U.S. Open Bowls lawn bowling championship in Sarasota

- An international sport is taking light on the greens of the Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club.

"It a sport that you can play from 9 to 90," said Andy Thomson.

Officially, it is called the U.S Open Bowls. It's an international competition of lawn bowlers and competitors are visiting from 15 different countries. They come from as far away as Argentina, Pakistan, Germany and New Zealand, to name a few.

"It is an old sport. It was a sport for knights. back in the days they would teach you strategy. It was mostly used for royalty," said 7-time world champion, Andy Thomson.

The objective is for athletes to get their ball or "bowls" as close to a smaller white ball called a "jack" or a "kitty."
It may look easy, but it takes a lot of skill.

"You are playing like you are rolling like it's a bowling ball but you are playing shots like it is a pool shot with curvature on it. You are thinking 4 or 5 steps ahead like it's chess," said U.S Open chairman Daniel Jittu.

While lawn bowling isn't one of the most physical sports out there. It still requires a lot from players by the time a game is finished they will have walked about a mile and a half and lifted about 200 pounds from picking up all their bowls.

"You've got to be reasonably fit. As you can see there are a few elderly gentleman here who aren't as agile as others, but its okay," said Thomson.

While each of the competitions is there to win, one of the biggest rewards happens once the competition is over.

"You meet so many people. You have a good banter after the game. It's competitive on the green, but it's good afterward," Thomson said.

The U.S Open Bowls competition continues until Saturday. To find out more about the sport or the competition visit http://www.bowls-usa-2016-us-open.com

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