Damon Jeffery is used to rubbing shoulders with some of the world's best lawn bowlers, but he still didn't think he was going to knock off the reigning world champion.

But that's exactly what the Weston Creek bowler did at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Sunday, beating Leif Selby 5-8, 7-5, 6-0 in a tie-breaker.

While Selby retired from international bowls last year, he's still the world No.1 singles player, reigning world singles champion, a former world champion of champions and he's represented Australia more than 100 times.

But that didn't count for much as he was bundled out of the southern hemisphere's richest bowls tournament.

''I was quietly confident that I'd play well, I wasn't confident that I'd win the game, because I've been playing reasonably well the last couple of weeks,'' Jeffery told The Canberra Times.

''I just got out there and tried to play well and see what happens. The chips fell my way I suppose.

''I've played him a few times in singles and never managed to beat him, but easily he's the biggest scalp, he's the world No.1 at the moment so you can't get much bigger.''

But Jeffery wasn't resting on his laurels; he won't count the tournament as a success simply with one win.

He's now focused on beating Brendan Wilson in the second round on Monday at 3pm.

Jeffery wasn't the only Canberran to enjoy success on the Darebin greens, with Alan Monfries and David Blair winning their pairs match 10-8, 4-9, 6-0.

Interestingly, they'll now play Selby, who is paired up with Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Nathan Rice.

Andrew Howie and Jeff Bradley weren't so lucky and were both knocked out in the first round of the singles. Howie lost 4-12, 6-5, 4-2 to Neil Crisp, while Bradley went down 3-9, 10-6, 2-1 to Peter Marshall.