2019 World Singles Champion of Champions: Golden final day for Aussies
Australia boasts two new world champions after a thrilling final day at the World Singles Champion of Champions in Adelaide on Sunday.
Wodonga’s Kylie Whitehead took on New Zealand’s Debbie White in the first final of the day under pristine conditions for bowls.
It was White who took the early advantage in the match, closing out a first set strongly to edge ahead 11-7.
“Early days none of us could figure out either hand, it was a matter of trying to find it. I was swapping back and forth, not comfortable on either hand,” Whitehead said on Rinkside Live.
Whitehead’s struggles continued early into the second set, trailing 7-1 after 5 ends in the second set.
“(At that point) you’re thinking just don’t disgrace yourself,” Whitehead said.
“I was hoping somehow a miracle could happen.”
And a miracle soon followed. Sitting one down with her final shot of the sixth end, White took out one of her own bowls to go three down as Whitehead erased the deficit to just three shots with three ends to play.
“Picking cup that three was a bit of a momentum shift. She was playing so well and had me under all sorts of pressure,” Whitehead said.
Whitehead managed to edge her way in front 9-8 to force a tiebreak.
With scores tied at 1-1 going into the final end, Whitehead managed to sit her bowl just centimetres from the jack and win the world championship.
Australia’s Lee Schraner had hopes of repeating Whitehead’s efforts shortly after her win, taking on Hong Kong’s Tony Cheung in the men’s final.
Cheung went into the game with form over Schraner, having beaten him in last year’s semi final of the same event, while Schraner went into the match unbeaten for the 2019 competition.
Cheung managed to win six of the nine ends in the first set, but Schraner limited him to single scores as the Australian pinched a 7-6 first set win.
Just as it did in the women’s game, the momentum swung in the second set with Cheung taking the ascendancy to win 9-6 and force another tiebreaker.
And just like the women’s game it came down to the final end with scores level at 1-1. Schraner successfully drove the jack into the ditch and managed to block in front of it to claim the win and in doing so the world championship.
Kylie Whitehead (AUS) def Debbie White (NZL) 7-11 9-8 2-1
Lee Schraner (AUS) def Tony Cheung (HKC) 7-6 6-9 4-1