ADRIAN Hill, John King and Neville Cullen have upset a star-studded field of bowlers to win the inaugural Griffith Exies Masters Triples yesterday.
Despite many of the best players in the world playing along side them, the champions made the most of their favourable draw to collect the $10,500 main prize.
Locals took out silver with Lou Vincent, Paddy McClellan and Doug Turner also shining, while Aaron Wilson, Lee Schraner and Peter Studd took out third.
The week, which featured an open Shootout on Tuesday night and gala dinner in honour of the city’s guests on Wednesday night, was one of the biggest sporting events in the Riverina.
Sixteen-time world champion Alex Marshall said he held the competition in Australia in higher regard than that back home in Scotland.
“I love coming out to Australia to play as well, it’s actually probably better than back home, the competition and level of play is so high, it’s fun playing against these guys,” Marshall said.
“There’s so many good teams here at this tournament, and all of the local guys as well put in some really good performances out there as well.”
Such is Marshall’s skill, most of the top players in the world point to him as arguably the best on his day and almost unbeatable.
Young Aussie Aron Sherriff lauded the organisers of the Masters, saying the
red carpet has been rolled out during their three-day visit to the city.
“We play so many high pressure tournaments, so it’s nice to come out to the “We play so many high pressure tournaments, so it’s nice to come out to the country areas where the majority of people have no idea who we are.
“This is the first time to Griffith for me and a couple of days in and I’m having an absolute ball, we’ve been really well looked after.
“We had three really tough games today (Wednesday), and yes the guys from Barmedman beat us, but it’s been a great.”
Co-organiser John Ritorto said he was proud of the team behind the event, saying without their dedication over the past year, the Masters would still be a pipedream.
“The biggest thing that’s come out of the whole week is the people that are working behind the scenes, the sponsors, the bowls community,” Ritorto said.
“A lot of those people have got behind something that was just a concept not that long ago and we dared to dream to lift the sport to another level.
“And give some juniors around here a different outlet, so everybody who has helped this week, dared to follow us.”
The 2013 Masters is set to be even bigger, with more elite players expressing their interest, along with this year’s crop of stars.
“I have spoken to all of the guys today (Wednesday) and I have not come across one bloke that said they are not coming back next year,” Ritorto said.
“We don’t even need to ask them if they will come back, they’re telling us they will, so hopefully they go away and tell everybody what a good time they had here.”