Historic conclusion to the $225,000 Australian Open
21 year-old Aaron Teys and Sunshine Coast’s Emma Brown and Noelene Dutton have etched their names into the record books at the Australian Open on the Gold Coast today. History was made at the Australian Open on the Gold Coast today, with Warilla’s Aaron Teys etching his name into the record books as the event’s second youngest male winner, while Sunshine Coast’s Emma Brown and Noelene Dutton became the first combination to go back-to-back in the women’s pairs discipline.
Teys prevailed in a David vs Goliath encounter at the $225,000 event this afternoon, securing the sport’s most prestigious national title, and the $16,000 men’s singles winner’s cheque that accompanies it, after claiming the scalp of Canadian world champion Ryan Bester in a blockbuster conclusion to the 13 day, 16 discipline event.
Teys was determined to make his mark as he set the tone early in the contest against Broadbeach’s adopted Canadian international Bester, racing to a 11-6 lead after 11 ends, before Bester hit back, with a full count of 4 on the 12th end and another 3 shots over the same amount of ends, to poach a 13-12 lead.
The NSW under-25 and one-time open level representative boasted steely determination against the Commonwealth Games silver medallist on his home deck, stringing together eight shots together over the next five ends, to all but sow up the game 20-13, or so he thought.
Bester kept his last ditch hopes alive, edging out Teys’ bowls when he was holding shot on three separate occasions to narrow the scoreline to 17-20 against his favour, before his weighted shot came unstuck on the 24th end, trailing the jack to towards the ditch and coming to rest nearest to Teys’ second shot.
“I was always expecting Ryan to come back, he is a world-class player, so I knew I had to dig deep,” Teys said.
“My heart was beating through my chest at the end at the end there.
“Hopefully this can be a stepping stone and if I keep doing what I’m doing, hopefully get in the national selectors eyes and everything falls into place.
“I’d love to come back and defend my title, hopefully Warilla can give me the time off, but they’re usually pretty lenient like that.”
Teys said that while it is the biggest win of his short-lived career, there won’t be much celebrating going on tonight.
“I’ve got the under-25 state singles on tomorrow morning so I have to get home as soon as possible to play in that at Cabramatta, and we’re driving back so it’s a good 11 hour trip.
“I’d really like to thank the Warilla Board Members, who let me take the time off to come here to participate and represent the club.”
The Warilla greenkeeper’s scintillating display follows a string of recent career-defining performances by the sport’s brightest prospects in the blue-ribbon discipline of the world’s most lucrative bowls event in recent years, including last year’s champion Nathan Wilson, 20, and his brother Aaron, 21, who prevailed 12 months earlier.
The golden run in the Australian Open’s coveted singles discipline isn’t confined to the men’s event either, after 18 year-old Ellen Ryan became the latest winner of the women’s category yesterday, while Victoria’s Lisa Philips topped the dais as a 17 year-old in 2011 and again as a 19 year-old in 2013.
Earlier in the afternoon on the Fox Sports broadcast show-rink, Club Kawana’s Brown and Dutton took home a consecutive title and $15,000 prize purse, after producing back-to-back wins – a first for the Australian Open in that discipline.
Brown and Dutton prevailed against Burleigh Head’s Jackie McWhinney Shillington and Brisbane’s former Australian representative Maria Rigby 14-11.
The Australian Open will be headed back to the Gold Coast for the next four years, courtesy of a five year partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland and the City of Gold Coast, and will be staged from June 11-23 next year.