LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: John Lang, of Evans Head.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: John Lang, of Evans Head.

Wintersun talent time


FORMER World Champion Steve Glasson must be the favourite for this weekend's glamour Wintersun Singles at the Ballina Bowling Club.

That's the prediction of one of the Northern Rivers leading bowlers, John Lang, of Evans Head.

"He's the standout," Lang said.

"The question is whether he's still bowling as well as he was a few years ago. There's no doubt he's still one of the best in Australia and I think with Kelvin Kerkow (South Tweed) pulling out that makes him the favourite."

Glasson, who was crowned World Champion in 2004, is just one of a number of Australia's best bowlers competing at this year's Wintersun tournament.

Australian squad members Mark Casey, Scott Caundle, Shane Globits, Barrie Lester and Nathan Rice will also be strutting their stuff.

Lang, a former Summerland Singles Champion and Zone representative for 11 years, is one of only a handful of locals involved in the draw and he's hopeful of providing some difficulties for the headliners.

"Let them come," Lang chuckled.

"I've popped my calf muscle taking the kids to soccer training today but I'm still playing.

"I'll be in agony but it's got a couple of days to heal and I'm really looking forward to it.

"It's a big thing for Ballina and they're a progressive lub with this and the Summerland Singles."

Lang also rates 18-year-old Mathew Pietersen, the NSW Champion, of St John's Park Club.

Lang, Lennox Head's Neil Burgess, Casino's Richard Latta, Ballina's Viv Ross and Byron's Michael Anderson will be leading the local charge.

Burgess has had to cancel playing in Lennox Head's Minor and Major Pairs Championships with brother-in-law Craig Kennedy to contest the Wintersun.

Considering Burgess and Kennedy were defending champions, the Lennox local's decision is sure to provide some light family conflict.

Burgess has Coffs' Alan Carver, Queensland's Chris Ryan and former England Junior captain Mathew Marchant in his section, while Lang has to contend with Australian No. 2 Nathan Rice, Australian squad member Lester and Cabramatta's Alan McMaster.

"I'm a roughie," Lang admitted.

"But I know the greens and some local knowledge has to give you some advantage. But there are a lot of very good bowlers coming."

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