Four times singles champ Officer regains women’s open singles title
Janet Officer recorded an historic fourth win in the women’s open singles championship beating Mary Southey 21-11 in this year’s final at Te Awamutu Bowling Club.
Officer’s previous wins were in 2006, 2011 and 2014.
The 75-year-old joins Marlene Lane (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004) on the honour’s board as the only club members to have won the championship four times.
Officer scored three shots on the opening end against Southey, a first year senior player who drew the bye into the final.
Southey struck back with a 1, 2, 2, sequence to lead 5-3 after four ends.
The more experienced Officer then won eight of the 11 ends to clinch the title on the 15th.
Officer was earlier fully extended by last year’s champion Diane Sharpe in the semifinal, prevailing 21-17 after a marathon 26 ends. Sharpe never led at any stage.
It was the second year running that Southey has made the final, having been beaten by Sharpe 21-15 in 2017.
Officer features prominently on the club’s honours board.
In 2005-06 she won the singles, pairs (partnered by Margaret Littlewood) and fours (with Littlewood, Jan Yarndley, Lorna Blackstock). Missing out on the triples prevented a rare clean-sweep of all the club championships in the one season.
Officer does not play bowls on Sundays, ruling her out of mixed club events. She did, however, skip the winning mixed fours team when it was contested midweek in 2011-12. Her teammates were Bob Kewish, Margaret Littlewood and Noel Ballinger.
One of the highlights of Officer’s career occurred just before Christmas in 2013 when she beat some of the best players in the Waikato, helping Te Awamutu win the Waikato women’s interclub twoday tournament.
She won six of her seven singles matches. Her only loss was to the Hillcrest representative. The first to 25 points match was tied up at 24-all, only for Officer to lose the last end by a measure.
As winners of the Waikato interclub title, the Te Awamutu team automatically advanced to the regional play offs to face other champion club teams from Counties, Thames Valley and Bay of Plenty. The triumphant Te Awamutu team comprised Nevenka Drnasin, Betty Gibson, Rosemary McGill, Dawn Highnam, Dawn Small, Officer and Lynda Bennett.
It was not the first Waikato title that Officer has won.
In 2002 she was a member of the Te Awamutu team (with Mary Warren, Jan Yarndley) that won the Waikato Under 10 years (playing experience) triples championship.
Four times Te Awamutu open women’s singles champion Janet Officer.