Rice twice a tough nugget assignment
By GREG KELLY
CAN Nathan Rice break the Golden Nugget hoodoo? No male bowler has ever won the Golden Nugget Invitation Singles back to back!
In the 20 previous Golden Nugget singles, only champion lady bowler Karen Murphy has won back-to-back titles, 1996, 1997 even though Murphy has five victories under her belt.
Nathan Rice, the defending champion won 25/14 over champion Kelvin Kerkow last year and then Kerkow went on to win the Australian Indoor in the same month this time turning on Rice.
However Rice has a hard task to win his section let alone the final with a tough first up match against world champion Steve Glasson on Monday afternoon and then comes up against New Zealand World Bowls Singles representative Ali Forsyth in round two on Tuesday morning.
Kelvin Kerkow, looking to win his third Golden Nugget title comes against in form Queensland Singles champion and now Ballina Wintersun winner Brian Baldwin in Monday's first round. Baldwin, the 2003 Golden Nugget winner, beat a crack field of Bowls Australia national squad members and top invited players on the weekend and will be full of confidence especially on the free running Tweed Heads greens.
The international field includes Canadian Ryan Bester, fresh from just wining the Atlantic Rim Singles on the weekend plus Englishman Jamie Chestney and Forsyth from NZ.
The ladies field is just as start studded with internationals, including Malaysian world number one Siti Zalina Ahmad, renowned Scottish international Joyce Lindores, and New Zealander Jo Edwards in the crack field.
Defending Ladies champion Lynsey Armitage will need to win against Edwards in round four and then face world indoor champion Judy Nardella in round five. Tweed's own Carmen Anderson comes up against Siti Zalina in the first round and this should be a highlight for the local supporters.
World champion Steve Glasson will officially open the Golden Nugget tournament on Monday morning at 11.15am with the first round to commence at 1.00pm. The players will play in an informal mixed pairs warm up match from 9.00am.
Play continues on each day till the final day on Thursday, August 9.
Field Men Steve Glasson, Nathan Rice, Wayne Ruediger, Scott Caundle, Ali Forsyth, Ray Glasser, Kelvin Kerkow, Brian Baldwin, Ryan Bester, Wayne Turley, Jamie Chestney, Mathew Pietersen.
Field Ladies Kelsey Cottrell, Jo Edwards, Claire Duke, Lynsey Armitage, Judy Nardella, Sharyn Renshaw, Siti Zalina Ahmad, Carmen Anderson, Joyce Lindores, Mary Ann Spizer, Karen Murphy, Gail Waitai.
THE Gold Coast Tweed pennant commences this weekend with all teams playing 11 matches before the finals in October. Divisions one and two will play on Sunday, August 12.
THE Ladies Winter Carnival winds up tomorrow with the final of the Ladies Pairs at Tweed Heads at 9am. In the semi finals on Tuesday, Ann Marie Hardy d Estelle Janke (Ipswich United) 30-14 and Winette McLachlan ( N.Z.) d K Ballinger 21-10.
THE $12,000 Kingscliff Open Mixed Pairs starts on Monday week, August 13 with some top teams entered on this inaugural event and the Australian Indoor commences the following Monday, August 20.
FORMER Australian representative Betty Herbertson has urged more senior players to enter Bowls Australia's grand prix events after her outstanding performances at the Queensland Open earlier this month.
Herbertson plans to continue her grand prix quest and now has her sights set on the inaugural NSW Open in September.
At the Queensland Open in Brisbane Herbertson finished runner-up in the triples with fellow Merrylands Bowling Club members Anne Watson and Maryann Parcell.
The trio charged through the strong field only to lose to Australian squad members Sharyn Renshaw, Julie Keegan and Claire Duke 18-12 in the final.
Herbertson also contested the blue-ribbon singles event as a qualifier, making it through to the last eight. Her run was ended by 17-year-old schoolgirl Kelsey Cottrell who won the quarter-final clash in a tie-breaker.
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