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SA’s stars use Masters as World Bowls launchpad

South Africa’s Proteas, who have dominated World, Commonwealth and African continent internationals in 18 months of success, have already turned their eyes to World Bowls in Christchurch, New Zealand from 29 November-11 December and the annual blue riband Masters is an obvious springboard.
The annual Warwick Wealth/Bowls South Africa SA Masters Open Singles men’s and women’s  champions and runners-up return to the fray again at The Wanderers BC, Johannesburg from 12-14 February, for the eagerly-awaited 2016 event in fields bursting with talent.
The elite Gold Squad and other top players, seniors and juniors alike will provide a feast of great spectator enjoyment; focus will swivel also to several barely out of their teens who have burst on to the scene. Sixteen men and women comprise the Open event; 12 make up senior and junior clashes.
Says Bowls SA president, Kallie Haupt: ‘Each year this superb championship produces better and better competition. I was privileged to watch our Proteas in Zambia and Cyprus – they are truly world class. And with development and transformation in full swing, Bowls SA is proud to show the nation’s sports lovers top class players in every category.’
Men’s holder, Rudi Jacobs (North West; also SA Singles champion) and the man who lost only in the final, George Lotter (Sedibeng), renew rivalry; superb women’s titleholder, Esmé Haley (née Steyn, pictured above) and the brilliant Colleen Webb Piketh, both of Johannesburg Bowling Association, head an impressive field.
Leftie Gerry Baker (JBA) seeks a record sixth Masters title; Colleen Webb Piketh a fifth and Tracy Lee Botha (JBA) a fourth before her 27th birthday. Boland’s 21-year-old prodigy Anneke Snyman (Boland), a bronze medallist last year, and who superbly debuted as a full Protea at the Atlantic Championships at Paphos, Cyprus and last year’s Junior Men’s winner Scott Elliot (NC), 24, seek even more fans.
Don’t miss it if you are in Johannesburg at the time – play: 8.30am; entry free, music, fun, refreshments, meals and bowls equipment on sale – a weekend to remember.

Players:
Open
Men: Brendan Ainley (Natal Inland); Gerry Baker (JBA); Pierre Breitenbach (NW) Stephan de Jager (Boland); Bobby Donnelly (JBA); Jason Evans (JBA); Scott Elliott (NC); Rudi Jacobs (holder, NW); George Lotter (Sedibeng); Morgan Muvhango (Sables); Prince Neluonde (JBA); Thinus Oelofse (EK); Wayne Perry (JBA); Clinton Roets (SFS); Nicholas Rusling (WP); Gidion Vermeulen (Port Natal)

Women: Tracy-Lee Botha (JBA); Elma Davis (Eden); Esmé Haley (holder, JBA); Jacqui Janse van Rensburg (JBA); Karen Korkie (EP) Esmé Kruger (Gauteng N); Tracy Meyeridricks (JBA); Nici Neal (Sables); Susan Nel (Sables); Ashleigh Parks (JBA); Colleen Piketh (JBA); Nan Roos (KZN); Charlotte Rossouw (JBA); Anneke Snyman (Boland); Maggie van Zyl (WP); Bronwyn Webber (Port Natal)


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