The biggest bowls tournament to hit Nelson is rolling into town this weekend.
The Nelson Bowling Club Speight’s Premier Fours will see some of the country’s top bowlers battle it out for the inaugural title, as well as the $10,000 first prize money that comes with it – being the biggest fours winner's cheque in New Zealand.
Organiser Richard Collett says the tournament will be a first for Nelson which will not only bring top quality bowlers to the region but will give Nelson’s best local talent the opportunity to play in this prestigious event where they can gauge their own abilities against the best.
The tournament is the brainchild of Nelson Bowls convenor of selectors John Caldwell and will be an annual fixture where the players are asked to play in the event by invitation only.
The Caldwell family, The Speight’s Ale House Nelson and Speight’s are the major sponsors of the tournament, all making substantial contributions, along with 16 other local businesses coming on board as team sponsors, all making the $10,000 first prize on offer possible.
Organisers say “We’ve put a lot of focus on getting a significant winner's cheque rewarding the winner generously for their success. All of the teams are capable of winning so it’s going to be a very competitive three days, everyone’s coming to win and win only”.
The tournament will feature some of the country’s top bowlers including 12 past or present New Zealand reps and 14 New Zealand title holders, including record NZ title holder Gary Lawson and Andrew Curtain who are arguably a couple of the best to play the game for New Zealand.
The tournament kicks off on Friday and will feature 16 teams of four players with the format of 25 ends with no time limit, which will make for a great spectacle with some games expected to go on upward of 4 hours with the competition being fierce.
Spectators are most welcome to come and enjoy all the action which will kick off at 9am on Friday morning at the Nelson Bowling Club and will go for three days with the final on Sunday at 1pm. The event will also be live-streamed with commentary from Kevin Hickland which can be followed on Facebook – 'Nelson Bowling Club Speight’s Premier Fours'.