COLAC bowls export Glenn Baudinette will compete in his first Australian Open this weekend.
Baudinette, who plays with Geelong-Ballarat premier league club Sebastopol, will team up with Colac bowler Tim Hassett for the Australian Open pairs in Melbourne.
The former Colac Bowling Club member has also qualified for the triples with Ian Warner from Sebastopol and Paul Morris from Melbourne club Burwood.
Baudinette said a conversation with Hassett sparked his interest in going to the Australian Open.
“Tim Hassett actually said to me last year would I like to enter into the Australian Open and I said ‘yeah, we’ll give it a go and try and qualify for it’,” he said.
“We went up to Shepparton and qualified for the Australian Open through the Victorian Open.
“We were lucky enough to win our section and lucky enough to qualify.”
Bowlers from across Australia will converge at Darebin International Sports Centre for a week of intense competition.
Baudinette said the opportunity to test himself against Australia’s best players was a challenge.
“There are people qualified from every state in Australia and it’s a knockout format so our first game is at 9am on Monday the 20th,” he said.
“If you’re lucky enough to keep winning in the end you’ll come up against guys who represent Victoria and Australia.”
City bowler Rebecca McMahon is also headed to Melbourne for the Australian Open.
Meanwhile, Baudinette’s Sebastopol sits sixth with two rounds to play.
Final-round clashes with third-placed Victoria and Webbcona will decide whether Baudinette plays finals in his first year in the premier league.
“We have to win this week against Victoria and then we’ve got a must-win game against Webbcona for the last game,” Baudinette said.
“There’s a chance if things go our way we can to get into second spot.”
Baudinette said he had enjoyed playing in the highly regarded bowls competition.
“I always had some self doubt on how I was going to go but once I settled in up there; I feel my bowls has improved,” he said.
“I’ve held my own up there and I’m enjoying the competitiveness of it all and it’s just fantastic.”