Barrie Lester (Mulgrave Country Club, VIC) and Carla Krizanic (Sunbury, VIC) have claimed the coveted top ranking at the end of the 2016/17 rankings period, capping a golden year in which both players significantly added to their glittering resumes.
For their success and consistency, the Victorian guns will be named the Male and Female Bowlers of the Year at Bowls Australia’s upcoming Hall of Fame and Awards Night in October and take home a cool $3,000 prize purse each.
For both players, the 2016/17 period featured dominance at state and local level, with Lester taking out the rare Victorian State Singles Champion and Victorian Champion of Champions double in April on his way to a comfortable 75 point year-end buffer over Tasmanian Lee Schraner.
Victory was sealed when Lester and pairs partner Josh Thornton defeated Schraner and his partner Geoff Maskell in the semi-finals of the Men’s Pairs at the Australian Open on their way to an elusive Australian Open title, eventually defeating South Australian and Jackaroo pairing Wayne Ruediger (Grange, SA) and Scott Thulborn (Adelaide, SA) in the final. For his part in that winning combination, as well as Lester’s Quarter-Finalist Men’s Fours team, Thornton jumps to 15th and claims the honour of being the highest ranked Para Sport athlete.
Victorians featured strongly at the top of the male rankings, with Deer Park veteran Garry Ball finishing 3rd courtesy of an outstanding domestic run, while former Jackaroo Matthew Flapper (Ocean Grove) came in equal fifth with Australian Indoors Champion Jeremy Henry (Warilla, NSW). Nestling in at four is 22 year old South Australian superstar Nathan Pedersen (Modbury, SA), who claimed a fourth Australian Open title in three years on the Gold Coast last week, the coveted Men’s Singles, and the accompanying 120 rankings points.
Krizanic’s path to the number 1 ranking was more straight forward, with her main challenger, Raymond Terrace’s two-time defending Female Bowler of the Year Natasha Scott, also being her pairs and fours team mate at the Australian Open.
As such, the Women’s Singles discipline was crucial for Scott as she needed a strong showing to unseat Krizanic; things looked hopeful for Scott after defeating Krizanic 21-9 in the round of 32, but she was upstaged in the round of 16 by Mareeba’s Sue Brady to effectively secure the title for Krizanic. For Krizanic, the number one ranking tops off a stunning and incredibly consistent year at state and local level, as well as one which saw her crowned a dual World Champion in the Women’s Triples and Fours at the 2016 World Championships.
The biggest mover from the recent Australian Open was Player of the Tournament Ellen Ryan (Cabramatta, NSW), who picked up the biggest haul ever seen (250 points) from an event in winning the Women’s Singles and Pairs and a runner-up finish in the Women’s Fours; this dominance of the World’s Biggest Bowls Festival saw Ryan jump from 70th prior to the Australian Open to 3rd! Rounding out the women’s top five were international veterans Kelly McKerihen (Caufield Park Alma & Canada) and Rebecca Van Asch (Invermay, TAS), both of whom enjoyed very consistent years.
The player rankings system is a 12 month rolling system, with all accrued points being valid for 12 months or until the equivalent event is held again the following year. The 2017/18 rankings period has already begun – click here to see upcoming rankings events!
Top ranked players by state (men):
- ACT: Adam Jeffery (overall ranking – 34th)
- NSW: Jeremy Henry (overall ranking – =5th)
- NT: Trystan Smallacombe (overall ranking – 33rd)
- QLD: Kurt Brown (overall ranking – 9th)
- SA: Nathan Pedersen (overall ranking – 4th)
- TAS: Lee Schraner (overall ranking – 2nd)
- VIC: Barrie Lester (overall ranking – 1st)
- WA: Clive Adams (overall ranking – 29th)
- Overseas: Ryan Bester (overall ranking – 8th)
Top ranked players by state (women):
- ACT: Sharon Steele (overall ranking – 15th)
- NSW: Natasha Scott (overall ranking – 2nd)
- NT: Colleen Orr (overall ranking – 10th)
- QLD: Chloe Stewart (overall ranking – 6th)
- SA: Cassandra Harvey (overall ranking – 7th)
- TAS: Rebecca Van Asch (overall ranking – 5th)
- VIC: Carla Krizanic (overall ranking – 1st)
- WA: Helen Morss (overall ranking – 21st)
- Overseas: Kelly McKerihen (overall ranking – 4th)
Overall Player Rankings (Men)
- 1st Barrie Lester (VIC): 408
- 2nd Lee Schraner (TAS): 333
- 3rd Garry Ball (VIC): 291
- 4th Nathan Pedersen (SA): 253
- =5th Matthew Flapper (VIC): 246
- =5th Jeremy Henry (NSW): 246
Overall Player Rankings (Women)
- 1st Carla Krizanic (VIC): 394
- 2nd Natasha Scott (NSW): 340
- 3rd Ellen Ryan (NSW): 301
- 4th Kelly McKerihen (Overseas, CAN): 261
- 5th Rebecca Van Asch (TAS): 245
Click here to view the complete male rankings at the conclusion of the 2016/17 rankings period
Click here to view the complete female rankings at the conclusion of the 2016/17 rankings period
Click here to learn more about the Player Rankings System