Fifth title eludes Edwards in Golden Nugget Grand Final


Bowls NZ

Photography by Ben Slater

New Zealand stalwart and world number one has agonisingly dipped out on a fifth Golden Nugget trophy, coming unstuck opposite Australian’s Natasha Scott in what proved her only loss of the prestigious Tweed Heads invitational singles event.

A fine showing in the semi-final saw Edwards dispatch the promising Ellen Ryan in convincing fashion to keep the Kiwi’s hopes alive of going one better than last year’s performance.

However, it wasn’t to be for the four-time winner and reigning commonwealth singles champion, as Scott turned on an exhibition performance for the packed grandstands, dominating Edwards on shorter ends – much as she did opposite home favourite Chloe Stewart in her earlier semi-finals appearance on the Tweed Heads showpiece green.

Though, Edwards, who has virtually won every sought-after singles title up for grabs and many on multiple occasions, won’t be deterred, having swept through her section unbeaten after five games, continuing to stamp her authority as one of the world’s best.

For Scott, her run continues a purple patch of form, once again showing her prowess in the singles discipline and undoubtedly putting her hand up to one day dispatch long serving Australian Karen Murphy in the four-bowl format, should Murphy, who has played more than 600 games for her nation, eventually step down in the coming years.

Intriguingly, Murphy is the only player in the event’s history to have claimed the Golden Nugget title on five occasions, with Edwards, who has also played more than 600 games for her country, now having to wait another year to attempt to emulate her counterpart’s achievement.

Meanwhile, the men’s action saw a battle of the future Jackaroo stars play out with Aaron Teys taking on fellow Warilla clubmate Corey Wedlock in a top quality final, with plenty of aggression and clinical draw bowls on display.

Sharing the ends for most of the game, both players demonstrated their class and potential, with Wedlock eventually proving the more consistent and running out 25-17 victor.

Beaten semi-finalists in the men included Broadbeach-based Canadian representative Ryan Bester and Northern Ireland international Gary Kelly, who also plays out of the Warilla club.

The win sees both Scott and Wedlock pocket the $6000 winners cheque respectively, while Edwards and Teys will collect $3000 for their efforts in finishing runner-up.

All focus will now switch to the second edition of the innovative and exciting UBC format next week, where the majority of this year’s Golden Nugget field will be back in action for their respective franchises at the Deer Park Club in Victoria.

-END

-Sam Morton

Results at a Glance

2019 Tweed Heads Prestige Golden Nugget Invitational Singles

Men

Corey Wedlock (NSW) d Aaron Teys (NSW); 25-17

Women

Natasha Scott (NSW) d Jo Edwards (NZ); 25-14