Bill bowls over world's best
BILL COOPER can’t stop smiling.
He reckons he might have to get his ears moved back to accommodate the permanent pearly grin that is stuck on his face.
And you can’t blame him.
Cooper, 64, of Evans Head, has completed the bowls equivalent of an amateur golfer beating Tiger Woods over 18 holes – and thrashing him.
At the Wintersun Singles bowling tournament over the weekend Cooper hammered world number 1 Safuan Said 25-9 in his finest moment in the sport.
“I gave him a touch-up, yeah,” Cooper said. “It’s a pretty bloody big deal for me.”
That victory coupled with clubmate Ted Butler’s run through to the final was a great result for the relatively small Evans Head Bowls Club, but the story wasn’t without its twists and turns.
Originally, Cooper was in the Wintersun Singles draw and Butler was not.
Cooper then pulled out of the tournament, electing to travel to Wagga Wagga to play in the NSW senior zone championships – his first representative game in nine years.
It was on his recommendation that Butler was included in the field. But when another bowler pulled out, and Cooper was eliminated in Wagga, he received a call to re-enter the field.
“They asked me if I wanted to play in the section with the world champ,” Cooper said.
“Of course I did. That’s an opportunity you don’t get every day – I was the happiest man in the world.”
Cooper didn’t expect much from the match other than to rub shoulders with the best.
“I just thought if I can get in and score 10 against Saf I would be very happy,” he said.
“Turns out I won and he didn’t even score 10 on me. What a day.”
Still buzzing with enthusiasm from the win, Cooper put it down to luck.
“To think that a kid from Evans Head can beat the best in the world is amazing,” he said.
“But bowls is like that – you always have a chance.
“It’s not like golf where if you took on Tiger Woods he would beat you 100 times out of 100.
“Everyone is alive in bowls – anything can happen.”
Dozens turned up in the green and yellow of Evans Head to watch Cooper take down Goliath – and they got more than their money’s worth.
“It was a big weekend for the club,” he said.
“I knocked off the world champ and Teddy went to the finals.”
Asked whether he thought he now deserved a spot on the Australian Commonwealth Games team, Cooper was coy.
“I might get a spot as a visitor – that’s about it,” he said.