Rob Wright

Champs bowl out to locals

THE Summerland Series has again had some of Australia's best bowls players undone by some savvy local talent as Ryan Bester and Brett Wilkie failed to make it through their divisional section of the Singles Tournament yesterday.

Former world champion Bester lost to Nick Gossley, but it was Shaun Ingham, a Queensland representative player, who went on to win their division.

Ingham is now a favourite to take the competition, event co-ordinator Kris Lehfeldt said.

The 2014 Australia Male Bowler of the Year and 2011 national champion Wilkie also lost his division after two losses, including being beaten by 21-18 by Max Jaffray from Tweed Heads.

"He played well and he deserved to win," Wilkie said.

Jaffray went on to win the division.

Wilkie made the trip to Ballina from his home club of Helensvale in Queensland.

"It is always a good tournament. It is well organised and the greens are good," he said.

He said it was also a great chance for quality match practice before heading to New Zealand next week to start preparing for this year's Trans-Tasman and Six Nations tournaments.

The Summerland Singles Tournament started on Saturday and will include four days of divisional play before finals on Wednesday.

Steve Halmai from Condong and Terry Knudson from South Lismore were two favourites from Saturday's play, Lehfeldt said.

Other day one divisional winners included Keith Farrelly and Phil Brandon.

It is the 55th time the Summerland Singles has been run and it is "the premier bowling event in our region," said Ballina Men's Bowling Club president Paul Flood.

Contestants are vying for a share of the $12,000 in prizemoney, including $3500 for outright first.

The tournament is being held at Cherry Street Bowling Club in Ballina.

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