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News Team Henselite David Holt - Australia's Champion of Champions
October 14, 2013

David Holt has become Australia's newest Champion of Champions - claiming his first National title in his adopted country since arriving in 2002.

After qualifying as the state representative for the event by winning the NSW Champion of Champions Singles almost a year ago, David has been patiently waiting for his chance to shine again on the national stage.

"When the draw first came out I knew I had two difficult opponents in my first two games with Andrew Howie from ACT and Kurt Brown of QLD both young current State players whom I know very well." he said. 

David's match against Andrew Howie was of a very high standard with only really close bowls having a chance to count. David won the last 6 or 7 ends straight to go from 15 all to finish up 21-15 winner, remarking to the marker that  "it was a good enough game to be worthy of the final not first match!"

"My second game was equally important as Kurt had had a fairly convincing win in his first game so I needed to get off to a good start. At 11-4 down I was obviously very concerned as Kurt was really outbowling me on the longer ends time and again. Fortunately I managed to play a perfect conversion shot on the next end and remove his shot bowl and move the jack slightly to make a maximum full count of 4 shots narrowing the gap to 11-8 and also giving me a lot more confidence. From there on I switched to very short jacks which is a good tactic playing against someone with pretty narrow bias bowls and dominated the play myself to run away 21-13 winner."

At this stage of the day David was in an excellent position with 2 wins (+14) with Kurt on 1 win +3 and Andrew on 1 win -5 . David's final game was against TAS representative David Genford who had lost both his opening two games. "I would have to say I was feeling pretty confident," he said. "However it just goes to show you that never in a bowls tournament can you take any opponent lightly as my opponent came out and played brilliantly with his last bowl to get the shot end after end and put me 20-10 down and looking like I was gone from the competition and on the plane home!"

"Luckily for me I managed to dig exceptionally deep in my years of bowls experience and raise the standard of my play to a much higher level, knowing I was on the verge of defeat and clawed back end by end to finish up 21-16 down at the finish which was enough for me to get through on shot difference."

"In the final I must admit I felt pretty relaxed going into the game and had a confidence that if I could play to the best of my ability I had a good chance against another young player in Daniel Patterson from WA." said David. 

He started well at 5-0 and even though Daniel came straight back to level at 5-5, once David lengthened the jack his consistency with the draw shot which has been the cornerstone of his success in Singles matches over the years, and enabled him to build up a substantial lead.  "On the few ends Daniel was beating me to the jack I managed to get away with losing just a 1 shot deficit and win fairly comfortably for my first Aussie Title."

"Throughout the final and indeed throughout the event the wind was blowing fairly strongly and gusty and once again I would have to say my trusty Dreamline XG Size 4 Breaker that I have used for the last 7 months or so handled the conditions as well as and probably a bit better than most of my opponents other bowls, with a very even and predictable line on both sides of the green. From my experience with these bowls I am now very confident that I could go and play an event anywhere in Australia and they would take all the varying conditions in their stride."

"When I first came out to Australia in Feb 2002 I was very focused and determined to make a name for myself in Australian bowls and ultimately represent my new adopted country. In my second year I won the NSW State Singles and then made it through to the Australian Singles final in Tasmania but ultimately went down to the Victorian champion who bowled brilliantly on the day."

"I have now had an amazing 11 years playing bowls all around Australia and won many titles and have come to the realisation that representative teams at both State and National level are heavily biased towards youth in their selections and that like the rest of us I’m not likely to get younger any time soon. Hence I will be a very happy and a little bit emotional man when I finally get to wear the green and gold and represent Australia at the World Champion of Champions event next November. Hopefully I will be able to play well in Christchurch, New Zealand, and have a really fair dinkum crack at bringing the title back to Sydney my home that I love so much."
 

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David Holt - Australia's Champion of Champions