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This year the Laguna Hills Lawn Bowls Club was the venue for the US Professional Bowls Association (PBA) Qualifiers. Their artificial green played well, and the hospitality extended to the PBA was outstanding.

Results for the 2017 US PBA Qualifying Events

Scottish International Open

Winner: Neil Furman    

Runner Up: Lawrence Quill

International Open

Winner: Lawrence Quill

Runner Up: Alice Birkinshaw

World Singles

Winner: Charlie Herbert

Runner Up: Dan LeMessurier

World Pairs

Winners: Dan LeMessurier / Neil Furman

Runners Up: Bob Birkinshaw / Mike McNorton

It was good to see a long time supporter of the PBA, Lawrence Quill, take part in this year’s qualifying events. Lawrence displayed some excellent draw bowls and was in great form winning the International Open against a very worthy opponent, Alice Birkinshaw.

The most improved bowler of the competition was undoubtedly Alice Birkinshaw. She was in outstanding form the entire week.

In the International Open she defeated top bowlers such as Grant Shear, Dan LeMessurier, and Neil Furman to secure a spot in the final against Lawrence Quill. At the end of a long day of bowls, Alice played an awesome drawing game but lost out to Lawrence in straight sets.

In the World Singles, Alice met Charlie Herbert in the quarterfinals losing 3 – 12 in the first set, and 9 – 11 in a tightly fought second set.

In the semi finals Charlie met Bob Birkinshaw. The game was close throughout with both competitors playing an excellent tactical game. In the end, Charlie secured a place in the final against Dan LeMessurier.

Dan played well all week and in the World Singles he hit a run of good form. He defeated Quill, Mert Isaacman, and Mike McNorton to secure his place in the final.

This proved to be one of the best of the tournament with high quality play throughout. Charlie won the first set but in the second, Dan was in a position to force a tiebreaker. With the head against him, Charlie turned the tables with a brilliant last bowl. When Dan failed to get the result he was looking for with his final bowl of the game, Charlie secured the win and a spot at Potters.

In the World Pairs, Mike McNorton and Bob Birkinshaw defeated Tim Christie and Phil Dunn in a 2-1 tiebreaker. In the third end of the tiebreaker, Phil had taken Bob’s shot out to lie game when Mike drove with his last bowl hitting Phil’s blocker. His bowl followed through and took the shot and the game advancing his team to the finals against Neil Furman and Dan LeMessurier. Mike was decent enough to apologize to Phil for his good fortune.

Phil Dunn played well in all the qualifying events but the bounce was not in his favor. He lost in three events, all of them tiebreakers. In two instances, a heavy and inaccurate final bowl made the crucial difference when Phil was lying game.

In the World Pairs, Neil Furman and Dan LeMessurier played strong opponents to secure their place in the final. They defeated Mert Isaacman and Charlie Herbert in a tight match to advance to the finals against Bob Birkinshaw and Mike McNorton.

In the finals, both Neil and Dan kept their good form to win the first set with ease. At the start of the second set, Dan and Neil took 5 shots on the first end. Mike and Bob chipped away at the score but they started the final end needing 3 shots to force a tiebreaker. In the end, it was just too much. Neil did not play his last bowl. The second set finished 12 – 8.

Well done to all those who participated in this year’s qualifying events.

Good Luck and Good Bowling to all the winners in Scotland and England!

Frank Souza                                                                                                                 US PBA Representative







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