2018 Australian Open to light up the Sunshine State
In excess of 2,000 bowlers will descend on the Gold Coast this week for the world’s most lucrative open bowls event – marking the first occasion a GC2018 upgraded facility is utilised for major competition after the Games. In excess of 2,000 bowlers will descend on the Gold Coast this week for the world’s most lucrative open bowls event – marking the first occasion a GC2018 upgraded facility is utilised for major competition after the Games.
The $250,000 Australian Open will showcase 13 clubs across the region, from Coolangatta in the south to Paradise Point in the north, over the 14 days of competition, from June 9 to 22, with bowlers from across the globe set to contest the sport’s richest open titles.
The return of annual competition to the Coast boasts added impetus this year, marking the first time a Commonwealth Games improved venue stages a major national competition.
Broadbeach Bowls Club, which received a $4 million development for the Games courtesy of the Queensland Government and City of Gold Coast, will once again be primary venue for the Open and will feature the final two days of action, inclusive of a live SBS and Fox Sports broadcast of four finals across the penultimate and final days.
The completely open-to-enter event features no qualifying and a randomised draw with no seedings in either sectional or knockout play, paving the way for club-level bowlers to play against the best in the world.
On the greens, competition will be hotly contested across the disciplines this year with a decorated field, many of whom are fresh off Commonwealth Games heroics at the event’s centrepiece venue, Broadbeach Bowls Club.
Youngsters Nathan Pedersen (23) and Ellen Ryan (21) will be looking to defend their respective Men’s and Women’s singles crowns and are just two of multiple Australian bowlers leading the next-generation.
With the Australian Open a proven launch-pad for young talent, the likes of Kristina Krstic (23), Chloe Stewart (22), Aaron Teys (24) and Corey Wedlock (21) are ones to watch across their disciplines and will be representing Australia almost immediately after the Australian Open on a tour of England and Wales in preparation for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Then there are the tried and tested names of 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold medallist Aaron Wilson, Australian teammates Nathan Rice, Barrie Lester and Aron Sherriff and international stars Alex Marshall, Ryan Bester and Shannon McIlroy, while over on the women’s draw, Australia full Games contingent will be in attendance with Kelsey Cottrell, Karen Murphy, Natasha Scott, Rebecca van Asch and Carla Krizanic all set to make waves on the Gold Coast.
The Open commences from 9.00am on Saturday, with sectional rounds played across the 13 disciplines initially, with winners and next-best-qualifiers progressing through to the second week’s knockout stages.
Fans at home will be treated to plenty of action, with Rinkside Live live-streams occurring daily on Bowls Australia’s Facebook page and a simulcast broadcast on SBS and Fox Sports providing coverage of the men’s and women’s singles and pairs finals on June 21 and 22.