US PROFESSIONAL BOWLS ASSOCIATION
QUALIFYING EVENTS – APRIL 2 – 5, 2016
The US PBA held its Qualifying Events at the Fairway Lawn Bowls Club on April 2nd through the 5th. The winners will represent United States in Scotland and England.
This year, two very fine bowlers from Australia received approval from our Association to compete in our Qualifying Events. They are Steve Halmai and Steve Massey. These two gentlemen added color to our Qualifiers and their fine display of bowls delighted the daily visits of spectators.
Steve Halmai from Australia was on top form. He won the Scottish Open by defeating Charlie Herbert, member of Team USA, in two sets 10 – 4 and 10 – 3. His fine performance carried over to the next event, The International Open by defeating his fellow team member, Steve Massey 8 – 3, 6 -6. This was a very good final displayed by the Aussies. Steve Massey got to the finals of this event by denying the 19th ranked bowler in the world, Neil Furman from another trip to Blackpool. This was another exciting match as Steve Massey won by a very narrow margin 8 – 8 and 10 – 8. This match could have gone either way as both players were in top form.
In the World Singles qualifying, Steve Halmai played Charlie Herbert in the Semi Finals. In the first set, Steve was on fire as he took the first set 17 – 1. This did not set too well with Charlie as he won the 2nd set 10 – 5. Steve won the match by winning the third tie breaker 2 – 1.
On the bottom half of this event, fellow Aussie, Steve Massey played Tony Baer from California. Steve won the first set handily 12 – 1. Tony bounced back by winning the second set 8 – 3. He did this by bring the mat up to the hog line. This threw Steve Massie timing off for Tony to recover from the lob sided score in the first set. He then edged Steve out in the third end of the tie breaker 2 – 1.
The stage was now set for the finals. This was definitely an International final for a spot in the World Singles. Tony Baer - USA vs. Steve Halmai - Australia. The standard of bowls for these finals was at the highest level. They fought it out at every end, bowl for bowl. Spectators were treated to one of the finest display of bowls by these two bowlers. Steve Halmai won the first set 8 – 7. Tony came back by winning the second set 8 -5. The excitement in the tie breaker was no different from the first two sets. Each won one set with Tony taking the 3rd set.
The final event for our 2016 Qualifiers was the World Pairs. In the Semi Finals of the top bracket, the team of Dan LeMessurier and Charlie Herbert defeated Steve Massey and Steve Halmai 5 -10, 11 – 0 and 2 -0 in the tie breaker.
In the bottom bracket, the team of Phil Dunn and Tony Baer defeated Darrell Jones and Frank Souza 9 – 5, 8 – 3 to advance to the finals.
The first set of the Pairs finals was a close match with Phil and Tony edging out Dan and Charlie 6 -5. In the second set, Phil and Tony took control of the match and won the final set 12 – 4.
Steve Halmai was definitely the bowler of the Tournament as he was in three finals, winning in two of the finals he was in and one semi finals in the pairs. Tony Baer is not to be denied recognition for his success in winning the World Singles and Pairs Events. Charlie Herbert performed equally well by being in two finals and one semi final event. This year the rubs didn’t go his way but we can expect Charlie to continue performing well on the green.
As a National Selector for Bowls USA, I was delighted that a few members, ladies and men, from our National Team playing in our Qualifiers. I would like to see more US Team Members join the PBA as the experience in the Championships in UK will only benefit them by competing against world class bowlers from our Association World Wide.
US PBA Representative