Tolchard and Bruce crowned World Bowls Champion of Champions
England international Sam Tolchard was crowned world champion for the very first time at the prestigious World Bowls Singles Champion of Champions event in New Zealand.
To stamp his name into immortality he defeated young Malaysian sensation Izzat Shameer Dzulkeple in the men’s final at the impressive Naenae club in Wellington. Both finalists emerged from a stellar field of national champions from around the world.
Tolchard, from the famed Torquay Kings club in Devon, topped section one following the culmination of the round-robin matches, winning nine and losing just one of his 10 starts, which included wins over home favourite Kelvin Scott and Scotland’s Gordon White.
He defeated the ever-smiling Dzulkeple, a 30-year-old agriculture whizz from Perak, by driving an open jack into the ditch with the last bowl of the championships.
Although 33-year-old Tolchard easily won the first set, the gritty Malaysian was all over him in the second set and tiebreaker, until the big moment came and Tolchard rose to the occasion.
In the semi finals Tolchard defeated Irish veteran Gary McCloy to make his way into the main event, while Dzulkeple toppled defending champion Lee Schraner from Australia.
Twenty-seven-year-old Christchurch school teacher Tayla Bruce is the toast of New Zealand after winning the women’s championship.
She defeated Australia’s Carla Krizanic, the hot favourite, 8-6 10-9 in a compelling match – applying the coup de grâce on the ninth end of the second set by crafting a treble when the final appeared set for a three-end tiebreaker.
Tayla continues New Zealand’s proud tradition in this event, following in the footsteps of past winners; Jan Khan (2010), Jo Edwards (2011, 2018) and Sandra Keith 2012 – then Ali Forsyth (2004), Tony Grantham (2007) and Shannon McIlroy (2018).
The reigning NZ singles winner, Tayla also has national fours titles in 2017 and 2020 to her credit, while she was a member of the Blackjacks women’s four that claimed bronze at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games earlier this year.
To reach the final after being top qualifier, Carla defeated Mel Thomas from Wales in a semi final, while Tayla won two elimination matches against Marea Modutlwa from Botswana, then USA champion Anne Nunes in the semi final which saw her hit the hot form she carried out on to the Naenae grass today.
RESULTS – DAY SEVEN
Final: Sam Tolchard (ENG) bt Izzat Shameer Dzulkeple (MAS) 12-3; 4-6; 3-2.
Final: Tayla Bruce (NZL) bt Carla Krizanic (AUS) 8-6; 10-9.
[Words and images via David Allen (World Bowls PR)]
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