(photo credit: AP)
Jeff Rabkin and Ruti Gilor took home the titles at the annual Master Bowlers Tournament held over the weekend at the Ra'anana bowling club.
The two-day event was a showcase for Israeli lawn bowls.
For Rabkin, who was won the tournament numerous times before, this one was sweet 16. Rabkin defeated Boaz Marcus of Ramat Gan in the final. Marcus, who displayed composure and a maturity beyond his years, was in his first ever Masters final and held his own against Rabkin.
The final was mostly one-way traffic for Rabkin and part of this could have been due to Marcus still feeling the effects of his previous match, a three-and-a-half hour cliffhanger against Arye Ben Dor.
The match went back and forth and is an instant classic. The big crowd was on the edge of the seats as before Marcus finally claimed victory 21-20.
Ben Dor of Haifa and Ra'anana's Zvika Hadar picked up the bronze medals.
In the ladies' section, Gilor was in a league of her own and added another notch to her already impressive resume. Yaffa Levin of Ramat Hasharon did very well in her first Masters' competition but was always going to do it tough against Gilor.
The bronze medalists in the ladies were last year's champion, Irit Grenchel of Haifa, and Tzilla Gavish of Ramat Gan.
Three of the four ladies' place getters were members of the Israeli team that impressed at the Atlantic Rim competition in August.
The Masters competition is a prestigious one. With points accumulating over the last three years, only the top 12 men and women are eligible to compete. Placed in two groups of six, the winner of each group proceeds to the final.
In other lawn bowls news, Gilor and Raymond Sher are about to head off to New Zealand to take part in the Champion of Champions tournament.