2024 John Sullivan Senior Australian Open Recap

By Matt Stevens
March 18, 2024

This weekend at Wyncity Keon Park in Victoria, the bowling community gathered for the John Sullivan Senior Australian Open, a cornerstone event in the 2024 Senior and Grand Senior National Ranked event season.

The Senior Australian Open which began in 2007, was renamed in 2020, in honour of the legendary Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA) Hall of Fame member John Sullivan following his passing, making this year’s event the 18th reiteration of the long-standing event.

John Sullivan was inducted into the TBA hall of fame in 1989. Considered one of the top bowlers in the 1970’s and 80’s, the addition of the name was driven from community wide respect for the bowler.

“John was a great supporter of our association and this tournament,” said A.T.B.S.O.V Tournament Director Sue Raphael. “We wanted to honour a great Australian bowler who was accepted and well-liked by all bowlers”.

The popular event showcased the talents of senior bowlers in a competitive yet nostalgic setting, aided with the intertwined Bowler Reunion 2024 event. This reunion, organised by Tournament Director, Warren Stewart, added a layer of warmth, allowing old friends to reconnect and share stories, further enriching the experience for everyone involved.

The champions were crowned across three divisions—female, male, and over 60— with all participants displaying exceptional skill and determination over the two days of intense competition.

Missing the first event of the season, Dena Buxton was quick to return to her 2023 Senior Rankings winning form triumphing in the female division, marking her second consecutive win at this event. Buxton showcased consistency and skill, especially on day two, to finish with 3,285 pins and an average of 205.3. Her victory solidifies her status as one of the premier bowlers in the senior circuit. demonstrating her ability by narrowly edging out Samantha Matthews, the day-one leader and a formidable competitor who had recently shined at the Hammer QLD Senior Classic. Sue Cassell clinched third, rounding out a podium of exceptional talent.



Karen Commane (248)

Andrew Lloyd emerged victorious in the male division, claiming his third title at this prestigious event, and joining Bill Johnson as one of its most successful competitors. Lloyd led from the front, showcasing remarkable consistency and skill to finish with a total of 3,809 pins. His performance on day two, in particular, was a masterclass in tenacity and skill, ensuring his place at the top. Adam Hayes, the defending champion, mounted a strong challenge with an impressive day-two performance, including a perfect 300 game, to secure second place. Wayne Smith’s remarkable day-two surge propelled him from 11th to third, completing an impressive podium finish.



Adam Hayes (300 game)

In the over 60 division, Michael Holden demonstrated resilience and skill to climb from third to first place on day two, finishing with 3,380 pins. His performance edged out David Edwards and Graeme Morgan, who led after day one, in a closely contested division that highlighted the competitive spirit and high skill level of the senior bowlers.



Graeme Morgan (286)

Looking ahead, the stellar performances at the John Sullivan Senior Australian Open 2024 have undoubtedly set a high benchmark for the rest of the season. This event celebrated not just the current triumphs of senior bowlers but also paid a fitting homage to the sport’s rich legacy through the Bowler Reunion 2024. The weekend’s champions have not only carved their names in history but also lit the path for an exhilarating year ahead, promising to inspire both their contemporaries and the generations to follow.

The journey continues with the SA Seniors Classic, which will be held at Salisbury Bowland in South Australia. Scheduled to begin on the 25th of May 2024, the event has already seen a significant interest, with Squad B fully booked and only a few spots remaining in Squad A. This upcoming tournament offers another stage for senior bowlers to showcase their talent and vie for supremacy in the ongoing season.

In just ten days, the focus shifts to the Open and the inaugural Women’s division event of 2024 – the Australian Tenpin Bowling Open and Vic 150. These events are set to unfold side by side at Zone Bowling Frankston in Victoria, spanning over the Easter weekend starting from the 29th of March. With entries still open but spots filling up fast, this presents a prime opportunity for bowlers across divisions to make their mark in a highly anticipated tournament.

As we move forward, these events not only continue the competitive spirit witnessed at the John Sullivan Senior Australian Open but also extend an invitation to bowlers nationwide to partake in the celebration of tenpin bowling. The stage is set for more thrilling displays of skill, determination, and sportsmanship in the vibrant and inclusive community of Australian tenpin bowling.