Berriman's epic American adventure

LAWN BOWLS

Plenty of young men head to California in search of fame and fortune, but few have done it chasing a national lawn bowls title.

But a few key strokes on the internet and an email means Bellambi bowler James Berriman will play in the United States Open bowls championship on Sunday.

"I was looking on the net to see if there were any tournaments to enter during my trip to America." Berriman said, ahead of flying out today.

"I got onto the US Open site, applied and got a response. I told them I was from Australia and was coming over and was keen to play and it went from there."

Berriman believes Australia's stature as one of the world's top bowls nations helped him gain direct entry into America's national tournament.

"I told the organisers I'm part of the Illawarra Zone 16 under 25 Development Squad coached by Leif Selby and from there they've given me direct entry."

Berriman, 21, will play in the singles - which features a field of 125 - plus the pairs with Queenslander Barry Cox.

Only a handful of Australians are in the tournament which runs from September 22-28 around Orange County in California.

Berriman took up bowls six years ago at Bellambi Bowling Club, but began to take it more seriously after winning the club's Minor Singles in 2011.

He gave up playing cricket for Corrimal last December to concentrate on bowls.

"I really love it at Bellambi.

"We're one of the battlers of Illawarra with only two pennant teams - the fours and the sixes - but I love playing in the fours and I'm definitely sticking with the club."

Bellambi Bowling Club, along with Greenmaster Bowls, have helped Berriman with gear for his trip to America.

And while Berriman isn't predicting he'll win the US Open, he's determined to lap up the experience.

"From just looking around on the internet to playing in this huge event it's going to be pretty special."

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Dallas Delatorre will skip  Warilla lower grade pennant players in this weekend’s finals of the Illawarra Champion of Club Champion Fours at Dapto Citizens Bowling Club.

 Delatorre, and partners Andrew Johnston, Charlie Grech and Glen Bryant toppled top names in the district to win the club’s major fours crown.

 Warilla are the reigning Illawarra Grade 1 pennant champions, but it was a team of lower graders who claimed the fours title.

 Warilla take on Towradgi champions Paul Luke, Steven Blackney, Mal Lyons and Ray Parkes on Saturday morning.

The Champion of Club Champion Fours features 15 Illawarra major fours winners.

Towradgi look to have one of the strongest teams, along with the champions from hosts Dapto Citizens, Chris Green, Ian Bailey, John Hills and Zoran Bosev.

Warren and Jared Hamilton will be partnered by Bernie Harding and Mark Corbett for Bulli.

Ashley Christie will play with his sons Tim and Danyon, plus club greenkeeper Pat Heffernan for Fairy Meadow, who take on Windang in the first round.

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