Ra'anana's Zvika Hadar and Pesel Gelman came through to win, respectively, the annual men's and women's President's Singles titles last weekend at the Ramat Gan club.
In the 70-man field of Israel's top bowlers (Jeff Rabkin an absentee), Hadar won his final playoff against Cecil Bransky, denying the latter a third successive title win. At the same time, Hadar avenged his semifinal defeat last year - by Bransky. Hadar's 21-9 win was by no means a matter of luck; an initial lead of 11-0 was simply an indication of consistent superlative drawing to the jack, which would have been a challenge for any of the world's best, and which on the day's play could not be matched by his opponent.
For Hadar it was a fitting climax, for only the previous day he had won his club singles title against international player Danny Keet, after the latter had eliminated Jeff Rabkin. Hadar reached the final by winning his morning semifinal 21-16 against Alec Goldsmith. Bransky won his semifinal round with a comfortable 21-11 win against Raymond Sher.
In previous qualifying rounds Goldsmith had beaten Colin Silberstein and Ivan Kantor, Hadar had beaten Keet, Bransky had won against Boaz Marcus, and Kantor had accounted for George Kaminsky.
Hadar's recent successes add to the national titles he has already earned in his relatively short four-year playing career.
In a closer women's final, Pesel Gelman did well to beat Ramat Gan's Tami Kamzel, Israel's Masters champion. Gelman's steadier play kept her in the lead throughout the major part of the game, except at 11th and 12th ends when Kamzel collected a four and a two to lead 12-9. But Gelman's more accurate drawing took her back to a 16-13 lead after 17 ends.
Kamzel closed to 16-15, only to lose a successive three and a two when her runs to the head failed to displace Gelman's lying woods, for the latter to win deservedly 21-15. Gelman reached the final with a semifinal 21-15 win against Ramat Gan's Shosh Assiyahu, having earlier eliminated Denny Galland and Naomi Fix.
For her part, Assiyahu had excellent wins against international players Ruthie Gilor and Tzila Gavish. Kamzel won her semifinal 21-3 against Dolores Linde - a reversal of her loss to Linde in last year's semifinal. Last year's winner, Liat Atlas, had a first-round loss to Ramat Gan's Naomi Fix.
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