Bowls world in awe of skill shown by Ballina's Aaron Teys
HOW good is young Aaron Teys? That's the question everybody is asking since the Ballina-born 20-year-old won last week's Australian Open with a performance that even over-awed the television commentators, themselves world-renowned players.
During play, one of the impressed commentators said: "This is the best game of bowls I've ever seen."
In a final in which he downed the hot favourite who showed near equal brilliance, world-class Canadian international Ryan Bester, the commentators saw Teys as a future Australian rep.
Teys' win was all the more notable because the final was played on Bester's home turf - at Broadbeach where he is the professional bowls co-ordinator.
Teys didn't have an easy passage to the title. On the way he beat world champions Jeremy Henry, the Northern Ireland star who has a hat-trick of World Cup singles and other world titles to his credit, and Queenslander Mark Casey, who has a World Cup singles title added to an international list of successes as long as your arm.
In the final, it took Bester 16 ends before he hit the front. He stayed there for just three ends in a nip-and-tuck game before Teys took the lead again, which he held with magnificent recovery shots until the final score of 21-17.
It was incredible bowls - every facet of the game on display - with Teys as calm as a cucumber in circumstances that would have overcome a lesser talent with a $16,000 winners' cheque at stake.
I taped the television coverage of the final. I've played and replayed the tape. I agree with the commentator who said it was the best bowls game he'd seen. My opinion? It should be used as a promotional tool to show people what our game is all about.
Teys, now a Warilla greenkeeper, caught people's attention when he started winning local major club singles against all-comers as a 13-year-old (two at Ballina, one at Evans Head).
National coach/selector, former world champion Steve Glasson, watched the Australian Open final. He couldn't help but be impressed. This brilliant talent is worthy of a place in any future national selection.