Australia has enjoyed a golden first week at the World Bowls Championships in Christchurch - collecting three gold medals and silver.

Women' singles star Karen Murphy became just the second player in history to successfully defend a World Championships singles title after she beat 25-year-old Scot Lesley Doig 21-17 in today's gold medal match.

Murphy, playing her 554th game for Australia, raced out to a 6-0 lead before Doig caught up. The match went back and forward before Murphy produced a lovely bowl to drag the jack away and grab four shots to confirm her win.

Murphy will partner fellow gold medalist Kelsey Cottrell in the women's pairs next week.

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The Australian men's pair of Brett Wilkie and Aaron Wilson proved far too strong for the Irish combination of Gary Kelly and Ian McClure.

Wilkie out-drew the Irish throughout the match and set up the win - closing out the Irish pair 18-7 to take the gold medal.

New Zealand progressed to the medal matches in all four disciplines but were knocked out in the semifinals, collecting four bronze medals from the first week.

There is an off day tomorrow before action resumes Tuesday in the men's singles, men's fours, women's pair and women's triples.