The inaugural Suncity Women’s Open at the AGL National High-Performance Centre came to a thrilling conclusion over the weekend when Bec Whiting emerged victorious after a nail-biting finish against Yvette Green in the matchplay finals.
The win is a long time coming for Whiting, who hasn’t won a ranked event for over three and a half years.
“Although I have won many titles in my time, this win means a lot because it has been so long between victories,” explained Whiting.
“My last ranked event win was back in July 2019 before COVID was a thing, and it feels like a lifetime ago.
“I came close many times last year with finishing runner-up in every single tournament, so it was great to get the monkey off my back,” added Whiting.
The tournament attracted 36 of the top women bowlers from around the country, all vying for the chance to take home the title in the first ranked event of the 2023 season for the women’s division.
Yvette Green was the bowler to lead the way as the tournament got underway. Green, a bowling centre manager and owner at Maryborough Tenpin, came out firing in the first eight games of stage one. Averaging 226.5 in the first eight, she sat at the top of the leader board, with Hannah Clark closest in second, 105 pins behind.
The semi-finals saw Green maintain her top spot, averaging 212.62 over the next eight games. Affectionately known as “Bec Squared”, the Victorian duo of Bec Whiting and Bek Martin claimed the second and third spots, with Bek Martin providing an outstanding performance in stage two, averaging 227.5 leading into the matchplay finals.
The top 8 bowlers entered the matchplay finals, where pinfall was dropped and everyone back to level pegging. As the finals continued, it became clear that it would be a closely contested affair.
All bowlers had completed their seven games of matchplay, and Yvette Green emerged as the leader with five wins and one draw from her seven matches for 11 points. As a result, Green would hold a one-point advantage over her nearest rival, Bec Whiting, heading into the decisive positional round.
Ultimately, it would all come down to the eighth and final positional round match between Green and Whiting. With the title on the line, Whiting put on a superb clutch performance, outscoring her opponent 193-160 to seal the win and claim the first Suncity Womens Open title.
“It has a nice ring to it!” explained Whiting at being crowned the inaugural winner of the Suncity Women’s Open following the nail-biting positional round.
“I guess I have been in those moments many times before, so I just tried to use my experience and stay calm in the moment. If it was meant to be it would happen, if not, so be it.
“Yvette bowled really well all weekend and I believe led for 90% of the tournament. At times I thought it would be impossible to catch her because she was bowling so well and has a never give up attitude. She is a fierce competitor,” added Whiting.
Yvette Green would finish runner-up for the tournament after an incredible tournament. Rounding out the podium in third place was young Queenslander Emily Bottomley who finished on 8 points along with Bek Martin and Janet Hunt who also finished on 8 points. The tie-breaker was determined by for and against in the matchplay section with Emily having +25 compared to +1 for Bek and -1 for Janet.
The victory was a huge moment for Whiting, who had waited a long time to return as a ranked event champion, and she was understandably elated to have come out on top. Speaking after the tournament, she said, “I’m feeling so relieved! I’ve pretty much redeveloped my game in the last 18 months and it’s been a really hard and challenging time with my coach Adam Hayes but it’s nice to see we are rewarded for the blood, sweat, and tears (literally),” explained Whiting.
The Suncity Women’s Open was a resounding success, with the organizers and players alike hailing it as a major step forward with plenty of potential for the future.
“I think the event went really well considering the lead-up, the pattern was challenging and really evened out the playing field,” explained Whiting. “The event has the potential to grow and can be one of our best tournaments, the location definitely gives it appeal”.
New TBA National Bowling and Operations Manager Nathan Stein stepped in as Tournament director before officially starting with TBA on Monday.
“Nathan did a good job, and I am very thankful he stepped in last minute to take over,” explained Whiting.
“It’s worth mentioning the great job the staff and volunteers did, especially our lane marshal Ashley, he was super quick with any score changes or lane malfunctions that happened and we are super lucky to have these types of people in our sport.
“Honestly, I have a good feeling about Nathan. He is exactly what our sport needs,” added Whiting.
With the 2023 women’s division season now underway, bowlers will be eagerly looking forward to the next event on the calendar- the Vic 150. The popular event is set to take place on the Easter long weekend from the 7-9 April at Zone Bowling Frankston, Victoria. Click here to view the information for the event.
- Total pinfall: 5,146 (24 games)
- Average: 214.42
- High Game: 269 game three of stage 1
- Tournament Game Scores
- Stage 1: 218, 173, 269, 212, 206, 160, 228, 227
- Semi-Finals: 184, 171, 225, 228, 243, 198, 234, 215
- Matchplay Finals: 6 wins from 8 matches – 236 2.0, 227 0.0, 247 2.0, 214 2.0, 233 2.0, 181 0.0, 224 2.0, 193 2.0
- High Games – Yvette Green (QLD) 290 – game 7 of stage 1
- Stage 1 Top Performer – Yvette Green (QLD) – 203, 201, 225, 225, 247, 185, 290, 237 = 1,813, 226.6 avg
- Semi-Finals Top Performer – Bek Martin (VIC) – 215, 234, 215, 216, 203, 246, 243, 248 = 1,820, 227.5 avg
- Bec Whiting (VIC)
- Yvette Green (QLD)
- Emily Bottomley (QLD)
- Bek Martin (VIC)
- Janet Hunt (NSW)
- Rebekah Commane (VIC)
- Cheryl Walduck (QLD)
- Hannah Clark (QLD)
- Emma Walsh (NSW)
- Alicia Melton (QLD)
TBA hopes to have all national rankings updated on the website this week. We thank you for your patience and understanding. When updated, these will be housed on this page here.