AFTER two days of play the favourites for the 2014 Local Bloke Removals Golden Eagle Pairs Classic have emerged, with no surprises.
Current world number two Jeremy Henry once again combined seamlessly with Warilla partner Jared Hamilton scoring two wins in rounds three and four yesterday, by five and 13 shots respectively.
With four consecutive wins, Henry and Hamilton have all but guaranteed themselves progression into this afternoon’s quarter-final stage, barring a miracle from closest section two rivals Graham Solomans and Barry Cartwright.
As expected, Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning, and former South African international bowler Neil Burkett and partner Michael Clarke shone once again.
The pair dominated yesterday, defeating Alby Gibbs and Richie Latter (nine shots) as well as Graham Barby and Colin Hayward (13 shots).
Burkett and Clarke sit on four wins, as do section six rivals Mick Djatschenko and Steve Galvin.
The two teams play-off today for top spot, however based on for and against points at the close of play yesterday, the losers of the clash stand a good chance of progressing as the wildcard, eighth qualifier.
Also still in the hunt are Bernie Diduszko and Steve Shannon, who lead section seven with four wins and a stellar for and against of plus 37 from the all-Orange team of Steve Carr and Lee Stinson, and Terrigal pairing Roy Rogers and Dave Limbrick with three wins apiece.
Defending champions Glen Raymond and Phil Westcott also remain undefeated through two days in section three, but face tough competition in this morning’s round five clash against Irish duo Robert Allen and Simon Colvin, out of Warilla.
Glen Robinson and Bob Wilson sit on three wins in section one, as do father-son team of Paul and Michael Davis. The Davis duo boast a better for and against, and head into today’s play as favourites for the section.
Heading into today’s Eagle action, five teams each can potentially still qualify from both sections four and five.
Round five of the section stage takes place this morning, before the top finisher in each section moves on to the quarter-finals this afternoon. The highest scoring second place finisher becomes the eighth qualifier.