Rising star and international hotshot claim Australian Indoor Championships
St Johns Park duo Jamie-Lee Worsnop and David Holt have been crowned Australian Indoor champions Meanwhile, in the blockbuster men’s final, it was former English Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Holt, who now also calls Sydney’s St Johns Park home, that prevailed to claim his second Australian title after a string of indoor and outdoor trophies abroad.
The $30,000 event boasts a rich history, dating back to 1988 in the men’s field and 2003 in the women, but it was an up-and-coming rising star who prevailed over an international veteran in the women’s final decider to secure a unique slice of history and the $6,000 winner’s cheque that accompanies the national title.
Worsnop took a couple ends to adjust to the conditions of the Tweed Heads televised show rink, dropping a shot on the first two ends to former Scottish International Kay Moran, before posting scores on the next five consecutive ends to blast away to an 8-2 lead, and mitigated the damage on the penultimate and final end to secure a 8-5 first set.
The pint sized international heavyweight and the straight-faced promising young-gun traded blows over the second set, with just a one shot margin in Worsnop’s favour after the penultimate end.
Having claimed the first set, Worsnop could afford to give up one shot, but no more, on the last end to tie the set and clinch a one-and-a-half set victory, but found herself down 2 shots with just final bullet to be fired.
Taking it in her stride, she delivered a clutch drive that ricocheted off the shot bowl and knocked out Moran’s second shot to secure her first senior national title with a tied second set, 8-all.
“It was such a close game the whole way through,” Worsnop said after prevailing.
“Every player here is amazing so I was stoked to even get this far.
“To make it up here through the qualifying was a great achievement in itself, but it’s something special to win in at 17.”
In the men’s final decider, it was also a New South Welshmen that was left holding the silverware, with Holt prevailing over 2010 event winner, and Australian Jackaroos vice-captain, Brett Wilkie, 9-6, 4-7, 2-1.
Holt, who moved from England to Australia in 2002, earned his second national title in 10 months, coincidentally the only two that come with automatic entry into a world event to represent Australia.
“When I came to Australia 12 years ago, I actually thought the Aussie Indoor would be my cup of tea because I played a lot of indoor and actually managed an indoor club, but I guess its taken my quite a while to achieve it,” Holt said after his win.
“The highlight of my year was supposed to be the World Champion of Champions in Christchurch – I was gearing up towards that, thinking if I do nothing at all this year I’ll still have a good week over there, so this is just icing on the cake.
“I thought I was kind of retired, but I’ve got two World events to play now so I guess its all happening.”
Worsnop will now get her first taste of senior international representation courtesy of her victory, with the winner of the men’s and women’s finals provided the nation’s only two entries into the coveted World Cup, to be held at Warilla in NSW next year, while Holt will be well and truly acclimated to his new green and gold colours by then.
Men’s final: David Holt (St Johns Park) def Brett Wilkie (Club Helensvale) 9-6, 4-7, 2-1
Women’s final: Jamie-Lee Worsnop (St Johns Park) def Kay Moran (Cabramatta) 8-5, 8-8