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Lisa Phillips hits Number one 7/11

Newborough lawn bowler Lisa Phillips is now the number one ranked womens bowler in Australia
Damen Francis, Archived from Latrobe Valley Express, Monday, 7 November 2011
The steady rise of Newborough lawn bowler Lisa Phillips has reached new heights after it emerged the 18 year-old had shot to number one in Bowls Australia's latest women's singles rankings.

As of 29 October the reigning Australian Open women's singles champion topped the rankings list ahead of Tasmanian and reigning number one Rebecca Quail.

According to Phillips she barely had a chance to react when she first learned of the news last week.

"I didn't really have time to, I was working behind the bar at the bowls club and mum sent me a text message," Phillips said.

"I sort of thought I might have been for a while but they haven't really updated (the rankings).

"It's pretty exciting though."

The number one status comes on the back of a stellar 18-month spell in which Phillips has gained national recognition with victories at a number of major Australian tournaments, including her break-through win at the 2010 Queensland Open.

As well as securing the 2011 Australian Open crown in February, she reached the semi final stage at the Golden Nugget and the Australian Indoor Championships, both staged at Tweed Heads, New South Wales.

Phillips is not sure but suspects at just 18 years of age she could be the youngest bowler to reach number one.

It is a far cry from when she first took up the game on the carefully manicured lawns at Yallourn, and said at the time she had never imagined one day being the best in the country.

"It wasn't really one of those things you thought about, it wasn't until I started winning a few tournaments and picking up a few ranking points that I thought I actually could be number one," she said.

Having just returned home from a training camp with the Australian squad in Adelaide, Phillips is now getting set to represent Victoria in a three Test series against ACT at Wangaratta later this month.

It will be the first time she will have represented her state in a senior competition and is something she has been "waiting a long time for".

With an eye on next year's world championships, Phillips said she hopes the new ranking will get her "looked at a bit more when it comes to Australian team selection".

She also knows she will not only be the most feared woman on Australia's greens, but the most hunted as well.

 "I would say so, everyone will be out to beat me now I guess," she said.

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