Packer wins Masters Singles

by Aaron Delaporte

The Men’s Masters Singles was first held in WA in 1963 and in 2019 found a new host, new sponsor and new winner. Bassendean Bowling Club with some of the finest greens in Australia saw 54 of WA’s best male bowlers do battle for the Cork & Bottle Men’s Masters Singles title over three days of intense competition.

Osborne Park’s Cody Packer added to his Mixed Masters Fours and Pairs titles with his first major Singles victory and he did it in  impressive fashion beating the home crowd favorite Bassendean’s Matthew Whitely 25-7.

As you would expect both players came into the final in great form having already played three matches earlier in the day plus sectional matches previous to that. Whitely was the surprise packet of the event, the unheralded 23yo who is having his first season in Premier League playing as a leader in the best performed rink of the comp showed tremendous drawing ability on the way to the final. He defeated former State Singles winner Blake Nairn in sectional play 21-17 along with Colin Moore 21-16 before good victories over Alan Pryce and Jerome Clayton saw him face his toughest test against Doubleview’s John Slavich in the semi-final. Whitely was extremely impressive in that match winning it by using long ends to his advantage and drawing on the jack plenty of times in no doubt the win of his career. Packer had a strong run to the final having beaten last years winner Shane Knott 21-12, Miles Kemp 21-8, Stewart Gosstray 21-16 and Beau Manton 21-17.

In the final it was the current Perth Suns player Packer who continued his great form and was able to continually apply pressure right from his first bowl, nearly always drawing close to start an end. Whitely who may have been feeling a touch more nervous in his first major final was unable to find the same draw line and length of previous matches. The further the game went the more Packer looked the better player on the day with Whitely trying to use weight to get out of trouble but for the most part playing tricky shots on a green running around 17 seconds it was always a tough ask. To his credit Whitely tried right to the end and would no doubt have gained a lot from the experience however in the end Packer was too brilliant with the scoreline of 25-7 reflecting his great play.

Packer was presented with the Masters Singles trophy and the winners share of the $3,500 prizemoney by Cork & Bottle Bassendean owner and Bassendean Bowling Club member Mike Bessant.

A replay of the final is available on the Bowls WA Facebook Page.

Packer with two Masters wins this season now holds the lead in the Dyenamic Masters Series Bowler of the Year Award ahead of the John Slavich. The next Masters events on the calendar will be the North Beach Ladies Masters Pairs in early January before the Mosman Park Ladies Masters Singles and Doubleview Men’s Masters Pairs are both played in February 2020.