2021 Australian Open – day six wrap

by Val Febbo

Men’s fours action was the focal point of day six of the Australian Open on the Gold Coast today, as a host of influential players progressed into the knockout stage of the tournament.

However, two star-studded teams were left to wait until the very end of the day to find out whether their foursome would advance to the business end of the tournament as a next best qualifier.

The multi-Jackaroo squad of Jayden Christie, Nick Cahill, Barrie Lester and Aron Sherriff got off to a rocky start to their sectional rounds, falling 17-12 to Queensland quartet Tim Parry, Roger Manning, Paul Newman and Allan Newman before conquering their final two encounters to finish on top of their section by a slender two shots.

The young-gun grouping of Jacob Nelson, Jake Rynne, Kane Nelson and one-time Jackaroo and 2018 singles runner-up Sean Baker booked passage towards the pointy end of the event after an undefeated day and a plus 28 shot differential.

In a marvellous narrative, vision impaired Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jake Fehlberg and his team of father Grant Fehlberg, brother Cody Fehlberg and Chris Monk emerged from their own section without blemish.

2020 Queensland Champion of Champions winner Ben Walsh, teammates Mark Thatcher and Steven Tong and Emerging Jackaroo Matt Lucas enjoyed their own success, another team without loss.

Despite missing out on progression in the men’s singles, former South African and Australian test cricketer Kepler Wessels and his team of Adam Charlton, Bowls NSW CEO Greg Helm and Emerging Jackaroo Mason Lewis concluded their day with three wins and a sizeable shot difference of 31.

2019 singles runner-up Gus Templeton will also feature in the knockout stage with his trio of teammates, as will Peter Leon who claimed the over-60’s men’s pairs title in 2017.

The tournament’s very own ‘group of death’ in section 35 served up a mouthwatering clash between the sport’s biggest names, in Ray Pearse, Aaron Hewson, Ben Twist and David Ferguson and Sean Ingham, Aaron Teys, Corey Wedlock and Aaron Wilson.

Ferguson’s combination claimed the honours 12-10 in an epic tussle, forcing their opponents to endure a nervous wait to find out if they would move through as next best qualifier.

Another team that faced an anxious wait was that of Heath Lewis, Trentan Healey, and 2018 pairs winners Chris Herden and Carl Healey, who after racing through their opening round, were stunned 14-13 by group winners Geoff Harrison, Paul O’Brien, Michael Bretherton and Tomas Nathan.

Their healthy shot difference of 20 ensured their spot in the knockout rounds, commencing tomorrow alongside the section rounds of the women’s fours.

View the men’s fours knockout draw.

The 2021 Australian Open will be staged across the Gold Coast from June 12-25, courtesy of support from Tourism and Events Queensland and City of Gold Coast.