Seamus Curtin On A Roll After Semi-finals Finish At Australian Open

Seamus Curtin has scored a well-earned winter break.

Back at school at Aotea College, Seamus has been reflecting on an outstanding lawn bowls season that culminated in him finishing third equal at the Australian Open earlier this month.  Competing against many of the world’s best lawn bowlers, Seamus won his section of four and then went on a giant-killing run in knockout post-section play to go within a whisker of making the final.  “I lost to the tournament winner Ryan Bester in the semi-final, who is also one of the world’s leading bowlers,” said Seamus.

Seamus pushed Bester all the way, with the semi-final locked up at 14-14 at one stage in a race to 21 shots, before Bester pulled ahead and won 21-15.  “He was also playing at his home club. He is from Canada but based on the Gold Coast and he won the silver medal at the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.”

Seamus had won his previous quarter-final match 21-20 against former World Champion of Champion singles winner Scott Thulborn and beaten some other accomplished bowlers prior to that.  There were 2,000 competitors at the Australian Open and over 800

  in the men’s open singles. The tournament lasted over a week. Seamus was representing the Stokes Valley Bowling Club.  If that wasn’t enough, Seamus was also part of a successful fours team at the tournament. “We made the semi-final of that too, so I was stoked with my trip. Overall, there was a bunch of us that went over for the tournament, so it was great to have that support while we were there.”  “This was definitely that up there with my best achievements.”

Seamus earned praise for having nerves of steel and for appearing unflustered in rattling off a string of victories in reaching the final four of the singles tournament.  He provided an insight into his mindset.  “My first goal was to go over and qualify and then to just focus on each game and do the best I could do each time.”

“It is quite funny going over to an Australian event because you don’t know many of the people and who you are matched up against. So you could be playing someone who is a state champion or well known locally that you don’t know.”

As for his opposition, if they didn’t know how him beforehand they will. He will definately be flying above the radar when he heads back over for this tournament next year.  His exploits in the Australian Open are the combination of a fairytale season on the greens for Seamus, who first represented New Zealand in year 10 in 2015 at the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2015 and won a silver medal.  As well as reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open, he finished third in the singles at the National Championships in Dunedin at the start of the year.

“This was a massive achievement for me too, it was a big tournament and I had to qualify and win several post-section games. That was an open tournament as well, so I was playing against New Zealand players.”

He beat Scottish international Ryan Burnett 21-17 in the quarter-final, bowing out to beaten finalist Andrew Kelly of Canterbury in the semi-final 17-21 after leading 12-4 after 12 ends of the semi-final.  At Nationals, he also finished runner-up in the fours and reached the quarter-finals of the pairs.  “Another recent highlight would have been playing for Wellington at the inter-centre championships in March and April. I played singles for Wellington and we won.”

Over four consecutive weekends, New Zealand Development squad member Seamus played 33 Singles games, winning 31 of them.  In May he won the Emerging Sportsman of the Year at the Hutt Valley Sports Awards.  There used to be a New Zealand Secondary Schools Lawn Bowls Championships, but this recently changed to a national U18 event. “I have been playing in the U18s and U21s for the past couple of years and will so again this year.”  “It’s been a big season for me, so now it is time for a break,” concluded the Aotea College Head Boy. “I have a bit of school work to catch up on, but I will get back into in September.”