Ryan, Wild, Baker pillage the $31,000 prize purse
It doesn’t get much better for NSW sensation Ellen Ryan who today pocketed a cool $16,000 courtesy of her victory in the coveted singles at the 2015 Australian Open.
The world’s biggest festival of bowls has been a happy hunting ground for the 18 year old from Goulburn who today overcome nerves to win her maiden Australian Open finals appearance 21-10 over Millmerran’s Maree Gibbs.
Ryan took no time at all to settle into the match jumping out to a 6-0 lead; consistent play for the entire match ensured Ryan dominated from start to finish.
Before Maree Gibbs had even blinked, half a match was behind her trailing the youngster 1-11; it was then up to the 58 year old to show the fight she is renowned for in the bowls fraternity and chase down the Cabramatta whizz kid.
Ryan never let up; a future Australian player in the making showed why she is Australia’s brightest young star continued to pepper the jack and put Gibbs under immense pressure and Ryan said it was her start that was the key to success.
“Maree was a tough opponent and I knew that it was going to be a really difficult, but I got off to a good start and I was able to keep it going,” Ryan said after securing the lucrative prize purse.
“I’m used to the Goulburn weather where it’s always raining, so this was just like back home so I knew I could nail it.
“This is definitely my highest achievement in the sport so far.
Ryan never let the potential pay packet hinder her performance and upon having time to consider how she will spend her $16,000, the modest teenager was still more focussed on the achievement.
“I haven’t even thought about the prize money, but it’s crazy that I’ve just won that much.
“Just to make top 16 was quite amazing but I think I’ll set my sights on going back-to-back next year and give it another crack.
“I’m aiming for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games so what better place to be then here amongst Australia’s best.”
We cannot begin to emphasize the high standard of bowls being played in the men’s pairs final that was won by the very accomplished team of Robbie Wild and Sean Baker, no strangers to the big stage, Wild and Baker dominated their younger Gold Coast opponents Braiden Leese and Sam White to win the final 18-8.
Despite the score line, Leese and White were never far off the mark forcing Wild and Baker to play at their best to claim the spoils in today’s final.
“Braiden and Sam had such a great run, they beat a lot of high profile teams but fortunately things just went our way.
“At these sort of events, even if you don’t know the opponents, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re going to give you a tough game, we had some really close battles, particularly against a couple of Robbie’s clubmates Peter Deutschmann and Tony Bonnell, who we beat by one.
“If they dropped a couple inches short and draws the shot, we wouldn’t have even been here.
Whilst Baker has experienced bowls at the highest level representing Australia against South Africa back in 2011 his Australian Open achievement rates very highly.
“I’ll never forget playing for Australia cause it was actually in front of my granddad in his home town so that’s always going to be special for me,” Baker said reminiscing.
“As an individual win, this is probably my biggest achievement, and to do it with Robbie Wild, one of my great mates, is very serial.
“It will probably sink in a bit later.
“It’s probably one of these best moves bringing the Australian Open Gold Coast, particularly to the Broadbeach Bowls Club, they have so much accommodation, places for people to go out for dinner, they can bring families, the greens are great, the weather is generally pretty good, although we didn’t have the best run of it this time, but it’s the best place in the world to play bowls.”
Today was just the first day of live finals with the women’s pairs final between defending champions …