Friday, January 22, 2010

Barnes Top Seed at TOC, Kulick Second

Rallying in dramatic form in the final match play round, Kelly Kulick of Union, NJ, moved a step closer in her quest to become the first woman to win a Lumber Liquidators Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour tournament Friday by qualifying in the No. 2 position for the stepladder finals of the 45th PBA Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes, in Las Vegas.
Going into the final round in sixth position and after starting with games of 174
and 172, Kulick came back with games of 223, 279, 277, 222, 236 and 267
(231.2 average) to make the final four for Sunday’s stepladder finals which will be
televised live on ESPN at 1 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Pacific).

Kulick finished with an 11,265 48-game total and had an overall match play
record of 14-9-1. She finished 57 pins behind tournament leader Chris Barnes of
Double Oak, Texas.

“Actually being in a position where I had to work my way back into the top four
took pressure off of me,” said the 32-year-old Kulick. “I’ve been in this
situation many times before and I would rather fight to get there because for me
there’s less pressure than being on top.”

Kulick earned a berth in the Tournament of Champions, by winning the
PBA Women’s World Championship, the first PBA women’s major tournament.

After the first two games in the final block, Kulick had to change to another
ball to get a better ball reaction on the lanes.

“I had those two bad games to start but I still wasn’t too worried because there
was a long way to go in the block,” she added. “I went to another ball and
started watching how the other guys were playing the lanes and it was like a
strikefest for me.”

As one of four PBA Tour major tournaments, the Tournament of Champions is
considered PBA’s signature event.

Kulick is not a stranger to performing well in major tournaments. In women’s
professional competition she won the 2007 United States Bowling Congress
and the 2003 U.S. Women’s Open in addition to winning the PBA
Women’s World

In 2006, Kulick became the first woman to earn an exemption on the PBA Tour by
finishing sixth in the PBA Tour Trials. Her best finish in the 2006-07 season
was 22nd which she accomplished twice. The previous high finish by a woman in a
PBA Tour event was second by Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, NY, in 2005.

Barnes, the 2007-08 PBA Player of the Year and 2006 Tournament of
winner, is seeded into the championship match where he will bowl
one game for the title.

“The lanes were a lot different for me in that block and I had to work a lot harder
to score as well as I did,” Barnes said, “but, I’m in the position I want to be and
that’s bowling one game for the title.”

Sunday’s first match will be between No. 3 qualifier Mika Koivuniemi of
Hartland, MI. and No. 4 qualifier Rhino Page of Dade City, FL. Koivuniemi, a native
of Finland, is an eight-time PBA Tour titlist including two majors and will be
trying for his first Tournament of Champions title. Page, a three-time PBA Tour
titlist, who suffered a heartbreaking championship match loss last season in the
Tournament of Champions, will also be trying for his first TOC win.

Red Rock Lanes, Las Vegas, NV

Final Round (after 48 games, including match play records and bonus pins)
Top four advance to Sunday’s stepladder finals at 1 p.m. Eastern

1, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 19-5, 11,322
2, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 14-9-1, 11,265
3, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 16-8, 11,194
4, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 10-14, 11,175
5, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 13-11, 11,174, $5,000
6, Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif., 13-11, 11,156, $4,600
7, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 14-10, 11,140, $4,200
8, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 12-12, 11,105, $4,000
9, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 11-13, 11,032, $3,800
10, Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas, 13-10-1, 10,917, $3,600
11, Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., 11-13, 10,883, $3,400
12, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 13-11, 10,878, $3,200
13, Dave Wodka, Chatsworth, Calif., 15-9, 10,801, $3,000
14, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 12-11-1, 10,785, $2,800
15, Wayne Webb, Sacramento, Calif., 9-15, 10,735, $2,700
16, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 16-8, 10,691, $2,600
17, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 11-12-1, 10,663, $2,500
18, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 11-13, 10,615, $2,400
19, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 9-15, 10,581, $2,350
20, John Nolen, Grand Blanc, Mich., 9-15, 10,473, $2,300
21, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 11-13, 10,413, $2,250
22, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 9-15, 10,397, $2,200
23, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 8-14-2, 10,360, $2,150
24, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 6-18, 10,249, $2,100

1 comment: said...

I just watched Kelly Kulick in the Tournament of Champions final on ESPN. I can't believe she won. She really crushed her opponent, winning by 70 pins in the finals. I don't normally watch bowling but this was exciting to see.