THE Queensland State Championships, starting today on the Gold Coast, will provide a feast of bowls for 12 days before ending with the men's and women's singles final on Monday, May 25.
The championships have attracted a record number of entries for the singles competitions with the added carrot of the invitation to join the elite field of state singles winners in the prestigious Golden Nugget in August
In all, 12 clubs on the Gold Coast from Southport to Tweed Heads will be required to host this massive event, starting today with the women's singles playing knockout and the men's fours playing in sections of four.
More than 100 women start today with three knockout rounds in the singles, which go down to the last eight with quarter-finals on Sunday, May 24, at Southport.
A record 248 men commence on Sunday with three knockout rounds in the singles and again on Sunday, May 24, with a further three knockout rounds before the finals on Sunday, May 25, at Broadbeach.
The winners will then be invited to play in the Golden Nugget and will complete the field in one section of State Singles winners playing against each other, with the top two in the section to play in the Golden Nugget semi-finals against the invited players.
The men's section of six state singles winners are: Mark Strochnetter (TAS), Brett Hurrell (SA), Cory Daley (NSW), Brian Axford (WA), Craig McCarron (VIC) and, of course, the singles champion.
The women's section of six state winners are: Rebecca Quail (TAS), Penny Landherr (SA), Gloria Clifton (NSW), Roma Dunn (WA), Robyn Thomassen (VIC) and the Queensland singles champion.
The 2008 winners, Kelvin Kerkow and Carmen Anderson, will also play in the section of five invited players due for release later this month after May 25.
The 12th and final entry into the Golden Nugget will not be known until July 1 after the Tweed Open Prestige Singles final when the best performed man and woman will receive the much sought-after wildcard entry into the exclusive field.
This year the winners of the wildcard will also receive an added bonus of direct entry into the Queensland Open, being held at Bribie Island in the last week in July - the week before the Golden Nugget.
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THE lady bowlers across Australia should be interested in the Bowls Circuit opening up on the Gold Coast, with the coveted Black Douglas women's singles at South Tweed Sports changing dates on the bowls calendar from May 15 to June 15.
This prestigious tournament is highly regarded among all the top bowlers and will now encourage the ladies to play the singles circuit with the Black Douglas Singles on June 15, Salisbury Super Singles on June 20, Tweed Heads Master Singles on June 22, Tweed Prestige Open Singles on June 28.
The ladies Winter Carnival, now starting earlier on July 12, will follow.
Check out the tournament webpage on the THBC site.
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INTERSTATE bowlers wanting to play singles and test their bowling skills against what Queensland can offer will certainly enjoy a feast of play on some of the best greens in Australia over the winter period.
Of course, I have not made mention of the wonderful Gold Coast weather in the June, July and August.
It's hard to imagine why anyone would want to go anywhere else - especially if they want to bowl against the best in Australia.
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For lawn bowls on the internet, visit www.thbc.com.au