The race to be crowned the Victorian Open’s best bowler and Vic Medal winner is getting fierce.
Rosny Park’s Lee Schraner has the inside running, as at the time of writing he remained alive in all four events, but 2015 Vic Medal winner Lisa Phillips (Brighton) and defending men’s singles champion Matt Flapper (Ocean Grove) remain hot on his heels.
The medal is awarded to the most consistent bowler across the entire Open, with points awarded for making the final 16 of each event and then two points (plus shots up) awarded for each win thereafter.
Schraner is already in the quarter-finals of the mixed pairs and men’s triples, and has made the last 16 in his singles and men’s pairs events.
Phillips is a step ahead of Schraner in the pairs, having already booked a semi-final berth, and remains in the final 16 of the singles and quarter-finals of the women’s triples.
But a mixed pairs showdown between the two yesterday could prove the difference between who finishes the tournament with extra silverware around their neck.
Having won through to the round of 16 with her partner Nick McIntyre, Phillips had to face the might of Schraner and and his lead Gayle Edwards.
Schraner eventually took the honours 16-6, simultaneously earning himself more points and denying Phillips her chance at another deep run towards a final.
Flapper did himself no favours by failing to make it out of his men’s triples section on Monday, but looks intent on making up for it in the other disciplines.
Onlookers watching his singles clash against Katamatite product Cain Hanley at Shepparton Park yesterday described his form as scary as the tournament favourite sped to a 21-11 victory.
Flapper would need to at least make the final in the singles, men’s pairs and mixed pairs if he is to give himself a shot at the medal and an extra $2000 in prize money, but he can not yet be counted out.
Various bowlers remain alive in two disciplines, but would need consistent large victories in each round of knockouts — as well as the three main hopes falling by the wayside — to stake their own claims.