Victory is a triumph for underdogs
BOWLS: Whiz kid Kurt Brown was a long way from the greens of Tantitha Bowls Club when he led his team to victory in the Australian men’s championships.
The Bundaberg 19-year-old had to pinch himself at the two-week Shepparton competition as he and teammates Paul Jopson and Ben Twist competed against the international stars of the sport.
The quiet surrounds of his home green were forgotten as Brown tried to keep his composure among crowds of spectators and television crews.
“It was all pretty overwhelming,” he said.
“You’d look around and see crowds of people staring at you and cameras rolling.”
But Brown managed to keep his eye on the prize, winning all five rounds of the 64-team competition.
His team was formed hastily four days before the qualifier and the members played together for the first time in the opening round. The underdogs were paying $48 on Sportsbet to win the championships, a wager Brown subsequently wished he had taken.
It was a long battle to the top, with Brown’s outfit having to beat England’s Commonwealth Games team, the Australian bowling squad side, a trio headed by Commonwealth Games gold medallist Barry Lester, and a team led by 2009 world singles champion Wayne Turley.
“There were all these high-profile bowlers who thought we had nothing, but we came up in the end,” Brown said.
“Everything just went right for us and all of a sudden the underdogs were in the finals.
“It sounds silly but it really felt like we were supposed to win.”
Brown will defend his title in Darebin, near Melbourne, next year.