Cherie Tan knew what she needed to win the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup on Saturday.
With just one frame left, after her opponent had finished her game, her target was two strikes and three more pinfalls.
The SEA Games women's masters champion made the first strike, and was confident as she released her second ball.
No strike, as the seventh pin failed to fall.
And so the 25-year-old agonisingly lost the best-of-three stepladder final by just two pinfalls, 213-215, to Canada's Caroline Lagrange in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
Had she won, she would have been the third Singaporean winner after Jasmine Yeong-Nathan in 2008 and Shayna Ng last year.
Said Tan: "When the ball left my hand, I knew it would be a good shot, and it was.
"Unfortunately, the seventh pin just wouldn't fall. I thought I had it, the shot was that good."
The seventh pin had already given the southpaw trouble in the deciding game, as Tan had also failed to knock it down in the fourth, seventh and eighth frames.
Said Tan: "I've had trouble with the seventh pin all week. I tried to correct it in practice but it's not so simple."
Still, it was Tan's best showing at the World Cup after finishing 26th in 2005 and fourth in 2011.
Starting the day in fifth place with 7,373 pinfalls, she scored four victories in the top eight round- robin matches to finish third overall and qualify for the stepladder finals.
Her first stepladder opponent was two-time world champion Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republic, a veteran 11 years her senior.