Asian champion and two-time Asia ranked No. 1, Hussain Al Suwaidi of UAE is vying for the Open title of the 3rd Dubai International Open Bowling Tournament on home ground after an impressive showing in the qualifying rounds.
Hussain Al Suwaidi, who failed to advance into the fourth round last year, bounced back with victory in the ABF Tour Tournament of Champions in Kuwait a month later. Since then, the Emirati has seen a dip in form for the rest of the season.
But judging by the form the 30-year-old Emirati has displayed so far during the on-going qualifying rounds, he is definitely a strong title contender. Hussain had taken the lead after the fourth day but lost it briefly.
Hussain regained the lead on the sixth day but again was robbed of the lead by fellow-compatriot and defending champion, Shaker Al Hassan, who remained in the lead with 2170. Filipino Jordan Evan is second with 2162.
Another Emirati, Ali Ahmed Al Saffar took third spot with 2146 as Hussain slipped down to fourth with 2145. Bahrain's Yousif Falah, three Emiratis Mahmood Al Attar, Sayed Al Hashemi and Hareb Al Mansoori completed the top 8.
Meanwhile, Biboy Rivera of the Philippines bagged Day 9 high series award of AED 100 with 734 while Thailand's Yannaphon Larpapharat will likely to win Day 10 high series award with 721.
There were no changes to the top three positions in the Youth Under-23 division with Samantha Hannan of England firmly in the lead with 2107. The England-born Emirati has also five daily high series award in the youth division.
With the arrival of Qatari and Kuwaiti bowlers and making their qualifying attempts in the remaining four days, the current cut at 1945 (averaging 216) will surely be raised.
Qualifying continues through to Thursday, February 22 for the Youth (Under-23) division and February 23 for the Open division. Finals will be held from February 24 onwards.
Standings are based on best of three 3-game series attempts and positions 1 to 8 will receive a bye for Round 3 finals. Positions 9 to 26 plus two best UAE qualifiers will contest the Round 2 finals over 8 games on Friday February 24.
The top 12 highest finishers together with the top 8 seeded qualifiers will contest the Round 3 finals over another 8 games where the field will be cut to 10 for another 8 games in Round 4 finals on Saturday 25 with pins carried forward.
The top 5 will proceed to the Stepladder Finals with the third, fourth and fifth seeds to bowl one game. The winner will advance to meet the second seed for another game and a chance to face the top seed in the title match to decide the champion.
The champion will walk away with the top prize of AED60,000 (approx. US$16,300), AED30,000 for second and AED15,000 for third position.
The main sponsor was Grand Capital LLC with La Marquise Coffee Shop, Mars Digital Printing, Grand Service Station Auto Service, SuperPrice Car Rental, and French Bakery as co-sponsors. The tournament is endorsed by the Dubai Sports Council and is santioned by Emirates Bowling Federation, Asian Bowling Federation and World Tenpin Bowling Association.