In Steve’s Own Words
It was a privilege to represent the US and Milwaukee club at the world “Champion of Champions” singles tournament held Nov 23-Dec 2 on Norfolk Island, which is a self-governing territory of Australia. The island is a beautiful but very small isle (5×3 mile) located 2.5 hours by plane east of Sydney in the South Pacific. The tournament was a big deal for the local residents, a third of whom are descendants of the Bounty mutineers! The residents were incredibly hospitable and made good on the promise to put on the “most friendly world championship ever”The male and female champion of each nation qualified for this annual World Bowls tournament (Bob Schneider competed in 2005). The 21 men were divided into two sections, first competing in round robin play, with the top three in each section advancing to the single knock-out playoff round. The format was ‘sets play’, which is not typically played in the US, but involves playing two nine end sets (think tennis) and if there is a tie, a short three end tiebreaker set. Tie breakers turned out to be kind to me as I came out on top in 3 of 4 matches that went the distance.
I finished round robin play with a 6-3 record, finishing 3rd in my section behind New Zealand and Wales, but good enough to advance to the playoff round. My biggest wins were against semi-pro bowlers from England and New Zealand, while losing to quality bowlers from Wales, Malaysia and the Philippines.. In the playoffs, I lost in straight sets to Wayne Perry from South Africa, who had just won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. The Champion of Champions winner was 25 year old Aron Sheriff of Australia who triumphed over New Zealand’s Andrew Todd in a thrilling tie-breaker match. This was a fabulous experience, and I appreciate all the support I received from Milwaukee bowlers. Thanks also for the club pins which were a hit in exchanging pins with other bowlers and Norfolk tournament organizers.
Bob Schneider will compete in the Atlantic Championships in Cyprus in October, Max Cavender will play in the World Junior Cup in Australia in April, and Steve will be in the Asia Pacific Championships in Adelaide in November.
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