NSW young guns steal the show
Jesse Norohna, Matt Miles, Chris Herden and David Ferguson produce the goods against tournament favourites today in the men’s fours and book a spot in the quarter-finals. New South Wales giant killers Jesse Noronha (Warilla), Matt Miles (Warilla), Chris Herden (St Johns Park) and David Ferguson (Wagga Rules) are just three games away from claiming maiden Australian Open titles having taken down pre-tournament favourites in demolishing style in back-to-back fours matches at Broadbeach this afternoon.
The first of the big names to fall was past and present Australian representatives Ray Pearse, Shane Garvey, Brett Wilkie and Aron Sherriff who only managed to score seven shots against the NSW young guns; next on their hit list was last year’s finalists.
Dean McWhinney, Ian Law, Steven Tong (who replaced Shannon McIlroy) and Paul Girdler’s aspirations of back-to-back finals came to an end after leading 16-10 with two ends to play.
Ferguson booked a spot in the quarter-final by clinching back-to-back threes on the closing ends of the match to force an extra end, then went on to win the match in the decider and book his finals appearance against last year’s champions.
The South Australian contingent of Steve Dennis, Nathan Pedersen, Wayne Ruediger and Scott Thulborn kept their title defence alive breezing through their round of 64, 32 and 16 matches today at Broadbeach.
There were more star-studded rinks unable to avoid the carnage that took place today; Ryan Bester’s team of Brett Leighton, Sean Ingham and Gary Lawson exited in the round of 32 courtesy of a two shot defeat by Tweed Heads Open Prestige Singles Champion Steve Halmai alongside team mates R. Barnes, Micheal Anderson and Kris Lehfeldt; however they were unable to get past Phil Westcott’s rink in the round of 16.
Another rink to fall was Warilla guns Jamie Turner, Harley McDonald, Aaron Teys and Jeremy Henry who agonizingly lost to last year’s pair’s finalists Sam White and Braiden Leese, teamed up with Troy Makin and Chris Mitchell, 14-15 at Club Helensvale.
Ali Forsyth, Wayne Turley, John Green and Lee Such also bundled out today as did New South Wales stars Nathan Wise, Cameron Curtis, Carl Healy and Michael Harvey.
With heavy rain expected to fall over the weekend the likelihood of international raiders writing their names into the Australian Open history books becomes more favourable as conditions become more familiar to their home greens.
Strong contenders for this year’s Australian Open men’s fours title would be the Malaysian team of M. Shamil, M. Amir, M. Hizlee and F. Abd Muin who progressed to the quarter-finals with wins over the rink skipped by Aaron Appleby (NSW), a 19-5 victory a powerhouse Merrylands contingent of Kepler Wessels, Michael Clarke, Mason Lewis and Neil Burkett and in the round of 16 and they were too good for Jono Davis, Simon Ferrier, Ben Glasson and Troy Somerville claiming that match 19-9.
The women’s fours sectional play has been run and won and the big winners of the day were previous Australian Open Champions Anne Johns, Claire Turley, Bec Van Asch and Lynsey Clarke at Mermaid Beach and down at Coolangatta Karen Murphy’s rink of Ellen Ryan, Kay Moran and Julie Keegan also won all three of their matches with a shot difference of +42.
Murphy will now have a tough first round encounter with the in-form Malaysian contingent of Zuraini Khalid, Auni Kamis, Emma Soroji and Noorazalina Zakaria.
All of the women’s fours round of 32 matches will be played at Broadbeach on Monday June 20.
Click here to view the men’s fours knockout results
Click here to view the women’s fours knockout draw