First-Time NZ Open Champion Misses Out on Triples, Takes Singles
15 Nov 2013
Representing the Carlton Cornwall club in Auckland, Karen de Jongh played two finals today at The Trusts NZ Open 2013, losing the women's triples by just two points (13-11) and then coming back to win the women's singles 21-7 at Henderson Bowls.
Skipping her composite trio of Bev Crowe and Diane Hazleton against the South Island composite side of Margaret O'Connor (skip, Queenstown), Linley O'Callaghan (Alexandria) and Christine Buchanan (Queenstown), it was a slow start for both sides until the ninth end when O'Connor made a break for the podium with four ends in a row to bring the score from 3-5 behind de Jongh to 13-5 ahead.
Despite taking the final three ends with two bowls on each, de Jongh's team came up short and relinquished the honours to the excited South Island bowlers.
“It's unreal, unbelievable and I'm so pleased. The girls up front were just great,” the victorious skip, O'Connor said.
It may have been the recent loss in the triples that sparked a fire in de Jongh's belly. Or perhaps the morning's experience on the green and having her mother and father watching from the sidelines. But the local bowler came out firing in her title match against defending champion Kirsten Griffin (United, Nelson).
Picking up an early lead, 4-1 after four ends, de Jongh then endured a scoreless five ends as Griffin (Bowls NZ Young Player of the Year 2012/2013) found her line and drew even on seven in the 12th end.
Unphazed and spurred on by her 94-year-old father, Jos (still bowling himself), the 59-year-old took control of the rink and won eight ends in quick succession to take the crown, a first for de Jongh at the tournament.
AeroBowls Women's Triples Final
Margaret O'Connor (s), Linley O'Callaghan, Christine Buchanan (Composite) bt Karen de Jongh (s), Bev Crowe, Diane Hazelton (Composite) 13-11.
Winners: Margaret O'Connor (s), Linley O'Callaghan, Christine Buchanan (Composite)
The Trusts Women's Singles Final
Karen de Jongh (Carlton Cornwall) bt Kirsten Griffin (Defending Champion) 21-7.
Winner: Karen de Jongh (Carlton Cornwall)