QUEANBEYAN lawn bowler Jenny Clout and partner Ruth Moore will have little time to gauge the greens when they kick off their Australian Champion of Champions pairs campaign against heavyweights NSW today.
Clout and Moore – from Canberra City Bowling Club – are representing the ACT at the prestigious event being staged for the first time ever at the Queanbeyan Bowling Club.
The Champion of Champions tournament is the pinnacle of club-based competition in Australia with only the top club pairs from each state and territory invited to compete.
Clout, who lives in Queanbeyan but bowls in Canberra, won through to the national finals after taking out the ACT state pairs finals with Moore earlier this year.
While it’s their first time competing together at the national level, the two have been thrown into the deep end against the pre-tournament favourites first up.
“Our first game is against Karen Murphy and Kay Moran who are both international players and who are ranked quite high in the world so it’s going to be very tough,” Clout said.
“Against that level of competition you’ve got to be aggressive. It involves a lot of concentration and determination to win but we’re both very competitive and we’ve definitely got those qualities.”
World number four Murphy and former Scottish international Moran are seen as the tournament’s major threat but Clout and Moore bring plenty of pedigree of their own to the table.
Clout represented the ACT at the Australian Sides Championships in April while Moore is a local legend of the sport, having bowled for Australia and represented the ACT on more than 200 occasions.
The two have been in strong form so far this year, taking out the Canberra City club pairs before emerging victorious in the ACT state titles.
“We won our club pairs last year as well to get through to the ACT champion of champions competition and lost which was really disappointing,” Clout said.
“So this year we really wanted to win [state] and see how far we could go and through a lot of hard work and determination we’ve got there.”
This year’s Australian Champion of Champions event will run through until Sunday at the Queanbeyan Bowling Club with the women’s pairs set to kick off from 3pm.