Oklahoman Johnson chases her dream as second-round USBC Senior Queens leader


    United States

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. (April 25-29, 2009)

    2009USBCSQLilJohnson.jpgDefending champion Sandy Postma of Lansing, Ill., had the highest score after the second qualifying round in the 2009 United States Bowling Congress Senior Queens on Sunday, but it didn't mean much. The score that mattered belonged to perennial hopeful Lil Johnson (pictured left) of Lawton, Okla.

    Because Postma is automatically seeded into the 32-woman match play finals as defending champion, her qualifying score is moot. She elected to bowl the qualifying portion of the tournament as a pacer just to get acquainted with the scoring environment at the National Bowling Stadium in preparation for match play.

    "I'm trying to figure out how to score best," she said after posting a 10-game total of 2,079 pins, 40 better than Johnson. "I want to find out which balls work best, what line to play, that sort of thing. My score may not matter as far as the standings are concerned, but it matters to me."

    Postma, the only woman to win the regular USBC Queens and the Senior Queens (she has won the latter three times) said the first time she defended one of her Queens titles, the rules didn't allow her to pace with the field "and I bowled terrible in match play. I wasn't about to let that happen again."

    While Postma's berth in match play is guaranteed and her preliminary games have established her as the player to beat, Johnson would love nothing more than to taste what Postma has experienced. Nothing would make her happier than having a shot at the first important title in her career.

    "I'm a late bloomer," the 57-year-old Johnson said. "I bowled on the ladies' pro tour for five years, but I was so worried about bowling ball layouts, ball surfaces, reading lanes, the double-jump lane courtesy rule and all of that stuff that I never had much success. It wasn't until I quit the tour that it all sunk in. Now the game makes sense to me."

    While the second round was a struggle for almost everyone else, Johnson rolled consecutive games of 236, 231 and 255 to comfortably lead the field of match play contenders into Monday's final qualifying round.

    "I tried a ball I thought would get through the heads, but still finish hard," she said, "and I changed my hand position. It all worked."

    Johnson has never won a national title, but she also has never given up on that dream.

    "It's never too late," she grinned. "You always play to the last frame of the last game. A win here would truly be the icing on the cake for me. It would be the perfect payoff for all of the hard work I've done, for all the times I practiced until my hand was bleeding. We'll see what happens."

    The USBC Senior Queens is open to women bowlers ages 50 and older. After the second round, the field of 140 was cut to the top 50 for a third five-game round Monday morning. The 31 players after 15 games will join Postma in the three-game, double-elimination match play finals Monday evening and Tuesday.


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    2009 USBC Senior Queens - Round 2 Qualifying

    Players with position, hometown and 10-game total. The top 50 advance.

    1. Lilia Johnson, Lawton, OK, 2039
    2. Lucy Sandelin, Tampa, FL, 2030
    3. Rose Smith, Las Vegas, NV, 1966
    4. Jackie Reed, Clearfield, UT, 1965
    5. Rosanne Allen, El Paso, TX, 1952
    6. Sharon Powers, Lakewood, CO, 1932
    7. Judy Vogel, Slidell, LA, 1928
    8. Barbara Batt, Jacksonville, FL, 1927
    9. Virginia Norton, Cypress, CA, 1916
    10. Dana Miller - Mackie, Albuquerque, NM, 1911
    11. Karen Smith, San Marcos, CA, 1894
    12. Pamela Lawrence, Pflugerville, TX, 1889
    13. Joan Reilly, Wilmington, NC, 1871
    14. Cathy Smith, Richmond, VA, 1869
    15. Shelley West, Omaha, NE, 1868
    16. Susan George, Middle Island, NY, 1865
    17. Janine Primrose, Gardnerville, NV, 1857
    (tie) Christina Holcomb, Glenpool, OK, 1857
    19. Nancy Fehr, Cincinnati, OH, 1850
    20. Jinnie Henry, Hixson, TN, 1844
    21. Janice Berry, Madison, AL, 1842
    22. Linda De Camp, Henderson, NV, 1841
    23. Helen Lewis, Lakewood, WA, 1839
    24. Fran Minton, Iowa Park, TX, 1836
    25. Kuniko Naganawa, Japan, 1832
    26. Elizabeth Dawson, Sunnyvale, CA, 1825
    27. Derry Lee Smith, Rupert, ID, 1824
    28. Barbara Shelton, Hempstead, NY, 1814
    (tie) Cheryl Hammitt, Union City, CA, 1814
    (tie) Melody Felton, Colfax, IA, 1814
    31. Judy Gurney, Omaha, NE, 1811
    32. Fran Deken, Coweta, OK, 1808
    (tie) Heidi Pagenkopf, Lynnwood, WA, 1808
    34. Debbie Wade, West Jordan, UT, 1806
    35. A Jane Hassell, Springfield, VA, 1804
    36. Lynn Minning, Austin, TX, 1799
    (tie) Teri Sunell, Eugene, OR, 1799
    (tie) Shirley Braverman, Phoenix, AZ, 1799
    39. Christine Drew, Santa Clara, CA, 1798
    40. Denise Myers, Pensacola, FL, 1794
    41. Doreen Phone, Canada, 1792
    42. Debra Sinek, Odenton, MD, 1791
    43. Susan Harris, Tampa, FL, 1789
    44. Cindy Whiteman, Portland, OR, 1785
    45. Diana Cavins, Fairfield, CA, 1782
    (tie) Anita Pope, Silsbee, TX, 1782
    47. Joyce Owens, Greenback, TN, 1775
    48. Carole Jones, Englewood, CO, 1773
    49. Pam Campbell, Fairfield, OH, 1772
    50. Cathy Turner, Williamsville, VT, 1769

