THE Orange Tenpin Bowl will this weekend play host to over 400 of the best bowlers country-wide when the 43rd annual NSW Country Championships and Masters tournament heads to Orange.
Beginning tonight and forging through to Monday afternoon, graded championship crowns will be won in open, classic, A grade and C grade divisions.
On Monday the open masters and restricted masters titles will also be decided.
Orange Tenpin Bowl manager Jason Brown said bowlers from all over the state would venture to Orange for the event, now one of the biggest on the venue’s calendar.
“We’ve got more this year than in the past, it’s sort of growing,” he said.
Brown believes the success of home-grown talent Jason Belmonte has contributed to this year’s bumper field.
“We put on a really good tournament. I think also with Jase, how well he’s been bowling lately, the exposure he is getting around the world, a lot of people are saying let’s go and see where the best bowler in the world comes from,” he said, with Belmonte winning the PBA Player of the Year last weekend.
“Aldo and Marisa [Belmonte] have been doing a lot of tournaments for the 30-odd years they’ve been open. It’s a really good event.”
The NSW Country Championships and Masters is the first major tournament of the year.
“A lot of bowlers are ready to kick the year off,” Brown added.
Of the Orange bowlers attending this year’s championship on home lanes, Brown nominated Orange Warriors teammates Ron Forbes, Luke Cooper and Ross Southwell, as well as juniors like Dylan McNabb and Nick Flannery as title hopefuls.
“They’re some of the big contenders for the open section,” he said.
The 2014 NSW Country Championships and Masters events begin in Orange tonight and continue over the course of the weekend.