NATIONAL coach Holloway Cheah's timely move to alter the surface of Esther's ball helped his daughter end an 18-month Open title drought at the Hong Kong Open yesterday.
Esther, the second seed, turned on a stunning display to outlast Singapore's top seed Jazreel Tan, who was last year's Amateur Bowler of the Year, 242-225 and 267-235 to win her first title since the 2010 All Stars Classic in Kuala Lumpur.
"My dad altered the surface of my ball during the final and I think that helped a lot. It is a timely confidence booster and I hope this will motivate me to win more titles," said Esther, who earned RM10,600, when contacted in Hong Kong.
"My career took a slight dive when I was studying in the United States as I was without guidance. But since returning last year, my game has been improving."
Yesterday's triumph is Esther's first international Open title outside the country since the 2005 Thailand Open.
The 26-year-old, however, nearly blew it in the Masters second round following a poor 158 in the fifth game but the two-time world champion managed to up her performance and eventually posted a 10-game total of 2,197 pinfalls to finish third for the stepladder finals.
Esther defeated Hong Kong's Joey Yip and compatriot Shalin Zukifli, 235-191-185, in the second match of the finals to earn a crack at the title.
Shalin eventually finished third while Zatil Iman Abdul Ghani was placed fifth.
In the men's section, Muhd Nur Aiman Khairuddin was Malaysia's best finisher at third.
Qatar's Fahad Al Emadi defeated UAE's Hussain Al Suwaidi 204-214, 229-193 to clinch the title.