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PWBA to kick off 2016 season in Las Vegas on April 29

A mix of veteran bowlers and rising stars helped the Professional Women’s Bowling Association roar back into action last year and the 2016 PWBA Tour will build on that momentum when the season schedule kicks off in Las Vegas.

2015PWBATourKellyKulick.jpgThe PWBA Las Vegas Open, starting April 29 at Texas Station, will be the first event of the 2016 PWBA Tour schedule. This season’s schedule will feature four major events, including the return of the PWBA Players Championship, among the tour’s 14 stops.

The PWBA drew great interest during its relaunch season, and it was easy to see the enthusiasm as the women returned to the lanes.

“I think we are all tremendously excited for the 2016 PWBA Tour season and the chance to build on the foundation we set last year,” PWBA spokesperson Kelly Kulick (right) said.

“With the weekly TV shows and additional events, this year will be a great opportunity to show more fans the outstanding talent that is on the PWBA Tour.”

2015PWBATourStefanieJohnson.jpg2015PWBATourDanielleMcEwan.jpgThe talent will be showcased from the start as every 2015 PWBA Tour champion, including three-time winner and PWBA Player of the Year, Liz Johnson (pictured above), Rookie of the Year Stefanie Johnson (left) and Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship winner Danielle McEwan (right), will be at the season-opening PWBA Las Vegas Open.

Wendy Macpherson, a United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame member who lives in the Las Vegas area, also is scheduled to compete in the event. She is sixth on the all-time list of PWBA titlists with 20 wins.

2016PWBALogo.jpgThe PWBA Las Vegas Open is one of several new events on the schedule in 2016 as the PWBA continues to grow its fan base and the new TV package that will provide a weekly show on CBS Sports Network certainly will help to increase exposure.

The TV schedule will start May 26 with a live telecast of the USBC Queens, the first major event of the season. At the Queens, which will take place at The Orleans in Las Vegas, the stepladder finals of the first three regular-season PWBA events – PWBA Las Vegas Open, Nationwide PWBA Sonoma County Open and PWBA Storm Sacramento Open – will be taped for broadcast.

Those shows will air Tuesdays in prime time in the three weeks following the Queens.

All told, CBS Sports Network will have live telecasts of the four majors as part of its agreement to televise 13 PWBA Tour stops in 2016.

All qualifying rounds of PWBA Tour events once again will be carried on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association. Click here to learn more and for complete coverage of the 2016 PWBA Tour season.

Players to watch in 2016

A look at five players to watch on the PWBA Tour in 2016:

Danielle McEwan (Stony Point, N.Y.) – She won the PWBA Tour Championship to end the season and then went on a roll, winning a PBA regional, two golds and a bronze medal at the 2015 World Bowling Women’s Championships and her third USBC Team USA Trials title.

Jennifer Higgins (Westerville, Ohio) – While she technically will be a rookie on the PWBA Tour this year, the former Team USA member was 10th at the PWBA Topeka Open in 2015. She took fourth at both the 2013 and 2014 USBC Queens.

Liz Johnson (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) – She led the 2015 PWBA Tour with three victories, which included two major titles, on her way to PWBA Player of the Year honors. She retired from the Team USA program to put her focus on the PWBA Tour and some PBA events.

Stefanie Johnson (Grand Prairie, Texas) – She captured 2015 PWBA Rookie of the Year honors and was edged for PWBA Player of the Year by Liz Johnson. She led the tour in match-play appearances with 10 and was third in earnings.

Kelly Kulick (Union, N.J.) – The PWBA spokesperson made a tour-high six championship-round appearances but found a title elusive. Still, she cashed in nine events and finished fifth on the money list.

Related Articles

2016 PWBA Tour Schedule
2015 PWBA Tour Schedule & Champions

PWBA Las Vegas Open Schedule

All times local

Friday, April 29, 2016
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.: PWBA Qualifier (if necessary)
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.: Practice

Saturday, April 30, 2016
8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Six games of qualifying
1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Six games of qualifying

Sunday, May 1, 2016
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Cashers’ round (six games)
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Round-robin match play (six games)
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Group stepladder finals
Note: Finals will be taped during USBC Queens and will air June 7 on CBS Sports Network.

Author: Herbert Bickel
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