2016 Australian Open entries launch on Monday

by admin

Entries for the 2016 Australian Open, which boasts a quarter of a million dollar prize purse, open on Monday! Entry into the world’s biggest and most lucrative open bowls event, the 2016 Australian Open, is set to launch next Monday, December 7, 2015.

Offering $250,000 prize money, the Australian Open returns to the Gold Coast region for a second year, with participant numbers expected to swell following the success of the tournament’s move to Australia’s premier holiday destination in June this year.

Up to three additional venues will contribute to the staging of bowls’ flagship event over and above the 12 that hosted the event earlier this year, giving participants more opportunity to experience all the Gold Coast has to offer.

An additional day of competition is also required to cater for the growth in participants and to accommodate two new disciplines, which will appeal to the more traditional bowler, with the event now running from June 11–24, 2016.

Players from across the country and globe will compete in 20 disciplines on offer in 2016, with the addition of the men’s over-60s pairs and women’s over-60s pairs disciplines set to widen the appeal of the marquee event to even more participants.

Returning for 2016 are the six open events; including men’s and women’s singles, pairs and fours, two junior disciplines; incorporating under-18 boys’ and girls’ singles, and ten bowlers-with-a-disability disciplines; ranging from hearing, physical, intellectual, multi-disability and vision impaired categories.

It’s anticipated that even more players will try to strike it rich at the quarter of million dollar festival of bowls following the success of a number of up-and-coming combatants last year, including 21 year-old Aaron Teys and 18 year-old Ellen Ryan, who secured the $16,000 men’s and women’s singles titles respectively.

Bowls Australia Chief Executive Neil Dalrymple said the organisation is forecasting a sizeable increase in entries, given the appeal to a wider demographic with the increase of disciplines and positive response of the event’s move to the Gold Coast this year.

“After the success of the first year on the Gold Coast, which saw more than 2,100 entries, we’re expecting even more players to participate next year, so much so that we will need to utilise three additional venues and an extra day of competition.

“We are also re-structuring the prize money distribution so that it rewards a greater number of bowlers, making it more enticing for players to compete and get a return on their entry fee.

“There will still be a big incentive to win a discipline, or make the final, but we will ensure that the total prize pool allocation of $250,000, which was grown from $225,000 in 2015, will be distributed further down the line in disciplines that have a large amount of entries, like the men’s singles.”

Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games, Kate Jones, said the Australian Open was a feature on Queensland’s world-class events calendar and was a visitor drawcard for the State in 2015.

“Events like the Australian Open play an important role in driving visitation and supporting local jobs,” Ms Jones said.

“In its inaugural year on the Gold Coast the Australian Open delivered a $6 million boost to the local economy, attracting a crowd of more than 3,000 and generating close to 30,000 visitor nights.”

The richest open event on the sport’s calendar, the Australian Open will break a momentous milestone next year, surpassing the $1,500,000 mark in prize money distributed over the event’s 12-year lifespan, with the $250,000 up for grabs in 2016 set to bring the total amount given away to $1,634,000.

The Australian Open, which is supported by Tourism and Events Queensland and the City of Gold Coast, will be staged across the Gold Coast until at least 2019.

The Australian Open entries process will go live at 12.00pm AEDT on Monday, December 7, until 11.59pm on April 3, 2016.

Australian Open fast facts:
• $1,384,000 in prize money given away over the event’s 11 years to date;
• 2005-2014 staged in Victoria;
• 2015 inaugural year on the Gold Coast;
• 3,892 matches played at the event in 2015;
• A completely open-to-enter event with no qualifying;
• Up to 15 hosts clubs spread from Coolangatta to Beenleigh;
• 14 days of competition from June 11-24, 2016;
• 20 disciplines with a total prize pool of $248,500;
• $1,500 player of the event prize determined by national ranking points;
• 2015 men’s singles winner: Aaron Teys (21);
• 2015 women’s singles winner: Ellen Ryan (18).

Click here to visit the Australian Open website.
Click here to enter online for the World’s Biggest Bowls Festival.