McClure primed for champions event

Ian McClure is competing at the Champion of Champions tournament in New Zealand this week. - Picture by Mervyn McClelland/Presseye
Ian McClure is competing at the Champion of Champions tournament in New Zealand this week. - Picture by Mervyn McClelland/Presseye

Ian McClure has this week set his sights on landing another major title as he competes in the Champion of Champions event in New Zealand.

The Portrush bowler qualified for the tournament, which is being played at the Burnside Bowling Club in Christchurch, after winning the national singles title.

McClure knows he will be up against the very best in the sport, as well as having to deal with fast greens and the inevitable jet lag. But he is determined to push it all the way.

“It’s going to be tough, it’s a very tough field that I’ll be up against,” McClure told Times Sport before heading off last Thursday.

“After the Commonwealth Games and World Championships this event is just behind them in terms of prestige and quality of the competitors, so it’s going to be a tough ask.

“The schedule is pretty demanding too. I’ll get there on Saturday morning and the tournament begins on Monday morning. The field is split in to two groups of 14 with the top three qualifying through to the latter stages.

“You play 13 games and I start on Monday with three so it’s really make or break from that first day. If you lose a couple of games you could find yourself out of it.

“I’ll be up for it though and determined to give it my best shot.”

One of McClure’s biggest challenges though will be to master the greens.

“They are the toughest around,” he said. “It’s like putting on concrete. I have experience though having played a test match at Burnside in 2001 though.”