US Champ Wins on Home Turf
By Kai Rambow
“We think of lawn bowling as an older person’s sport,” explained Charlie Herbert, “but in Australia I was competing against 30-year-olds who’d been playing since the age of 5. As soon as I stepped into the bus, people were asking me for my autograph. Lawn bowling is a much bigger sport in other parts of the world.”
Herbert, who was the U.S. Men’s Singles champion in 2017, won again this year. A lifelong athlete, he took up lawn bowling at age 45 because he found it to be relaxing.
Going to Australia for the world championships for the first time will be Sandy Wall, a member of the Sun City Center Lawn Bowling club. She only lost one game, clinching the U.S. Women’s Singles championship. Wall had competed previously at the national level: once before in singles and twice in pairs, winning a silver one year.
Weather made the tournament challenging. Wall reflected, “It was a little difficult at times with the wind gusts. About the time you went to release your bowl, there was a big gust of wind. I have light bowls, so the wind had a tendency to move my bowls. It was cold and a little uncomfortable in the morning. Everyone adjusted nicely and it was a super tournament.” Anything that might impact performance is a big deal at this level of competition. Players are so good, winning may be determined by a fraction of an inch.