Almost 800 players from across the state – and even some from New South Wales – set the bowls rolling at Bendigo Bank Bendigo Country Week yesterday.
The biggest number of competitors in Geoff Briggs’ eight-year tenure as co-ordinator eased into the pairs event, with sectional play yesterday.
Players from more than 80 different clubs have converged on Bendigo, with large contingents from the Camperdown and Geelong regions.
“We’re using 11 clubs for the first two days. This year, after many years, we’re now using Bendigo Golf’s new bowling green,” Briggs said.
“The blokes were all saying how good the greens are.
“(Participation is) growing quite noticeably each time. The thing this year that’s good is there’s about 40 blokes that have never been here before.”
The competition intensifies over the next three days, with pairs knockout competition beginning this afternoon.
“The action starts to heat up (today),” Briggs said.
A final four will be decided tonight, with semi-finals and finals played at the Bendigo Bowls Club tomorrow.
Fours action starts tomorrow at six clubs – including Kangaroo Flat, Bendigo and Bendigo East – with the finals of that competition on Thursday night.
It is estimated the event will contribute more than $1 million to the Bendigo economy this year.