Benalla was one of 20 Bowls Clubs across the Goulburn Valley region to host the Steller Victorian Open for 2018.
Kicking off on Friday with the Mixed Pairs event, it started a jam packed weekend of bowls action in Benalla with the Men’s Singles and Men’s Pairs played out on the greens.
Since starting in 2011, the Steller Victorian Open has become a popular playing destination for professional and grassroots bowlers, with the event continuing to strengthen.
‘‘To see how far the event has come over the past several years is simply remarkable,’’ Bowls Victoria chief executive Graeme Bridge said.
‘‘This year, the number of clubs has been extended due to the increased demand for playing spots.
‘‘Once again, all clubs have made their facilities available to Bowls Victoria to assist with hosting the Steller Victorian Open and for this we are very grateful.’’
This year the event took 1886 entries, equating to about 3442 bowlers competing over sectional events for the first four days of the competition.
Sunshine and high-quality bowls bought crowds to the Benalla Bowls Club for its three days hosting competitors.
Andrew Fowler-Brown from St Kilda Bowls Club took top honours for day three in Benalla, going 54 shots up with playing partner Alex Skilton of Melbourne in section 13.
Benalla locals were also out in force across the greens, with young bowler Tyson Cromie taking out a win at Benalla on Saturday.
Clubs throughout the Goulburn Valley Bowls Division, Campaspe Valley Bowls Division, Murray Bowls Division and Ovens and Murray Bowls Region were all used for this year’s event, sending bowls fever throughout the state.
The Steller Victorian Open runs for eight days, concluding on November 24.
Last Wednesday a three or four-persons teams event was held. The winners were Kevin Donnelly, Roger Cowan and Gerry Mahoney returning on 96 points, while runners up were R. Day, A. Papworth and R. Allen on 92.
The club would like to give a special mention and congratulations to Roger Cowan who bettered his age. Results: Wednesday. Nearest the pins. 3rd Golf Shop: Gary Woodman. 8th Golf Shop: Nil. 12th Ray White: Peter Bridgefoot. 13th Fruits ‘n’ Fare: Boyd Macarty. Ball Competition 90 B. Hocking, G. Sykes, G. Paull, M. Schedlich.
89 c/b P. Nanson, McKinnar, A. May.
Saturday was Stableford with 61 players entering. The winner of A-grade with 39 points was Dave Dunster with second place being taken out by Robin Close on 38 points.
In B-grade Ken Dosser was successful with 39, on countback to Chris Dube also with 39 points. C-grade was also decided on countback with Ray Jensen taking first place on 39 points from Bernard Vandenakker. Results: Saturday. Nearest the pins. 1st Mensland: Glen Smith. 3rd Crothers’ Joinery: Glen Smith. 8th Srixon/Golf Shop: Paul Hazell. 12th Ray White: Kem Levy. 13th Spalding/Golf Shop: Ross Ramsden. KFC Birdies: Robin Close, Chris Plum. Ball Competition 38 E. Hoolihan, T. Meagher, A. Papworth, 37 G. Ellis, W. Mackwell, K. Muir, A.Shearer, G. Smith, R. Symes, T. Symes, D. Taylor, 36 L. Thompson c/b. B. Booker,
The November Tournament Ladies’ Day was held on Tuesday November 13 with 22 players.
A-grade scratch winner was Helen Crilly gross 80c/b. Runner up was Hazel Briggs 83.
B-grade scratch winner was Liane Graham gross 89. Runner-up was Gay Morton 97.
A-grade handicap winner was Jacki O’Brien 80/13/67. Runner-up was Helen Hyland 86/18/68.
B-grade handicap winner was Meredith Badrock 99/31/68. Runner-up was Jenny McKenna 107/36/71.
Ball winners L. Morgan 70, E. Tallis 73, C. Ogden 73, L. Gent 73, A. Brown 74.
NTP 3rd K. Pink, Milner-Watson Pharmacy 8th L. Graham, , Ray White 12th H. Crilly, Golf Shop 13th M. Badrock, 14th L. Morgan.
A par three event was played on Closing Day, November 15- no results available.
The division one winner of the stableford on Saturday 17 was Jenni O’Brien with 39 points on countback. Division two winner was Meredith Badrock with 42 points.
Ball competition B. Lang 40, A. Thomson 39, J. Martin 38, H. Briggs 36, R. Watkins 36.
NTP 3rd M. Badrock, 8th and 12th A. Thomson, 13th H. Hyland, 14th C. Garratt.
The Chicken Run has started on Tuesday’s and this week a stableford will be played on Thursday and Saturday.
Skills: Another killer bowl is released during the three days of Victorian Open Bowls action in Benalla.
Action aplenty: Bowlers from far and wide converged on the Benalla greens from Friday to Sunday.
In action: The Men’s Singles event on Saturday played at Benalla.
Above: Deep in concentration during the Men’s Singles at the Benalla greens.