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24th Malta Open Championships
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The pinnacle event of the PWBA Tour season will take place Sept. 16-19 inside the Old Dominion Building at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. The PWBA Tour Championship brings together every title winner in 2018, with the remainder of the field filled through the season points list.
Players will compete in a single-elimination, best-of-five match-play bracket to determine two of the competitors for the live finals, which will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Shannon O’Keefe (featured photo, left, with Danielle McEwan) of Shiloh, Illinois, the 2018 PWBA Player of the Year, and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, already have earned their spots on the TV show, as they receive byes into the semifinals as the No. 1 and 2 seed, respectively.
BowlTV, the official YouTube channel of the United States Bowling Congress, will have live stream coverage of all rounds leading up to the live finals on CBS Sports Network.
O’Keefe, who won last year’s PWBA Tour Championship (right), won two of the first four events in 2018, the PWBA Sonoma County Open and her second major title at the United States Bowling Congress Queens.
The 39-year-old right-hander also finished second at the PWBA Greater Harrisburg Open, fourth at the PWBA East Hartford Open and the BowlerX.com PWBA Twin Cities Open, and fifth at the U.S. Women’s Open to capture her first player of the year honor.
In last season’s PWBA Tour Championship semifinals, O’Keefe was part of a thrilling match with former three-time PWBA Player of the Year Liz Johnson of Palatine, Illinois.
Tied at 222 after 10 frames, the match needed three sudden-death one-ball roll-offs before O’Keefe claimed victory. She used that momentum to then defeat Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, 222-203, in the finals to claim her first major title.
“I think there is a major difference in believing something is possible versus knowing it’s possible,” said O’Keefe (left), who along with McEwan and Liz Johnson are the only players to win a title in each season since 2015. “I always dreamed of winning my first major and believed it was possible. However, after accomplishing it, I now know I can achieve all things I set out to do.”
McEwan, who won the inaugural PWBA Tour Championship (right) during the first year of the relaunched PWBA Tour in 2015, won the PWBA Fountain Valley Open to earn her spot in this year’s PWBA Tour Championship.
McEwan (left) had an outside chance of challenging for PWBA Player of the Year at the Tour Championship, if she could’ve finished no worse than second at the Players Championship in August.
Stefanie Johnson (right), who captured her first career major at the QubicaAMF PWBA Players Championship, catapulted herself into the No. 3 seed with the win at the final regular-season event and earned a first-round bye.
Stefanie has qualified for the finals of every major this season, finishing fourth at the USBC Queens and second at the U.S. Women’s Open.
She’ll face the winner of Monday’s first-round match between No. 10 Erin McCarthy (PWBA Louisville Open champion) and No. 11 Diana Zavjalova.
She partnered with 11-time Professional Bowlers Association champion EJ Tackett to win the PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles and earned the title at the Nationwide PWBA Columbus Open. It’s the first time Liz Johnson is not the No.1 seed at the PWBA Tour Championship.
She’ll take on the winner of the first-round match between No. 9 Josie Barnes (PWBA East Hartford Open champion) and No. 12 Kelly Kulick.
Jordan Richard (right), the 2018 PWBA Rookie of the Year from Tecumseh, Michigan, will make her Tour Championship debut after an electrifying first year of competition that included a victory at the PWBA Greater Harrisburg Open.
She appeared in the TV finals of all four events in August and produced a third-place finish, two fourth-place finishes and a fifth-place finish during the stretch. She will face No. 15 Shannon Pluhowsky in the first round.
The rest of Monday’s first-round matchups, with how they qualified in parenthesis: No. 5 Liz Kuhlkin (U.S. Women’s Open winner) vs. No. 16 Lindsay Boomershine (points); No. 7 Bryanna Coté (points) vs. No. 14 Missy Parkin (points); No. 8 Rocio Restrepo (BowlerX.com PWBA Twin Cities Open winner) vs. No. 13 Maria Jose Rodriguez (points).
The PWBA Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards are determined by competition points.
The lanes are being specially installed inside the Old Dominion Building by QubicaAMF, the official supplier of bowling equipment for the 2018 PWBA Tour Championship. Click here for more information on the 2018 PWBA Tour, including the complete schedule, player biographies, event coverage and more.
Stefanie Johnson wins 2018 QubicaAMF PWBA Players Championship
Liz Johnson strikes again at Nationwide PWBA Columbus Open
Rocio Restrepo wins Twin Cities Open for fourth PWBA title
Diana Zavjalova captures Pepsi PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open title
EJ Tackett, Liz Johnson win PBA-PWBA Storm SABC Mixed Doubles
Liz Kuhlkin earns her first major title at U.S. Women’s Open
Liz Johnson seeks record-tying fifth consecutive U.S. Women’s Open title
Jordan Richard wins first career title at PWBA Greater Harrisburg Open
Erin McCarthy wins first career title at PWBA Louisville Open
Josie Barnes wins second career title at 2018 PWBA East Hartford Open
Shannon O’Keefe wins 2018 USBC Queens
Danielle McEwan wins 2018 PWBA Fountain Valley Open
Shannon O’Keefe captures seventh PWBA title in Sonoma County Open
Singapore’s Shayna Ng wins first career PWBA title at Las Vegas Open
2018 PWBA Tour Schedule & Champions
Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Va., USA (Sept. 16-19, 2018)
(All times local)
Sunday, September 16, 2018
2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Practice Session for Matches 1, 2, 3 and seeded athletes
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Practice Session for Matches 4, 5, 6 and seeded athletes
Monday, September 17, 2018
Noon: Matches 1 and 2
3 p.m.: Matches 3 and 4
6 p.m.: Matches 5 and 6
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Noon: Matches 7 and 8
3 p.m.: Matches 9 and 10
6 p.m.: Matches 11 and 12
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
8 p.m. Eastern: Live CBS Sports Network Finals
Friday, September 21, 2018
Noon – 5 p.m.: Fan Fun Friday in the Old Dominion Building
Bowl with some of your favorite PWBA players
Includes: FREE bowling with some of the PWBA stars. Giveaways and autographs on-site. Bring your bowling shoes & equipment if you’d like. House balls will be provided.
*Bowling will be limited during high traffic times to ensure all fans have a chance to participate*
Saturday, September 22, 2018
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Three Wide and Military Hospitality Event
(ticketed event for about 1,500 people)
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