International raiders stake claim on #AusOpenGC
A handful of international raiders have secured passage through the Australian Open’s blue-ribbon men’s singles The Australian Open, while playing host to our best and brightest, has also come under attack from a group of highly decorated international raiders.
The players, some of the most talented in the world, have journeyed from the furthest parts of the Northern Hemisphere in their quest for the title.
If the first day is anything to go on it looks ominous for the rest of the field.
Scotland’s Alex Marshall MBE, one of the games most celebrated and decorated stars, will be the centrepiece of these internationals.
The six-time world indoor bowls champion, four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist is arguable the world’s best bowler.
Marshall began the tournament in form winning all three of his matches at Club Helensvale: 21-17 against Sean Baker, 21-3 against Keith Farrelly and 21-16 against Ray Dienelt.
Three top New Zealand bowlers, Richard Girvan, Gary Lawson and Shannon Mcllroy are all strong contenders in this year’s $225,000 event.
Girvan, a former Blackjack after making his debut for New Zealand’s national side in 2005, won all his matches today at Broadbeach.
In the morning’s match Girvan beat Stephen Milstead 21-13, followed that with a 21-18 victory over Daniel Penman and in the final game of the day he beat Jim Chapman 21-6.
Gary Lawson won all his matches today at Benowa but was pushed to his limits in his final two matches.
The two-time world champion, who won gold in 2008 in pairs and fours, beat David Grima 21-10, Gary Lasky 21-18 and Paul Rafton 21-17.
One of New Zealand’s brightest stars, Shannon Mcllroy, went through unscathed, playing at Paradise Point beat Barry Delbridge 21-16, Louie Beurteaux 21-8 and Paul Keenan 21-11.
Another Scottish world champion Graeme Archer, who won gold in the triples at the 2012 World Championship in Adelaide, may struggle to make it to the knockout stages.
Archer, playing in Robina, won his first match against Alan Erskine 21-18 but lost his second match 6-21 against David Willcocks.
He rebounded strongly in his final game beating Peter Ellul 21-7 however with a points differential of just two his fate is no longer in his own hands.
Canadian turned Broadbeach master-blaster Ryan Bester won his three matches at Mermaid Beach, 21-7 against Huge Wylie, 21-4 against Jym Orfanidis and 21-13 against Max Joffray
Not to be outdone by his United Kingdom brethren, former English captain Stuart Airey, also went through his sectionals with an unblemished record at Tugun.
Airey beat Alan Grainger 21-12, Joel Anderson 21-14 and Abdul Latif Bin Abdul Karim 21-6 and will be a strong contender to take out the title.
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Caption: Queenslanders Opening Day AO Gold Coast with the best bowler in the world Alex Marshall MBE, from left, Brett Wilkie (Helensvale), Peter Thompson (Paradise Point), Alex, Sean Baker (Hamilton), Paul “Greg Inglis” Staggard (Burleigh Heads) and Val Scolaro (Toowong).