Despite the blustery south-westerlies and bitter cold showers, the Heartland Bank National Open Championships kicked off today in New Plymouth.

World Champion Blackjacks, Ali Forsyth and Blake Signal have both qualified for post section play in the Mens Singles. Australian-based Forsyth won 21-6 (Ravji), 21-13 (Rintoul), 21-15 (Schischka, while the fourth game was not played. Signal won 21-10 (Sain), 21-8 (Smith), 21-14 (McMurchy) and 21-6 (Katae).

Peter Belliss, three-time New Zealand Singles title holder and recently appointed Assistant Coach for the Blackjacks started the day strongly, however was dismissed in round 4 going down 9-21 to Kevin Deegan (Opunake).

The mens singles championship is guaranteed a new winner this year, as defending champion and World Singles Champion Shannon McIlroy is not in attendance, taking some time off to be with family.

Ann Muir former Bowls New Zealand President and Carolyn Crawford (2014 National Paris Winners) caused great upset in the womens pairs in round two, beating Jo Edwards and Val Smith 19-18. Muir and Crawford ended the day up 3-0.

Taylor Bruce who earlier this month was selected to play in Queensland next year at the Junior World Cup, has partnered up with defending pairs champion Angela Boyd. Both will be endeavouring to attest themselves this year; Bruce to reiterate her worth to selectors and Boyd to retain her title. The pair had two wins today and will look for two more tomorrow to confirm a place in post section play.

Womens pairs will continue tomorrow and the Mens pairs will kick off at 8:30am across several bowling clubs across Taranaki.

Entry is free.

Results from Day 1:

Mens Single Qualifiers: D Cameron (Hikurangi ), M Solomon (Eastbourne), N Candy (West End), T Wood (Ringwood), P Houlahan (Alexandra), M Jelley (Mairangi Bay), R Girvan (Onehunga), C Barrett (Inglewood), C MacDonnell (Riverside), S Settle (Hinuera), I Fisher (Howick), D Elgar (West End), L Tasker (Tauranga), R Skoglund (Carlton Cornwall), F Pollock (Hawera Park), R Martin (Victoria), G Pease (Fitzroy), C Gawith (Coromandel), S Curtin (Stokes Valley), B Amer (Johnsonville), P Sain (Carlton Cornwall), B Signal (Stokes Valley), A Hill (Hampstead), W Marsic (Carlton Cornwall), L Mataora (East Tamaki), D Carr (Johnsonville), J Zino (Island Bay), F McGuigan (Plimmerton), C Hope (Waverley), J Swift (Paraparaumu Beach), C Phillips (Alton), N Fisher (Howick), B Down (Victoria), L Fitness (Taradale),

M Bradshaw (Onehunga & Districts), J Horwell (Kaikorai), D Ball (Mt Wellington), C Rintoul (Victoria), S McCartain (Gate Pa), T Garelja (Carlton Cornwall), D Goodin (Paritutu), G Lawson (Sumner), J Hill (Eastbourne), B Harris (Johnston Park), C Gush (Northern), T Turua (Bridge Park), S Harrison (Balmoral), S Roberts (Nolantown), G Crow (Paritutu), C Wright (Durie Hill), S Rogers (Terrace End), P Sorensen (Napier), E Pattillo (Tauranga South), N Hill (Onehunga & Districts), N Tomsett (Gate Pa), R Stevens (Waikiwi), G Growcott

(Blockhouse Bay), R Ashton (Carlton Cornwall), G Cotter (Stadium), M Andrews (Lyall Bay), T Rayner (Tawa), R Hocking (Burnside), M Noble (Takaro), L Guy (Victoria), M Finlay (Upper Hutt), G Down (Plimmerton),P Corney (Aramoho), I Lewis (Opononi), P McKinnel (Elmwood), A Forsyth (Nelson), D Brewster (Hikurangi), N Rodda (Victoria), R Park (Wanganui), B Baldwin (Paritutu), A Zittersteijn (Vogeltown), B Robertson (Helensville), G Hall (Havelock North), K Deegan (Opunake), P Belliss (Aramoho)

Womens Pairs:

3 Wins: A Bateman (Composite), L White (Composite), C Budge (Kensington), J Ropitini (West End), R Davies (Composite), L Stewart (Hikurangi), A Muir (Composite)

2 Wins: R Fitzgerald (Naenae), S Sims (Composite), W Mackie (Naenae), A Motu (Point Chevalier), A Temple (Composite), K Carr (Victoria), L Ropitini (Inglewood), K Guilford (Composite), T Bruce (Burnside), D Rayner (Composite), P Davy (Lepperton), M Barrowman (Paritutu), S Burnand (Composite), A Loveridge (Composite), G Shaw (Paritutu), J Stockford (Composite), R Stratford (Composite), D White (Composite), M Gadsby (New Plymouth), D Patterson (Composite), L Griffin (Composite), B Robinson (Opunake), G Pidwell (Wanganui), L Fitness (Taradale), N Grimshaw (Composite), C Harris (Paritutu), C Andrews (Paritutu), K Stampa (Hawera Park), B Stevens (Composite), J Edwards (Composite), D Taylor (Wanganui), V McEldowney (New Plymouth), P Symes (Hawera)

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Bowls New Zealand