Josh Studham became South Australia’s youngest ever state singles champion when he defeated 2017 Australian Open Singles winner Nahan Pedersen in the final (April, 28) and etched his name into the history books of the competition first played in 1911.
The 17-year-old Holdfast Bay bowler pipped a number of international players and highly ranked state players to secure the title at Murray Bridge Bowls Club.
His win in the 107-year-old event catapulted him into South Australia’s number four spot in the rankings and the 38th spot nationally, he now sits behind Pedersen (9), Wayne Ruediger (11) and Scott Thulborn (37).
“It felt like a lot of hard worked had paid off, more so just winning the title, I didn’t think about how I was the youngest until well after the final because I didn’t know that was the history,” Studham said.
“I was really happy about it though and proud of it.”
Studham said there had been an extra sense of achievement and pride in the title win due to the experience of the field and the difficulty of the event.
“All state events are difficult to win, especially when the sectional and knockout games are held so far apart from the champions week finals,” he said
“So it’s easy to lose form. I think it’s about consistency.
“The field in SA is always strong carrying people like Nathan Pederson and Scotty Thulborn.”
The youngster who began playing the sport just eight years ago says he is keen to take on his next big event to maintain his momentum.
“The next big competition I have my eyes set on is the Australian Open in June, winning in any of the disciplines would be a great feat,” he said.
“I have always wanted to win a club singles, so that will be one of my personal goals with the coming years.”