of 6 games and the top 16 at the end of the two blocks will advance into the slightly complicated knockout finals on Friday, May 8th. Top top 16 Asians will also qualify for the ABF Tour Saudi leg which will be held on May 9th.