Selby leads Australian Open charge

BOWLS

Warilla's world No 1 Leif Selby along with Karen Murphy and Jeremy Henry will lead the local charge at $140,000 Australian Open which begins in Melbourne on Sunday.

The southern hemisphere's biggest tournament will again be hosted at the Darebin International Sports Centre, the host venue from 2006 to 2008, and 2011 to 2014.

A multi-discipline tournament, the Australian Open features singles, pairs and fours for both men and women, as well as a festival of bowls which incorporates specific age group and bowlers with a disability divisions.

Since the inaugural event in 2005, the Australian Open has attracted bowls' biggest names including Australian stars Kelsey Cottrell, Murphy, Selby, Lisa Phillips and Mark Casey, plus international raiders Gary Lawson (NZ), Ryan Bester (Canada), Safuan Said (Malaysia), Greg Harlow (England) and Henry (Ireland).

This year the Australian Open will be revamped to make it more appealing to spectators following the success of the Australian Premier League, broadcast live on Fox Sports.

This year the tournament will feature a men's and women's fours championship, replacing the triples event.

The event will also run for five days, rather than seven, but still boast a 352-place draw including under 18s, over 60s and Bowls with a Disability disciplines.

Playing conditions will also be amended to better reflect the conditions of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games this year.

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