Ranked Recap: 2023 SA Seniors Classic

By Tenpin Bowling Australia
May 29, 2023

The 2023 SA Seniors Classic concluded on the weekend for the 20th time in its history at Bowland Salisbury in South Australia with some familiar faces being crowned champions.

One of the largest league bowling centres in the country, Bowland Salisbury, was the host of the 20th annual running of the event and well equipped to handle the 88 bowlers who signed up to compete in the event.

In the female senior division, after celebrating her 60th birthday earlier in the week, Bendigo Bowler Christine Clark emerged as champion with a stellar performance to halt Dena Buxton’s perfect start for the year. The title is Clark’s first since 2020 when she won back-to-back John Sullivan Senior Australian Opens.

“It feels pretty good to win this title as I thought my days of winning another major event was limited” explained Clark following the win.

If starts are anything to go by, Clark couldn’t have started any better if she tried.

In her first game of the tournament, the Victorian rolled a 266 game to kick off her campaign. Averaging 195.9 on day one, Clark would take a 41-pin advantage over Dena Buxton in second place at the end of the first eight games.

“Given I had a tremendous start, it definitely boosted my confidence, but I still tried to feel relaxed to continue” explained Clark. “Before Day 1, I had David clean and prepare my gear. Before Day two, I made sure the ball that I had success on Day 1, was prepared to the same status”.

With help from her good friend and fellow traveller from Bendigo, David Farquharson, Clark continued her strong performance on day two holding off three fellow Victorians vying for the title.

Clark would finish on a 16-game total pinfall of 3,013 to claim the title. Dena Buxton would finish in second place with 2,936, Lee Booth in third place on 2,934, and Robyn Flynn just missing the podium on 2,920.

“This is my tenth year playing seniors, but I have missed three due to COVID and injury,” explained Clark.

“I am definitely looking forward to returning next year to defend my title.

“A special thanks to my partner on the lanes, Ian Strahan, for his support and encouragement all weekend”.

In the ten years on the senior circuit, Clark has won three consecutive Qld Hammer Classic titles, two Senior Australian Opens, and one Venuto Cup. In 2023, it has been difficult to chase the in-form Dena Buxton but for Christine, she doesn’t let it get to her.

“Dena has had a great year, but to be honest, I play my own game and NEVER look at the opposition or results,” said Clark.

Following her win, Clark began the drive back to Victoria with her support crew by her side.

“This year my best friend, Tracey (Davids’s wife) decided to come, and she is the driver, so I get to sit in the front, with David relegated to the back seat”.

In the male division, another familiar face turned it on to survive a late surge by newcomer and South Australian local, David Kuhn, to claim the title.

“It feels great to be back in South Australia and win the event” explained Talevski.

“I honestly can’t remember the last senior event I won.

“I love going back there, not only for the bowling part but to catch up with all the friends I’ve made over the years” added Talevski.

The 61-year-old Victorian, finished in second place at the end of day one, only 12 pins behind the leader of the field, Mike Muir, who posted 1,639 from his first eight. Not much was between the top six bowlers with the sixth position Jim Karakostas only 65 pins away from the leader.

On moving day, the Victorian pair of Talevski and Andrew Thorpe posted strong numbers to give them the best chance of a podium finish. With one squad to play, local David Kuhn surged up the leaderboard for a potential debut title.

It wasn’t to be in the end though, Khun would post his lowest score of day two on the last and deciding game, a 181 game to allow Talevski and Thorpe to claim first and second with the local surprise packet having to settle for bronze.

“Unfortunately, we had to leave not long after our squad finished with a long drive back to Melbourne” explained Talevski. “On the drive, we were checking scores along the way as I knew it was going to go down to the wire”.

The 2023 ranked event season has been a strong one for the National Training Squad (NTS) 50 member, with a runner-up at the Hammer, and a Grand Senior title at the John Sullivan Senior Australian Open.

“I think the good start to the year is due to practising and working on my game” explained Talevski.

“Coming out of COVID, it took a bit to get going but I think we’re right now.

“The plan is to keep bowling in what I can and keep working on my game. I never stop trying to improve my game” added Talevski.

The Grand Seniors prize is awarded to the bowlers who did not cash in the Seniors Division.

Essentially, all bowlers compete in the senior’s section and if they do not win a prize in that division, and they meet Grand Senior age requirements, the prize fund is awarded to them as well.  

New South Wales bowler Jim Bakirtzidis (3,039) would claim the prize for the male while Heather Robertson (2,669) would win the ladies.

The 20th annual running of the event was a huge success with the tournament showcasing some of the best senior bowlers in the country, and the four champions were deserving winners. The next ranked event in the Senior & Grand Senior Division is the new Brunswick Senior Invitational that will take place at Bowlarama Wetherill Park in New South Wales from July 21-23. Entries are open now with spots filling up fast. Click here to view all the information released at this time.

Unfortunately, Mick left before the presentation and we were unable to get a photo.

High Game
Christine Clarke – 266, Game 1, Day 1
Top performances for each day/stage:
• Day 1 Senior Female – Christine Clark – 1,567
• Day 1 Senior Male – Michael Muir – 1,639
• Day 2 Senior Female – Meredyth Stewart – 1,523
• Day 2 Senior Male – Jason Newman – 1,611

Please note – the top 8 Grand Senior bowlers are Grand Senior bowlers that did not cash in the senior division.

Click here to view the entire results from the event.

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