Birgan shows sharp eye to blast rivals
ACCORDING to Fraser Coast Sporting Clays president David Frost, watching Damien Birgan fire a gun is like watching Tiger Woods swing a golf club.
You know that you are witnessing a true champion reveal his peerless talent.
When Birgan approaches the stand, fellow shooters shuffle a little closer.
They all want to get a glimpse of the man who became Australia's first world sporting clay target champion in 2009, and he obliges blasting a sublime 141 out of 150 targets over the two days.
Birgan finished eight shots ahead of Peter Tobin to take out the Queensland Sporting Clays Association state titles at the Fraser Coast Shooting Complex at the weekend.
Frost described Birgan's performance as one of the best he had seen at the Dundathu range.
"To watch someone like Damien shoot is a bit like watching Tiger Woods. There is no pressure on him and he has the smoothest action," he said.
"It's like he is doing things in slow motion. Every target he hit was a clean break, just spot on."
Forty four shooters took part in this year's state titles, which ran like clockwork with the host club earning plaudits for their excellent course, designed by Glen Rider.
High scores were a feature of all the divisions with some of Fraser Coast's top shooters excelling on the big stage.
Mark Weston shot 104 to finish equal first in B-grade, but was pipped by two shots by Steven Rhoades in a shoot-off for the crown.
Leo Cao was a little off his game, but still managed to hit 104 targets to finish fourth in veterans, while Russell Green won uncontested in the C-grade.
Fraser Coast's youngest competitor, Damon Hall might not have claimed a medal, but the 13-year-old still took a lot away from the championship.
Just three months after his first competition, the Takura young gun was grouped with the three Birgans - Damien, his father Mike and mother Maree.
Frost said the shoot was a great learning experience for him.
"He shot extremely well considering he has shot probably half a dozen times and was thrown into a squad with world and Oceania champions," he said.
"His first day he did very well and second day the nerves and targets got a lot harder, but he is improving all the time."
Open: Damien Birgan 141/150, Peter Tobin 133, Mike Birgan 128
A-grade: Aaron Knowles: 115, Lance Marshall 111, Mark Farrow 110
B- grade: Steve Rhoades 104+7, Mark Weston 104+5, Vern Porter 95
C-grade: Russell Green 65
Ladies: Maree Birgan 113, Karen Rider 74, Olivia Whiting 49
Veterans: Ian Grant 118, John Sidoti 106, Bob Ross 105
Juniors: Mitchell Cain 114, Thomas McDonald 111, Brodie Grant 108