JONO Davis won't be forgetting his 12th birthday in a hurry after he became the under-18 Australian Open Bowls Singles champion in Melbourne recently.
A strong field of 32 of Australia's best juniors, who were mostly aged between 15 and 17, played off in eight sections of four sets in play at Darebin Bowling Club.
Davis defeated six other bowlers from Victoria, NSW and Queensland for the title, and is by far the youngest winner ever to receive the title in his age group.
He beat Victoria's James Oliver (17) 2-0, Corey Wedlock from West Coffs Harbour (16) 2-0 and Luke Helson (2-0) from Leeton.
Davis triumphed in the quarter final against Jay Bruest (16) from Narooma at one set all and finally 4-0 in the tie-break.
He played Braydon Leese (17) from Broadbeach, Queensland and won 2-0, and finally Ben Fearn (17) from Victoria 2-0.
Speaking after the match, Davis said his toughest match was against Bruest in the quarter final.
"It came down to the tie-break and I won 4-0, which was lucky," he said.
"It's my first time travelling interstate to Victoria and I came out pretty well."
The St Johns College student said he started playing bowls at the age of seven because his father, Steve, played.
He said he wanted to travel to Melbourne because it would be a good experience for him.
Davis' father said Jono's win was something he didn't expect.
"Jono is very consistent with his game and other kids can't handle it the way he does," he said.
"He never had a lot of coaching. He practiced and watched other people play whenever he had the chance and just excelled."
He said he did benefit from a coaching session with 87-year-old bowling champion Norman Carmichael who changed Jono's delivery, and that was the only time he benefited from coaching at a high level.
"When we went to Melbourne, we knew he'd do well but we didn't think he'd win. Since then he's been picked to play in the state training squad, with players in their 20's.
"Jono loves to play other sports like football and it's up to him whether he continues on with bowls, but I think he will," he said.
The NSW National Training Centre (NTC) squad is a stepping stone to the National Junior Squad.