State Champs finale is blue ribbon Singles
Great weather, enthusiastic crowds, and live streamed to BQ Facebook, BQ State Singles finals day was a thriller. Pictured left, the 2017 BQ State Championships Singles Finals presentation party, BQ Match’s Nev Galbraith, State Men’s Singles champion Nathan Rice, State Men’s Singles silver medalist Dean McWhinney, BQ Board director Brian Marshall, BQ Match’s Ron Somerville, State Women’s Singles silver medalist Dee-Ann Robertson, State Women’s Singles champion Katelyn Inch.
Queensland’s 2017 Men’s Singles champion Nathan Rice is rapt to be lifting the Cup again, for the third time (2009, 2011, 2017).
“Oh it’s fantastic, so hard to win, this is pretty big for me, I’m trying to push back into the Commonwealth Games side, I had to try to put my name back out there again, it’s been a bit quiet for a while, it’s nice to be back in the winner’s circle again,” Rice said.
“I was very confident the way I’ve been playing and it got me over the line.”
“Obviously playing against a good mate of mine like Dean, it could have gone either way.
“Dean was killing me first off in the game, I couldn’t find a line, my weight was a bit here-there, I had to try to hang in there and narrow it down to one, and it’s nice to have a win again.”
Silver medalist Dean McWhinney was four shots ahead of Rice 17-13 on the 24th end and five shots ahead 20-15 on the 28th, but Rice turned the tables in the last five ends to finish 25-21, 34 ends.
“I’m very happy with the way I played, I got off the blocks pretty well, the greens changed a fraction and I think that’s what put me off a bit, and Nate just jumped on top and pretty much controlled the whole game then,” McWhinney said.
“Great to be in the final though, it’s always hard to be in the final of a State event, I enjoyed it very much.”
NZ international Katelyn Inch took a risk coming to Broadbeach at the end of January this year to further her Commonwealth Games campaign on the greens of Broadbeach.
“Trying to get selected for New Zealand, currently in the squad and waiting to see what happens, over here just trying to get some more experience and play more bowls than I’m used to, give it my best shot,” Inch said.
“It definitely was a risk, I didn’t know how it was going to turn out, new place, I didn’t know anyone, but I think it’s definitely paid off, I love playing on these greens now, I’m getting more used to them every day.”
Out of the New Zealand selector’s eyes she could easily be overlooked but today’s QLD State Singles title will ensure her name stays on the list.
“It’s an event I’ve never played before, everything was new, everything was exciting and it was a level of bowls I’ve never played before,” Inch said.
“I knew coming into today it would be tough and Dee played awesome it was such a good niggly game and it went down to the wire, that made it really cool.
“I don’t think there was a turning point, I think I was just really steady the whole way, I just kept my cool, I wasn’t as nervous as I usually get, I just had to hang in there and I knew eventually I’d make it over the finish line, I had to keep grinding away.”
It was a very tight women’s final, Inch had her nose in front most of the way but silver medalist Dee-Ann Robertson was never out of the game, the biggest margin being five shots behind on the 21st end, 14-19.
However five ends later, Robertson was only one shot off the pace, 20-21.
Inch took four more ends to get the magic number, 25-21, to win the title in 29 ends.
“We both did as good as we could have, a few ends that Katelyn converted that got her the game, good on her, my next thing is to have a couple of weeks off and then get ready for the AO,” Robertson said.
Robertson won the Women’s Singles silver medal in last year’s Australian Open, with Natasha Scott (NSW) taking the title.