Scotland’s national coach David Gourlay rolled back the years with a textbook display in the final of the Co-operative Funeralcare International Open in Perth.
ourlay sealed the first ranking event of the season in the all-Scottish head-to-head at the Dewars Centre, ending the hopes of sponsor’s wild card Mike Stepney from Elgin, who was seeking his first professional title
Gourlay, 51, who now lives near Barcelona, last won this title 11 years ago and this success saw him chalk up his 15th World Bowls Tour title.
On his way to victory he accounted for Welsh qualifier Damian Doubler, Norfolk’s Mark Royal, who was seeded 13, world No 2 Nicky Brett, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and No 9 seed Darren Burnett and then gave a staggering performance to deny Stepney 9-4, 11-7.
In a packed arena, Stepney made the early running, opening up a 4-1 lead in the best of two sets of 11 ends final but from there until the end of the game Gourlay played every shot immaculately and dropped only four of the remaining 18 ends to win.
He secured the title with a magical double, feathering the jack with shot against him and then gently nestling to round the corner to take the match with an end to spare. “I don’t think I have ever played better than that,” Gourlay said.
The Elgin man added: “I didn’t play too badly. A few breaks went against me but David was relentless. Totally outstanding. Obviously I’m disappointed but there was absolutely nothing I could do. He answered every single question that was thrown at him.”