Big pay day for veteran Brassey
VETERAN bowler Rowan Brassey took home the $10,000 first prize at the 2014 Park Beach Open Singles.
But it was the emergence of a band of gifted younger players which captured the public's attention in this year's elite tournament.
Brassey, who represented New Zealand in six world championships and took gold in 1998 and 2000, now plays for Cabramatta where he is the head coach.
He won the Open Singles final with consistent draw bowling, holding out former Park Beach junior champion Matt Miles from Engadine to win 21-17.
Miles, now 25 and a member of Bowls Australia's NSW National Training Centre squad, won the Australian Junior championship in 2007.
He was just one of a group of exceptional "new generation" bowlers to perform well in the tournament.
Urunga 18-year-old Corey Wedlock just missed out on making the final, losing to Miles 21-16 in his semi-final after defeating another young champion, 25-year-old Ben Twist of St Johns Park in the quarter-finals.
Wedlock is a member of the Australian under-18 squad, along with talented Tasmanian Michael Sims who made the final eight at the Park Beach Open Singles before losing to the eventual winner, Brassey.
Park Beach Bowls Club publicist Neil Bowes said the good showing by younger bowlers should help change the public's views about the sport.
"It seems that every time there is a story about pensioners shown on television, the pictures that go with the story are of old people on the bowling green," Mr Bowes said.
"The reality is that there are more and more young people playing lawn bowls.
"They all demonstrate the skill and dedication that could see them represent their district, their state or their country."