46th Hong Kong International Open 2023
Masters crown for Malaysian and Hong Kong

17th June, Hong Kong: Second-seed, Tun Hakim of Malaysia and topseed, Joey Yip of Hong Kong, China were crowned the 46th Hong Kong International Open Masters champions on Saturday evening at SCAA Bowling Centre.

Hakim defeated Mak, 267-256 in the deciding match of the Men's Open Stepladder finals to win his first title this year. The Malaysian had earlier forced topseed, Mak into a second match after taking the first match, 234-192.

The champion outclassed third-seed and defending champion, Rafiq Ismail of Malaysia and winner of the first match, Ho Man Lok of Macau, 278-214-236 in the second match to advance to the championship match. Ho edged two Hong Kong national youths, Jason Leung seeded fifth and Ivan Tse seeded sixth, 260-244-256 in the opening match.

Hakim pocketed HK$60,000 (approx. US$7,670) as champion while Mak, who was also second in 2018, settled for HK$25,000 as first runner-up and Ho took home HK$16,000 as second runner-up. Ismail, Tse and Leung earned HK$8,000, HK$5,500 and HK$4,500 respectively for finishing fourth to sixth.

Newly-crowned Open Masters champions, Tun Hakim and Joey Yip

In the earlier 8-game Stage II finals, Mak topped the stage with 2068 to advance to the stepladder finals as topseed. Hakim, who was leading prior to the final game finished second with 2060 while Ismail took third position with 2041.

Ho, Leung and Tse made the cut for the stepladder finals in fourth to sixth positions with 1971, 1961 and 1960 respectively. Tony Wong of Hong Kong missed the cut by 30 pins after finishing seventh.

Meanwhile, ex-international and top local qualifier, Joey Yip captured the Women's crown edging challenger and fourth-seed, Jermaine Seah of Singapore, 211-209 in the title match. Yip became the second Hong Kong women to win the coveted Women's title since Chan Shuk Han winning it back in 2009.

Seah dispatched second-seed, Gigi Leung of Hong Kong and Veronica De Souza of Macau, 240-220-221 in the second match to face Yip. The Singaporean also defeated fifth-seed and defending champion, Iliya Syamin of Singapore and sixth-seed, Agnes Chang of Hong Kong, 255-222-233 in the first match.

Top 3 Men's Open Masters winners, Michael Mak, Tun Hakim and Ho Man Lok

Yip won HK$30,000 (approx. US$3,835) as champion while Seah pocketed HK$16,000 as first runner-up. De Souza earned HK$8,000 as second runner-up. Leung, Syamim and Chang settled for HK$4,000, HK$2,700 and HK$2,000 respectively for finishing fourth to sixth.

In the earlier 8-game Stage II finals, Yip literally led from start to finish to take top spot with 1938. Leung was second with 1870 and De Souza third with 1841. Seah, Syamim and Chang made the stepladder finals in fourth to sixth with 1839, 1825 and 1814.

Newly-crowned Singapore Open champion, Sin Li Jane of Malaysia, who was in fifth position before the final game, missed the cut by 13 pins after Syamim shot a big game to clinch fifth and Chang sixth.

Trophies and prizes were presented at the victory banquet hosted by Hong Kong Tenpin Bowling Congress at Crown Sky Restaurant at EMAX Kitec Exhibition Centre in Kwonloon Bay attended by dignitaries, sponsors, team officials and participants.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong.

Top 3 Women's Open Masters winners, Jermain Seah, Joey Yip and Veronica De Souza
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