Wellington’s Stephen Zino has grabbed an opportunity to appear on the World Bowls Tour for the first time after coming runner-up in the New Zealand Professional Bowls Associations qualifying play-offs for the Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish International Open Singles in September. The winner Wayne Stewart (Waikato) was unable to take the trip to Perth in Scotland so the entry was offered to Zino at his own travel cost. Zino has been playing in the PBA since 2002 and has come within a match of winning an appearance on the World Bowls Tour on three occasions winning semifinals at the New Zealand PBA Finals weekends in 2010 and 2013, and going down in a tiebreak end in the final of a direct entry tournament in 2006. The Wellingtonian also had a season in the English PBA and is a strong performer on the indoor surfaces.
Zino flies to Scotland on Tuesday and faces a tough all-Scottish part of the draw matched against world number 11 and current World Indoor singles champion Stewart Anderson in the first round at 11pm on Saturday night New Zealand time. If Stephen can win that match, he would then likely face top seed Paul Foster in the round of sixteen. Anderson has never faced a kiwi before on the World Bowls Tour. Live video coverage of the match is available at www.247.tv .
North Harbour’s Bart Robertson will be playing in the World Indoor Singles in Norfolk in January, and Dunedin’s Duane White will also appear in the International Open Singles in Blackpool in February.
Playing statistics for Stephen Zino:
Joined PBA: 2002
Current NZ PBA Ranking: 36
Career high NZ PBA Ranking: 17 (2010)
2013 PBA Singles Record: 9 wins 3 losses
Career PBA Singles Winning Percentage: 57%
PBA Career Highlights: Winner 2010 Welsh Singles qualifier in Hastings; Winner 2013 Scottish Singles qualifier in Hastings