The Perfect Game

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FARMLEY, Ireland — Fourteen of the world's best lumberjacks each had six different chances to beat David Bolstad during the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series World Championship presented by Carhartt in Ireland. But the New Zealand woodsman refused to budge. For the first time in the history of the sport, a competitor took all possible points during a STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Seres professional competition.

"I had a terrific series in America and at each event I got better," Bolstad said. "To win all six events and to be the first person to do it is spectacular."

By capturing the title, Bolstad successfully defended his World Championship crown first worn in 2007 in Germany.

On Wednesday, Bolstad earned 90 perfect points, blowing away the second-place finisher, Martin Komárek from the Czech Republic at 67 points.

One glance at Komárek on the platform, however, and one would have thought he won the event. He showed off his medal and played for the crowds assembled at the 2008 National Ploughing Championship like a schoolboy showing off a good report card.

After shoulder troubles throughout the season, the training has been tough for the Czech lumberjack. Back in the U.S. Championship in Columbus, Ga., excruciating pain caused him to miss some events, but Wednesday nothing would bother him.

"I have adrenaline going," Komárek said in limited English. "I don't feel any pain now."

There was a two-way tie for third place at 62 points between Australia's Dale Ryan and Carson Bosworth of the United States of America, but a key factor — Ryan's disqualification on the hot saw — ultimately gave Bosworth the spot on the podium.

All eyes were on the Aussie lumberjack, including Bolstad's, since Ryan possessed the only remaining chance at breaking up the Kiwi's perfect game. But Ryan's saw cut-out and he knew immediately he had failed. Unsure of how to react to the loss, the hefty man with curly hair tore at his shirt, flung himself forward into a walking handstand and, once he returned to his feet, kicked at the paper number which had fallen from his pants.

When the American accepted his bronze medal, he took a light-hearted approach to reflecting on the day. First, he noted how difficult the road had been for everyone but then commented on the Irish hospitality.

"Everything's been great," he said. "Larry, our bus driver, has been marvelous."

But the day, and the entire 2008 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Professional Series year has belonged to Bolstad and there seemed to be a sense of reverence about this particular accomplishment.

The New Zealander had brought his wife and two children to Ireland to watch something he knew could be done. His small daughter was held up to put the first place medal around her father's head. And in many post-event interviews he took a nostalgic tone.

"What's the point of living if you're just going to work it all away?" Bolstad asked. "I want to enjoy things like this and having my family here is most important. Now, they've come and seen this and hopefully they'll be appreciative."

On Wednesday, on some cattle fields in Ireland, everyone was appreciative of the lumberjack clinic David Bolstad put on.

For more details, check out the complete results.