Caleb Hope. Photo Credit: Arjan
With the pristine Burnside greens glistening in the sun, the carry on luggage packed and the bowls safely in tow, it can only mean one thing – the Burnside U26 singles beckons.
As the season rolls back around, the best youth talent will descend on Christchurch to bid for the right to be crowned the Burnside U26 Singles champion – a tag that continues to be an impressive accolade with each and every year that passes.
And this weekend certainly won’t be an exception.
In fact, looking through the field, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a nationally endorsed event, with a multitude of future stars in attendance working their way a step closer to further honours.
Leading the pack will likely be the recently crowned New Zealand Development Player of the Year Seamus Curtin, who last season enjoyed breakout performances, including a career highlight third equal placing at the coveted Australian Open singles – no doubt eager to continue building and progressing an already bulging resume.
Hot on his heels will be a handful of former winners including Blackjack representative Tayla Bruce, former development rep Sheldon Bagrie-Howley, among other top talents, Bradley Down, national singles semi-finalist Caleb Hope, Dunedin representative Keanu Darby and PBA bolter Dean Drummond, of Hastings.
A host of other talents to watch include local hope Richard Hocking, Glenfield’s Paris Baker, Victoria’s Nicole Toomey, Stokes Valley clubmates James Cameron-Powell and Finbar McGuigan, Clyde’s Conor Muir and the experienced campaigner Josh Boyd, of Kaikoura.
Section play will commence on Friday, October 5, with all players completing seven rounds of 21-shots up, before the knock-out action begins late Saturday afternoon.
Sunday’s action will play host to the eagerly anticipated semi-final and final, with a fiercely impressive field proving difficult to separate a tournament favourite.
Former winners of this event have included reigning World Singles champion Shannon McIlroy and Burnside hero Bruce, both who have gone on to represent New Zealand in the elite Blackjacks side – and in an event that continues to nurture top quality talent, all eyes will be on the emergence of a future star looking to shine on the Burnside greens in 2018.