Pride of South Australia
South Australian men have a long and proud history of bowling in Australia with greats of the game Des Moran MBE, Verd Hamblen and Alf Sandercock all hailing from the state.
One thing, however, is missing from a trophy cabinet otherwise brimming with accolades: the Australian Open.
Over the next two weeks South Australia will have their best chance to break a 10 year drought with Australian Jackaroo and Adelaide Endurance star Wayne Ruediger, his Endurance teammate Scott Thulborn and Max Kleinig, who recently trialled for the Jackaroos, all with a chance to win the $225,000 event.
Faye Luke the South Australian National Training Centre Coach and Australian Team Manager said all three men had a good chance to win the Open and put South Australia on the map.
“It’s very open, all three of them are very capable of winning it,” Mrs Luke said.
“I wouldn’t like to pick just one out; we’ve got Wayne Ruediger who is an Australian player, Scott Thulborn who has won lots of titles in South Australia, and Max Kleinig, who is really wanting to give it all a big crack again.”
Ruediger, who won a bronze medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, won his first match this morning 21-8 against Frank Vella in Broadbeach.
After a slow start, trailing 4-0, Ruediger cruised to victory 21-8 and will face a tough challenge in his second game against Gold Coast stalwart Steve Halmai.
Thulborn, currently ranked in the top four of the Aero Bowls National Rankings, dispatched of his opponent Kenneth Alchin in ruthless fashion 21-0.
Holdfast Bay’s Max Kleinig won all his matches yesterday and is through to the knockout stages on Monday June 22.
Faye Luke said the state of bowls in South Australia was bright with a good core of young players coming through the ranks.
“We are looking very good for the future, particularly in our men; we’ve got some really good up and comers as well who have also travelled to the Gold Coast to compete in such a world class event,” Mrs Luke said.
“I really think we’ve upped our ante when it comes to training and everything like that, now a lot of our players are willing to travel more and play with the best and against the best, so I think we’re moving on up.”
“Having Wayne Ruediger achieve so much has truly inspired us all that anyone can give it a shot.”
Two South Australian women, young rising stars of the sport Renee McPharlin and Breanna Dickson will also be flying the flag for crow eaters.
Both girls are in the NTC High performance program and have represented Australia in development series’ at Trans-Tasman level with McPharlin currently part of the Australian A Squad.
In other matches at Broadbeach this morning Former Australian National Coach Cameron Curtis registered his first win, whilst NSW NTC Squad member Ben Twist’s match went down to the wire with the St Johns Park player falling over the line 21-18.