Champion bowler comes to town


IT'S not often a World Champion comes to town.

But that's exactly what is happening to Ballina next week when bowls world champion Steve Glasson competes at the Ballina Bowling club on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Taylor Invitation Challenge.

Glasson became the world number one in August by defeating former top-dog, Englishman Alex Marshall.

The result made the 35-year-old Sydney-based bowler the first Aussie to claim the world outdoor singles since 1966, which was when the World Titles actually started.

He is also one of only eight Australian bowlers to have secured a World Bowls Championship gold medal, joining Alf Sandercock and Peter Rheuben (who won the pairs in 1980), Albert Palm and Geoff Kelley (1966 pairs) as well as Dob Collins, Athol Johnson and John Dobbie (1966 triples).

For Glasson, the victory erased the memory of his loss to Ireland's Jeremy Henry in the singles final in Johannesburg four years ago and gave him his first gold medal from a major international event in seven years as Australia's singles representative.

The world champion's presence at the Taylor Invitation Bowls Challenge will be a blast for more than a few locals.

Steve's aunt and uncle, Merle and Ron Glasson of Doonbah near Evans Head, will be watching with keen interest from the sidelines .

For the rest of the bowling public, not only will they have the chance to watch and learn from the best in the business, but they can also challenge him to a match (for more on the Charity Challenge read Monday's Northern Star).

ABC television has been fighting to broadcast Glasson's world championship single's final and it was going to be played this afternoon.

However, that match will now be broadcast in November due to a change in scheduling.

The Taylor Invitation Bowls Challenge is just two days during a four days Bowls Bonanza in Ballina next week.

The Taylor Invitation is played on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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