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PUBLISHED: 10:24 11 October 2007 | UPDATED: 12:57 04 May 2010

Greg Harlow

Greg Harlow

ELY bowls star Greg Harlow will be aiming to extend his incredible sequence of wins in Sheffield when he competes in the Engage International Open next month. The event, which marks the beginning of the World Bowls Tour season, takes place at Ponds Forge

ELY bowls star Greg Harlow will be aiming to extend his incredible sequence of wins in Sheffield when he competes in the Engage International Open next month.

The event, which marks the beginning of the World Bowls Tour season, takes place at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre where Harlow has been unbeatable in recent years.

Since winning the International Open there in 2004, the 39-year-old world number two, pictured, has won 18 matches at the venue - his last being the final of the World Matchplay Championships, in June.

Since then, the three-time International Open champion has followed his usual routine and taken the summer off.

Harlow said: "Since June, I've not lifted a bowl. I've been doing what I do every year, taking the summer off and just relaxing.

"Most people are amazed that I take a break like this - but it works for me. I started practicing again in the second week of September and have been working quite hard since then in preparation."

Harlow will face Hong Kong qualifier Kenny So in the First Round and the top seed knows that he faces a real test in this year's tournament.

"The strength of the qualifiers last year - both from the UK and overseas - was as good we've ever had," said Greg. "They've really stepped up their game and if you look at the UK qualifiers this year, there are some very established players. It's going to be very tough for the seeded players."

But the prospect of playing at Ponds Forge undoubtedly gives Harlow a boost. "Every time I turn off the motorway towards Sheffield I get that fantastic feeling - it feels like you've got an extra shot or two on your shoulder - and that can make all the difference."

The Engage International Open will take place from November 4 to November 11, and live coverage will be shown on BBC Television.

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