Singapore's Daphne Tan leads first round at 2019 USBC Queens


- The members of Team Singapore consistently have found success when traveling to the United States to compete, and Daphne Tan became the latest in their six-player contingent to make news after leading the opening round of qualifying at the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Queens.

Tan paced the 192-player field Thursday at Northrock Lanes, rolling games of 197, 246, 236, 256 and 245 for a 1,180 total, a 236 average.

Kayla Bandy of Salisbury, Maryland, was second with 1,155, and Kerry Smith of New Holland, Pennsylvania, was third with 1,139. Colombia's Anggie Ramirez Perea (1,120) and Canada's Caroline Lagrange (1,119) rounded out the top five.

Qualifying and match play at the 2019 USBC Queens, the first major of the 2019 Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour season, will be livestreamed at, and the finals will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network on May 21 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Tan and her teammates - sister Cherie Tan, Bernice Lim, New Hui Fen, Shayna Ng and Jazreel Tan (no relation) - have been stateside since the start of the 2019 season in April and are scheduled to compete through the next event, the PWBA Sonoma County Open from May 30-June 1.

While life on the road offers its challenges, Tan is happy to see the group's dedication to the sport show week in and out.

She made her first cut of the season at last week's PWBA Lincoln Open and was joined in the Round of 32 by all of her teammates. Through three events, the six players have made 14 trips to the Round of 32 and eight appearances in the Round of 12, while Cherie Tan and Jazreel Tan finished in second and third, respectively, at the season-opening Nationwide PWBA Greater Cleveland Open.

"It was great to have all six of us make the cut last week, and our goal is to eventually have all of us make the top 12," Tan said. "It just shows how well we've worked together, and that all of the hard work we've put in is worth it."

Tan bowled on the burn in the opening round, meaning one squad already had bowled on this week's 39-foot lane condition. She'll face the fresh in her next two rounds of qualifying, so it was important for her to collect as much information as she could on Thursday.

"The lanes weren't giving me much of a problem today," Tan said. "I just tried to stay with my process. I'm going to see what everybody is doing on the next squad, since I'm on the first squad tomorrow. I'm going to keep an open mind, since anything can happen, and just go with the flow."

Defending champion Shannon O'Keefe of Shiloh, Illinois, is 13th after Thursday's five-game block with a 1,076 total.

O'Keefe, the reigning PWBA Player of the Year, is guaranteed the No. 64 spot in the double-elimination match-play bracket at 2019 Queens, but bowling qualifying will give her a chance to improve her seeding.

Competition will resume Friday at 9 a.m. Eastern with the second round of qualifying.

All bowlers will bowl 15 games of qualifying over three days to determine the 63 bowlers joining O'Keefe in match play.

The match-play bracket will feature three-game matches with total pinfall determining who advances. The five players who make their way through the bracket will advance to the stepladder finals and have the chance to take home the top prize of $20,000.