NATHAN RICE
NATHAN RICE

Stars of the greens

A QUALITY field including Australian representatives and a Commonwealth Games silver medallist are among entries for the 2013 Summerland Singles at the Ballina Bowling Club.

It's the 50th time the event has been run with Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice and former world No 1 Kelvin Kerkow confirmed to play.

There have already been 52 entries for the three-day singles tournament and 49 for the pairs, which will be held a week earlier.

A combined prize pool of $22,000 will be up for grabs with about a third of the field local bowlers.

"Most of the big names are back and we only have a couple of spots left to fill," competition co-ordinator Kris Lehfeldt said.

"It's not a case of first in, first served. We look at each bowler's credentials and make a decision from there.

We usually have to turn people away and last year we ended up with 94 people wanting to enter the singles.

Ballina bowler Neil Burgess is among the local favourites, having won the event five times.

The Cherry Street club greenkeeper Michael Anderson is back after winning the event for the first time in 2011 and playing in the final a year earlier.

Yamba bowler Jamie Eichorn became one of the youngest bowl-ers to win the event as 16-year-old in 2010.

"The format suits a lot of bowl-ers and the club goes out of its way to get the right players involved," Lehfeldt said.

"Ballina is an easy place to get in and out of; Christmas and New Year is a good time to run it.

"When it started 50 years ago the bowlers would come here and were billeted out."

Other local bowlers who have already entered include David Ball (Casino), John Lang and Richard Latta (Evans Head) and Ben McCall (South Lismore).

Former Australian representative Ian Taylor will be back, as well as bowlers who have competed in Canada, England and New Zealand.

The Summerland Singles will be played on January 3, 4 and 5 after the pairs starting on December 28.

Entries will close on Friday week.



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