By GREG KELLY
BOWLS Alive - on the internet at least - for this coming week with the start of the $35,000 Golden Nugget Invitation Prestige Singles at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club.
All 60 sectional matches plus the finals will be broadcast on the THBC Live Scoreboard over the internet from the first round on Monday afternoon till the final bowl on Thursday.
Viewers nationwide and from across the Tasman will be able to keep in contact with the latest scores from each match updated every end in real time.
In addition to the Golden Nugget live scoreboard, the club will also broadcast on Saturday, Live over the internet, the first round of the Division One district pennant match between Tweed Heads and Kingscliff.
The master scoreboard will be updated every two ends and viewers, from down south in hibernation, can keep in touch with pennant bowls on the beautiful Gold Coast.
The Tweed Heads Bowls club website has in recent years been in the forefront of real time scoring technology over the web and has broadcast many live events to viewers worldwide including in the 12 months, the Maroochy Ladies Singles, won by 15 year old Kelsey Cotterell, the Victorian Master Singles at Richmond, the Yallourn Classic Singles, The Trans Tasman series at Glen Waverly in Victoria in February, the Helensvale Grand Prix and the recent Tweed Open Mixed Singles.
The viewing audience over the iInternet for the live scoreboard has been far in excess of the actual spectators watching the action live on the green and is growing in popularity for each tournament.
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COMING up on live scoreboard at the end of the month is the $18,000 Sakkara Living Port City Open Singles featuring many of the top bowlers including recent Park Beach winner Rowan Brassey.
Australian lawn bowls sports administrators have generally been slow to take up the 'new' technology on offer to sporting organisations through the use of the World Wide Web with live scoring in real time.
Although the term 'new' is not quite correct, all other major sporting organisations have had a real time scoring system in place for years!
As a major contributor to lawn bowls promotion the Tweed Heads Bowls Club, with its Indoor Green for TV Test Series, the upcoming Australian Indoor Championship plus the added addition of real time live scoring to a world wide audience, is definitely showing the way for all the States and Bowls Australia to follow their lead.
With 1,500,000 hits to the THBC web site in the past 12 months, the Tweed Heads Bowls Club is certainly playing their part in keeping the game alive.
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THE Golden Nugget starts on Monday morning with the Mixed Pairs roll up before round one gets underway in the afternoon.
Defending mens champion Shane Globits plays NSW singles champion Bruce Anderson in section two and runner-up last year Steve Glasson meets Nathan Rice in section one.
The ladies field this year is possibly the most interesting, more so the mens field, with five times winner Karen Murphy returning to play after a clash of dates in 2004 prevented her from accepting her invitation.
Roma Dunn, the current Australian singles representative from WA will clash with Murphy in round five next Wednesday which may decide the section although 2004 winner Cerriann Davis will meet wildcard Carmen Anderson also in round five. Junior Kelsey Cotterell will meet Lynsey Armitage in the last round in section one with Australian representative Maria Rigby playing New Zealand's top singles player Sharon Sims also on Wednesday in what promises to be the best round of this elite tournament.
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THE bowls week starts today with the final of the singles for the 44th Ladies Winter Carnival at South Tweed and the finals of both the Pairs and the Fours at Tweed Heads on Friday.
Carmen Anderson should win through the semi final in the singles and play at South Tweed today and Di Cunnington is in with a big chance to make the final of the Pairs on Friday.
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THE Junior Golden Nugget commences on Sunday - indoors at Tweed Heads with 16 of the top juniors coming from all parts of Queensland and Northern NSW.
Brett Cheyne from Capalaba is the defending champion but will have strong opposition from Ray Lanham, Michael Smith, Jamie Nordlof, Robert Wild, Damien Bartlett and Georgia White.
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Lawn Bowls on the Internet: www.thbc.com.au
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Phone: 07 5524 6400, fax 5524 6222, email gcmail@tweednews. com.au, postal address is PO Box 6336, Tweed Heads South, 2486.