Aaron Teys, 21, beat Irish international Jeremy Henry, Australian Jackaroo Mark Casey and Canadian Comm Games silver medallist Ryan Bester on his way to the title. Aaron Teys played agressive, exciting bowls on the way to his first Australian Open title in the Men’s Singles.
To the surprise and shock of everyone, Teys had Commonwealth Games silver medallist Ryan Bester on the canvas, down 13-20 after 20 ends.
He needed only one more shot to go 21-up and claim the crown, as the new king of 800 singles contenders who tried their luck to be in his shoes, in the final of the 2015 Australian Open Men’s Singles.
Teys took to Irish international and Warilla club mate Jeremy Henry 21-20 in the third knockout round, and claimed the scalp of Australian Jackaroo Mark Casey 21-18 in the semi.
Bester came back 15-20, 16-20… Teys was having none of it, the excruciating clawback of his lead.
The Warilla wonder drove aggressively three times to sink the jack (and hopefully sit on top, giving him the one shot he needed to win).
“I expected Ryan to come back, you don’t take anything for granted with a bowler like him, but I was just hoping I could hang in there,” Teys said.
“My thinking was…now’s the time, I’m four shots up, and if I guts this jack, I’ll win.
“I knew I could lose four and still be in the game.”
Teys drove three times and missed twice, finally connecting with the jack, and while it didn’t end up in the ditch, it set Bester a new challenge, which the master craftsman was more than happy to meet, drawing shot with another of his perfectly placed bowls.
With his final bowl, Teys narrowed Bester’s margin to one shot, Bester now a step closer 17-20, but how many lives would he have, with Teys bowling so fearlessly?
On the 24th end, Teys got his shot, and his first Australian Open title, the most prestigious and coveted title of them all.
“Words can’t describe it, it’s unbelievable,” Teys said.
“People have been texting him and emailing him, he’s had at least 40 texts,” dad Craig Teys said, half an hour after the game.
The best boweler in the world Alex Marshall has been bowling with Teys at Warilla.
“He played third for me two years ago and he was good then,” Marshall said.
“I said then, ‘That Aaron Teys is going to go places’, he just had all the shots, he reads the head well and he has the right temperament to be a great bowler, he’s fearless, and that’s the way you’ve got to play when you’re up against a bowler like Ryan Bester.”
Teys is now a skip himself for Warilla, one of the best clubs in New South Wales.
“He’s got a wonderful future, he’s shown he can play with the big boys and win,” Marshall said.
The young greenkeeper left home in Ballina at 16 to work as a greenkeeper at Warilla and hone his craft, that’s 10 hours drive from home. (Ballina is northern NSW, Warilla is south of Wollongong.)
That was five years ago and the 21- year-old Teys has never looked back.
He’s been bowling for 16 years, since he was five years old, hanging out with his dad and Pop.
The only thing he likes almost as much as bowls is playing FIFA 15 on his play station.