Milwaukee lawn bowlers Anna Witt and Glorianne Mather (photo left) will represent the Central Division in the women’s pairs competition Nov. 4-8 in Sun City Center, Florida. Witt is the gold medal skip from the 2013 U.S. women’s pairs championships. In the singles event, Pat Wimmer (photo) of Milwaukee defeated Marty White of Cincinnati to advance to the Championships. Wimmer represented Central in 2013.
Thursday, August 14, 2014 marks a significant day in the life of lawn bowls in the U.S. Noteworthy is a new bowling green that is opening in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a western suburb of Minneapolis. A year ago the city council approved the construction costs of $134,000 for the 8-rink green that has been built on the same premises as the city’s public golf course.
Take note all you nay-sayers who talk about the decline of the sport. Before a bowl has been rolled on the green in Golden Valley, twenty-four teams have signed up for league play that kicks off on August 14 Strong civic backing has been crucial to bring this project to realization. From the beginning the Golden Valley city council was supportive of the lawn bowling project. “This looks like a fabulous amenity,” Council member Paula Pentel reported to Gina Purcell with the Sun Post Newspaper. Mayor Shep Harris offered his support, “I think it’s a great idea, …this will be yet another option for those coming to Golden Valley.”
League play pits teams of four players in matches lasting just one hour for seven weeks and culminates in a Champions Cup Tournament. A variety of league options are available: family league, couples only, women only, and open league. Loch Lamond, Vale of Leven, and Druid’s Glen are among the league names that all pick up on the original home of the game.
The cost per team is $350. In response to a question about the fees, assistant manager Kim Straw said, “everyone thinks the fees are reasonable”. The new bowls club has signed up at least one corporate group of between 30-100 people for each day in August. Straw attributes this high level of interest to the social aspect of the game. “In golf you only have three other playing partners, but in lawn bowling you socialize with many more people.” Straw notes the game has a mysterious factor to it that is attractive to people who’ve never seen or heard of the game, and it is less intimidating than golf to play.
How does a new lawn bowls operation occur in the U.S.? It helps not to be burdened by a history of repeating the tired methods and strategies that don’t work anymore.
Central Division will be well represented at the U.S. Championships with the team of Bob Schneider and Rob Behncke who swept the pairs playdowns in Milwaukee Aug 9-10. Finishing with an unblemished 4-0 record and a plus score of +32, Schneider and Behncke bested four other teams in the competition. Second place went to Max Cavender and father Jim Cavender. Also competing were Steve Nelson and Carl Landgren, brothers Jimmy and Jeff Wolterman, and Leif Andresen and Jim Gryzbowski.
Schneider and Behncke placed 2nd (tie) at last year’s Championships and will set their sights one notch higher at the 2014 Championships to be held this November in Sun City Center, Florida.
Trailing 11-17 and one point away from elimination in the 18-point singles final, Rob Behncke of Milwaukee held his resolve and made one clutch shot after another to draw even at 17-17 against Steve Nelson of Chicago. On the final end Behncke’s toucher on a full-length jack held up to give Behncke an 18-17 victory and the Central Open singles title.
The singles tournament attracted a field of 12 bowlers who played three games before being seeded into flights. Behncke, seeded eight, beat number one seed Max Cavender in the quarter-finals before winning the semi-final match against Max’s father, Jim Cavender, setting up the final against Nelson.
Other winners: 3rd-Jim Cavender; 4th-Anna Witt; A flight-Max Cavender; B flight-Jim Grzybowski.
Photo left to right: Behncke, Nelson, J. Cavender, Witt, M. Cavender, Grzybowski.
Carl Landgren & Mark Mathwig were last minute entries into the Central Open pairs competition recently held in Milwaukee WI, but they bowled over their competition on their way to claim the Central Open pairs title. In the final the winners defeated the son-father team of Max & Jim Cavender. In 3rd place Steve Nelson & Rob Behncke edged out Leif Andresen & Jim Grzybowski.
The pairs tandem of Bob Schneider and Rob Behncke captured the Potlicker pairs trophy for the second consecutive year at the annual Milwaukee event on June 7-8. Schneider and Behncke trailed by one shot coming home in the 16th end in the finals against Carl Landgren and Steve Nelson. Lead Rob Behncke drew a near toucher. A Nelson front bowl was inched closer to the jack on a bump up for second shot, but then Schneider drew close to the jack and edged out the opponents on a measure to take two on the final end and win the game and tournament.
Max Cavender and John Kirkwood beat Leif Andresen and Jim Gryzbowski for 3rd place. In the A flight, Jim Cavender and Scott Wisniewski beat Crandall Hays and Ted Bailey. Also competing were Pat Wimmer and Andy Searles, and Anna Witt/Rebecca Nguyen and Kirk Korneisel.
Springtime in the Rockies is here and the Washington Park Lawn Bowling club in Denver kicked off the season in April. Bowlers in the area are invited to stop by for a game on Tuesday’s at 6:00 p.m. Check out the website for additional times and schedules — http://washingtonparklawnbowlingclub.
Check it out — www.worldbowls.com. Gone is the boring color scheme and information hidden behind a nearly unnavigable heirarchy. In with the new. Reamped. Newsy. Instructional. On the right sidebar is a clean graphic link to all the member nations and their websites. Across the top is a menu bar that offer a clear path to such things as upcoming events as well as past results. What is most impressive is a comprehensive Bowls Introductory manual with tons of helpful information for any new bowler or club considering construction of a new green.
On the home page you will find news about the recently completed World Cup indoor singles tournament in which US bowler Neil Furman took the bronze medal. Jeremy Henry of Australia and Caroline Brown of Scotland won gold.