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News Team Henselite Nathan Wilson wins Australian Open Singles!
February 24, 2014

All  week it was a fairytale in the making. Twenty-year-old Nathan Wilson from Bendigo, and brother of last year's winner Aaron Wilson, started out in the main draw of the singles at the Australian Open at Darebin City BC last week. Little did he know that between them, these two members of Team Henselite were about to make history as the first brothers to take out the most prestigious national title in consecutive years.

"I had no expectations at all coming in this year, I just came and tried to play good bowls and any win was a bonus." said Nathan whose only other attempt at the Australian Open Singles had ended in a first round defeat.

Nathan breezed through his opening encounter 21-5 and it was in the second round that he came up against Scottish World Champion, Graeme Archer. This was where we had a taste of things to come. Nathan showed he wasn't daunted by a high profile opponent, keeping his nerve to win 21-16. It was a similar story from then on, he overcame well credentialled South Australian Scott Thulborn 21-10 in the third round and by the time he met NSW's Ray Pearse in the semi-final he was on a roll and had proven he could handle the pressure situations, winning that game 21-20.

And then the stage was set for what was billed by Bowls Australia as the "David vs Goliath" battle.

On the other side of the draw, current Australian Representative and former World Number 2, Brett Wilkie awaited Nathan in the final.

"I tried to approach the final like any other game, and to play him on his bowls, not the player," said Nathan. "There were a few nerves to begin with but after getting into it I didn't notice them. In the last few ends they came back but I held them under control."

Nathan's brother Aaron was on hand throughout the week and also at the final where he commentated for BA's live streaming of the event. "He didn't give me too much advice, he was more a calming influence, giving me confidence. He encouraged me to play my own game and gave me a bit of confidence to do it."

The final began as a see-sawing affair with both players taking turns to lead. But through the middle it seemed Brett Wilkie would have the upper hand as he strode to a 18-13 lead.

"At 18-13 down I didn't have any particular plan," said Nathan "I was just hoping to get close and hoping to get a bit of luck." And get close he did get with his bright orange Dreamline XGs picking up 2 shots on each of the next two ends. This was just the opening and boost of confidence he needed and went on to take out the final 21-19.

"It's an incredible feeling. I'm over the moon. It's the best feeling ever," he said. "I swapped to Dreamline XGs 2 months ago and they are a great all round bowl. During the Open we had all weather conditions, rain, wind and sun, the XGs performed all week, even in trying conditions, and provided me with confidence on every shot I played."

2014 marks the third year in a row that a Team Henselite bowler has taken out the nation's top men's singles prize. Prior to Aaron's win last year, Mark Casey also used his Dreamline XGs to become Australian Open Champion.

Nathan hopes that his performance last week will have him well and truly on the radar of state and national selectors.

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Nathan Wilson wins Australian Open Singles!