Nelson Bay's Richard Girvan has won a third New Zealand lawn bowl title

CHAMPION: Nelson Bay bowls manager Richard Girvan has claimed his third New Zealand Open title.
CHAMPION: Nelson Bay bowls manager Richard Girvan has claimed his third New Zealand Open title.

RICHARD Girvan has claimed a third New Zealand Open title.

Years of lawn bowls experience helped Girvan to overcome the challenges he faced in this year’s tournament, held in his hometown of Auckland in February.

“The first match was held indoors which is completely different from what I’m used to,” Girvan said.

“My bowls were too tight for indoor. It was fortunate that Hunter Bowls were there and were able to lend me some bowls.”

Girvan, the bowls development and operations manager at Nelson Bay Bowling Club, went into the New Zealand Open as the defending champion, having won in 2015.The competition was not held in 2016 due to the World Championships. He has participated in seven of the last 10 New Zealand Opens, winning his first in 2009. As the defending champion Girvan automatically qualified for the main round of competition, held between February 14 and 22. He easily defeated Ray Keen in the first round 13-21 but faced tougher competition in his next game against Garry Cotter. Girvan held on to win 19-21.

“He played really well,” Girvan said of his opponent. “He was driving really well. The only time I was in front was at the end.”

In the semi Girvan faced up-and-coming talent Taylor Horn,18. It was another tough game, but one Girvan came out on top of 18-21.

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