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Bowls In Focus : June July 2011
For many years Blackburn’s diminutive Patty Whorlow, a former state representative, has been respected as a fine singles player in any company, but until last month success in a major event had eluded her. Patty’s record over recent times has included wins over some of the greatest players in the game, including international stars such as four-times world champion Joyce Lindores and former Australian representatives Mary-Anne Spizer, Julie Keegan and Maria Rigby. Good judges have suggested that although she was able lift her performance and beat the great players, she often faltered against the lesser lights. But that all changed when she powered to victory in the recent Ladies Masters Singles Championship at Mulgrave Country Club, claiming a runaway a 13-shot win over current state skipper Gayle Edwards from Keilor in the process. A total of forty-one master bowlers entered the prestigious championship, which was disrupted by heavy rain in the early rounds and forced many competitors to organise catch-up games over a four-day period prior their next scheduled appoint- ment. When she has a chance to reflect on her victory Patty will no doubt recall one of the best shots of her career when playing three-times Masters champion Jean Chick from Thornbury in the quarter finals. Down a match lie at 21-24, she held two close counters and trailed the jack a matter of centimeters to collect a full count of four to win her way into the semi finals. Ironically, Patty’s opponent in the clash for a ber th in the main event was another Thornbury star Christa Pickwick. In an extremely close game Pick- wick favoured maximum length jacks, but managed to overcook her throws on a couple of critical ends, and pass the length decision advantage to Patty, who kept faith with a strict diet of short ends. On the final end of the match, over minimum distance, with the scores sitting at 23-23, Patty drew two beautiful shots, which Christa was unable to disturb as the Blackburn whiz gained a spot in the all-important final. In the corresponding semi final defending cham- pion Evelyn Mar tin from Clayton faced Edwards in a match that was keenly fought in the early stages before Martin eased away to lead by nine after 10 ends. However, the aggressive state skipper fought back with three singles in a row and then collected successive counts of four to take the lead. From that point onwards Edwards had all the momentum as she won ten of the remaining eleven ends to run out a comfortable winner and book an appointment with Whorlow. The much-anticipated final between Patty and Gayle was expected to be an almighty battle, but sadly turned out to be a fizzer when Blackburn’s top player raced to an early 14-shot lead. And although Edwards staged a spirited five- end fightback during the middle stages, Whorlow again reinforced her dominance as she sprinted to the line to record an emphatic victory. It was a thrilled yet very relieved Patty Whorlow who stepped up to receive the coveted Fay Dunn Champion’s Trophy from the grand lady herself. Her big hit had finally arrived. - Janet Morrison • Top: Blackburn’s Patty Whorlow on route to her stunning Masters win at Mulgrave. • Above: Masters winner Patty Whorlow accepts the Fay Dunn Champion’s Trophy from the great lady herself. • Left: State skipper Gayle Edwards in action during the Masters final. Little Patty’s Bowls In Focus 9 2011 Ladies Masters Singles Championship at Mulgrave Country Club Quarter finals: E Martin (Clayton) d S Sta- cey (Doncaster) 25-15, G Edwards (Keilor) d S Whana (Glenroy) 25-10, C Pickwick (Thornbury) d A Bonutto (Vermont South) 25-20, P Whorlow (Blackburn) d J Chick (Thornbury) 25-24 . Semi finals: Edwards d Martin 25-15, Whor- low d Pickwick 25-23. Final: Patty Whorlow (Blackburn) d Gayle Edwards (Keilor) 25-12.
August September 2011