View from the greens
BQ CEO Brett Wilkie gives his weekly update from around the greens. (Pictured left: Commonwealth Games Men’s Singles finalists Aaron Wilson and Ryan Bester will be taking part in this year’s Blue Opal Singles event.)
**As published in the Gold Coast Bulletin**
Broadbeach have attracted many of the World’s finest singles exponents for their Inaugural $64,000 Blue Opal Singles.
The 64 strong field take to the green today courtesy of a $1,000 entry fee, making it the equal richest club tournament in the World.
Headlining the challengers for the $20,000 first prize are 10-time World and five-time Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Alex Marshall from Scotland, current Commonwealth Games Singles Gold Medallist and World Pairs Champion Aaron Wilson and current Commonwealth Games/World Championship Singles Silver medallist Ryan Bester.
Throw in multiple World Champions, a number of Australian Open Singles champions, dozens of International reps and there will be a feast of bowls action across the two days starting with knockout rounds today and finals tomorrow.
Bester, Broadbeach’s Bowls Coordinator tossed this concept around many years ago and then was beaten to the punch by a Western Australian event last year called the “Everest” Singles.
The Everest also had a field of 64 with a $1,000 entry fee and a $50,000 first prize purse. This was won by Wilson and was the start of his bid for the Australian Commonwealth Games Singles spot.
Broadbeach have chosen to spread the money more in this event with a smaller first prize and paying down to the last 16.
Broadbeach’s Blue Diamond Pairs follows the Blue Opal Singles on Thursday and Friday, many of the singles will double up together with another wave of players arriving on the Gold Coast.
This is all in preparation for the Australian Open (AO) which commences on Saturday at clubs all over the Coast.
Men’s singles commence on Saturday while the Women’s event will start with singles on Monday.
Mermaid Beach and Gold Coast Lawn are both holding events this Friday to cater for the influx of bowlers wanting to get some time on the Gold Coast greens prior to the AO.
Eight young QLD stars will take on a Hong Kong team this Friday at Burleigh Heads in a friendly challenge as a warm-up for the AO.
The Gold Coast’s Scott DeJongh-Fitzpatrick (Tweed Heads), Dale McWhinney-Shillington (South Tweed), Shane White, Jessie Cottell, Tahlia Camilleri (Helensvale) and Michaela Bailey-Nelson (Musgrave Hill) will join Mitchell Mears (Algester) and Jacinta Weier (Hervey Bay) in gaining valuable experience playing against International competitors.
Queensland Qualifying was held for the Australian Indoor Men’s Singles last weekend.
Five players advanced to the main draw including John Bain and Steve Halmai from Tweed Heads, Paul Staggard (Helensvale), Alex Murtagh (Pine Rivers) and Robert Blanco from Mooloolaba.