Australian Jackaroos dominate at Mermaid Beach
The women’s singles kicked off today in perfect sunny Gold Coast conditions and Mermaid Beach Bowling Club will be the centre of an intriguing days play.
Some of the sport’s biggest names will feature at the immaculate grounds, headlined by a strong contingent of Australian Jackaroos and international raiders.
Carla Odgers, who played for Australia at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, said she was wrapped to be here for the Open and it seemed the locals were getting behind the tournament as well.
“It’s great to be up here on the Gold Coast especially being from Melbourne,” Miss Odgers said.
“We walked down the street yesterday and we saw some people that came up to us and wished us good luck.”
“Everyone in the community seems to be excited about it, it’s a great atmosphere, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
In her first match of the day, against Patricia Jorgensen, Odgers won comfortably 21-6 in a game she said she got into a good rhythm early but was not perfect throughout.
“I think I probably needed to finish it off a bit quicker, I started off really well and sort of lapsed a little bit in the middle, so my goal for the next game is to just keep focused,” Miss Odgers said.
Odgers said there was a respectful rivalry between all the Australian Jackaroos given the amount of times they play together.
“We try to take it seriously, in bowls you play each other so often that you can’t help it, so we all just respect each other and take it as serious as possible,” Miss Odgers said.
“We‘re all out there to win after all.”
Also in action today at Mermaid Beach is Lynsey Clarke, Australian Jackaroos Captain and the 2014 Australian Open Singles runner-up; a strong contender again this year playing in her home town, Clarke won her first match 21-6 against Denise Huender.
Clarke will be tested in her second round match when she takes on Amy Choi, one of 16 Hong Kong international players here competing in the Australian Open.
Samantha Shannahan, another Australian Jackaroo who recently moved to powerhouse Sydney club, Club Merrylands cruised to victory against Liana Lee of Singapore 21-14.
In what will be the game of the day, two of the most illustrious names in bowls, New Zealand Blackjack Jo Edwards and Malaysian Siti Zalina Ahmad will meet in the second game of the day.
The current Commonwealth Games singles gold medallist Edwards and dual Commonwealth Games singles gold medallist Ahmad are pitted against each other in what could, given their results from this morning’s matches, see the loser shockingly fail to make the knockout stages.
Both women posted comfortable wins in their first match of the day with Edwards winning 21-10 against Jenny Rogalski and Ahmad, 21-8 against Veronica Kelly.
In other first round matches Victorian NTC Squad members Elise Cowan and Tayla Spence went head to head with the young gun Spence registering the win 21-16 over the former Australian Open Pairs Champion.