Tan takes home PWBA Stockton Open title

Tan takes home PWBA Stockton Open title

STOCKTON, Calif. – Being the top seed for the stepladder finals at a Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour event isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Just ask Cherie Tan of Singapore.

In 2019, Tan dominated the field at the Nationwide PWBA Greater Cleveland Open, leading qualifying by more than 200 pins and securing the top seed for the stepladder finals only to lose to Josie Barnes of Nashville, Tennessee, in the title match.

As such, it would’ve been understandable for Tan to feel a bit apprehensive heading into the finals at this year’s season-opening PWBA Stockton Open.

After all, yet again, she led the pack from start to finish during qualifying and entered the stepladder as the No. 1 seed.

This time, however, Tan was able to finish what she started as the 35-year-old left-hander defeated Jordan Richard of Maumee, Ohio, 237-205, during Saturday night’s live BowlTV finals at Pacific Avenue Bowl.

The win gave Tan her fourth career PWBA Tour title, and it was a special one at that as the 2023 Stockton Open was the 100th tournament to award a title since the tour’s relaunch in 2015.

Tan wasn’t aware of the event’s significance going in, but it’s a fact that will make her latest win even more memorable.

“I didn’t know it was going to be the 100th title until I got here and heard people talking about it,” Tan said. “It’s pretty cool to have won it, so I just hope that we keep seeing more and more tournaments and get the opportunity to come back.”

The win certainly didn’t come easy, however, as the title match was a back-and-forth affair until the very end.

Tan jumped out to an early 10-pin lead thanks to a double in the third and fourth frames, but Richard responded with strikes of her own in the fifth and sixth to cut the deficit back down to one.

Richard could have taken the lead with a strike in the seventh, but her shot crept just a bit high in the 1-3 pocket, resulting in a 4-pin, which she easily converted.

Nevertheless, the advantage shifted back in Tan’s favor, and she made the most of it by striking in the sixth and seventh frames to stretch her lead back out to 12 pins.

However, the string stopped at two in a row yet again as a ringing 7-pin halted her momentum in the eighth frame.

At that point, it actually appeared as if maybe the championship match were headed for a tie as both players could strike out to finish at 238.

That possibility disappeared quickly though as Richard was saddled with a vicious pocket 7-10 split in the eighth and a ringing 10-pin in the ninth. 

The open and spare swung the momentum firmly back in Tan’s favor, and she refused to let it go.

Needing just a mark and good count to win, the star from Singapore closed things out in style, striking on three of her final four shots to put the finishing touches on two days of masterful bowling by securing the title.

For Tan, getting back in the winner’s circle was gratifying, especially since she and the other bowlers from Singapore don’t normally get as many opportunities to compete as most of their American counterparts do.

“We don’t bowl every tour stop, so it’s good for us to do well when we come here,” Tan said. “It feels really great to win again.”

Winning in Stockton allowed Tan to grab her second title in as many seasons – she won last year’s PWBA BowlTV Classic in Rockville Centre, New York. Also, it gives her a lot of confidence as the 2023 season gets underway.

“I’ve been bowling pretty well consistently for the past couple of years, so to come in here and achieve this to start the season is very meaningful to me,” Tan said.

In addition to pride, Tan also took home the $20,000 top prize. Richard walked away with $10,000 for her second-place finish.

Richard got to the title match by defeating Breanna Clemmer of Clover, South Carolina, by a final score of 234-214 during the semifinals.

Clemmer actually stepped up in the 10th frame with a chance to win that match; unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be as, needing a strike, her ball went high and left a 3-4 split, which allowed Richard to survive and advance.

Clemmer’s third-place finish earned her $7,500.

One match earlier, Clemmer used a late four-bagger to defeat Lindsay Boomershine of Brigham City, Utah, 229-216. 

Boomershine kicked of Saturday night’s stepladder finals in thrilling fashion, finishing with eight strikes in a row to erase an early deficit and defeat Daria Pajak of Poland, 238-208. 

Boomershine finished fourth, and Pajak took fifth, earning $6,500 and $5,500, respectively. 

The 73-player field in Stockton bowled 12 games Friday before the first cut to the top 24 athletes. Advancers bowled an additional six-game block Saturday morning with the top 12 competing in a final six-game round to determine the five bowlers for the stepladder, based on 24-game pinfall totals.
The 2023 PWBA Tour will now head to Lilac Lanes & Casino in Spokane, Washington, for the PWBA GoBowling! Spokane Open, which will take place May 11-13. 

The winner will take home $20,000, and all rounds of competition, including the stepladder finals, will be broadcast live at BowlTV.com.
The stepladder finals of the GoBowling! Spokane Open will take place May 13 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern.

Categories: Tournaments, Players
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