Historic Nugget a real gem
THERE was a piece of bowls history in the making yesterday afternoon at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club when Steve Glasson and Jo Edwards took out the men's and women's finals of the Golden Nugget Invitational Prestige Singles.
Glasson has equalled the defeats of South Tweed Sports' Kelvin Kerkow in winning the Golden Nugget three times, while Edwards became the first Kiwi woman to claim the prestigious title.
Both winners went through the tournament undefeated, showing great consistency and composure on the fast Tweed Heads greens.
Before a capacity crowd yesterday, Edwards began her finals campaign with a 25-21 over Rebecca Quail to set up a final showdown against West Australian Therese Hastings, who downed home town favourite Lyn Cuthbertson 25-21.
In a dominant performance, Edwards didn't allow her opponent into the match, claiming the Golden Nugget with a 25-9 victory.
“This has been an outstanding tournament for me,” a delighted Edwards said after the match.
“It is particularly pleasing to win, considering I haven't played for a while.
“Our season in New Zealand finishes in April and I think that in some ways the break from bowls worked to my advantage.
“I was fresh and ready to play here at Tweed, and I think it was one of my best performances over the five days of the tournament.
“The greens back home at Christchurch aren't that different from here, so I sort of knew what to do and how to play Tweed.
“I'm very proud to be the first New Zealand woman to win the Golden Nugget after so many fine bowlers have come across and tried.”
Edwards picked up $6000 and a trophy for her efforts.
The men's final was a more-tense affair with Glasson having to come from behind in his final against Victorian Lee Schraner.
To reach the final, Glasson defeated Helensvale's Nathan Rice 25-16 in the semi, while Schraner defeated the 2008 NSW singles winner Corey Daley in a close encounter, 25-22.
After trailing early in the match Glasson again showed great consistency to gain the lead and then hold it for a 25-15 victory.
The relief and joy of claiming his third title was evident, with Glasson throwing his hat in the air, much to the delight of the crowd after Schraner failed to stop the Sydneysider's run.
“It has been a fabulous week at Tweed where I feel very much at home,” Glasson said.
“The highlight of the week was Wednesday's match against Sean Baker (which Glasson won 25-24).
“It was a great match played before a great crowd, and it is the involvement of the spectators which really adds to the atmosphere of this tournament.
“Tweed has been very kind to me over the years, and it is always a big thrill to play here.
“It has been very difficult to emulate my mate Kelvin's efforts in winning the Nugget three times and it has taken me a long time to do it.”
Glasson also picked a winner's cheque for $6000 with the losers of the semi finals all sharing third placings.