    Missed Cut:
    51. Beverly Russell, El Paso, TX, 1761
    52. Jayne Lampugnani, Philadelphia, PS, 1760
    53. Ann Swann, Wilmington, NC, 1757
    (tie) Susan Kolbert, Las Vegas, NV, 1757
    55. Pam Buckner, Reno, NV, 1754
    56. Pattie Cochran, Rogue River, OR, 1751
    57. Janine Ditch, Chino Hills, CA, 1749
    58. Cindy Darling, Lake Placid, FL, 1744
    (tie) Lela Larkin, Medford, OR, 1744
    60. Becky Clark, Des Moines, IA, 1742
    (tie) Cynthia Kesterson, Council Bluffs, IA, 1742
    (tie) Maryfran Milbank, Winter Haven, FL, 1742
    63. Cathrine Wilson, Seguin, TX, 1736
    (tie) Roberta Haffner, Grand Prairie, TX, 1736
    65. M Virginia Johnson, Greenland, NH, 1735
    66. Juliana Rhoads, Las Vegas, NV, 1733
    67. June Shimoda, Fresno, CA, 1728
    68. Karen Pullman, Salt Lake City, UT, 1726
    69. Carla Burke, Nevada City, CA, 1725
    (tie) Patti Linn, Madison, AL, 1725
    71. Andi Whitlock, Middleton, DE, 1721
    72. Margaret Kruper, Long Island, NY, 1720
    73. Jeanette Porter, Omaha, NE, 1719
    74. Marci Williams, Wichita, KS, 1718
    75. Debbie Haggerty, Weimar, CA, 1717
    76. Elizabeth Wong, Calgary, Alberta, 1715
    (tie) Merlina Wood, Longmont, CO, 1715
    78. Jan Thomas, Urbandale, IA, 1700
    79. Ann Kordenbrock, Cincinnati, OH, 1699
    80. Marianne Morton, Palm Coast, FL, 1694
    81. Olivia Rice, Windsor Mill, MD, 1684
    82. Patricia Addison, La Vista, NE, 1682
    (tie) Cora Johnson, Waipahu, HI, 1682
    84. Kathy Kurtz, Bismark, ND, 1680
    85. Connie Palmer, El Cajon, CA, 1677
    (tie) Darlena Almond, Longmont, CO, 1677
    87. Donna Moulton, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 1675
    88. Joyce Marshall, New York, NY, 1674
    89. Jennifer Nelson, Menlo Park, CA, 1673
    (tie) Melody Rane, Reno, NV, 1673
    91. Karren Drysdale, Bixby, OK, 1669
    92. Ginger Barbacovey, Cantonment, FL, 1665
    93. Polly Torvik, Grass Valley, CA, 1661
    94. Debbie Ip, Edmonton, Alberta, 1660
    95. Alice Hale, Austin, TX, 1659
    96. Annese Dunleavy, Las Vegas, NV, 1657
    97. Barbara Gnegy, Lakeland, FL, 1656
    (tie) Candy Sylvia, Felton, CA, 1656
    99. Donna Johnson, Sparks, NV, 1646
    100. Jennifer Jones, Powder Springs, GA, 1639
    101. Amy Gottlieb, San Diego, CA, 1633
    102. Pat Chambers, Severna Park, MD, 1632
    103. Norma Manns, Austin, TX, 1631
    104. Jan Schnell-topolski, Anchorage, AK, 1627
    105. Cleofe Avis, San Mateo, CA, 1624
    106. Linda Gooding, Willow Street, PA, 1623
    107. Lynda White, Corydon, IN, 1622
    108. Gail Kelly, Philadelphia, PA, 1620
    109. Theresa Chaney, Pensacola, FL, 1619
    110. L Jean Fisher, Olathe, KS, 1617
    111. Joan Boyce, Olathe, KS, 1611
    (tie) Rose Irby, Pensacola, FL, 1611
    113. Norma Winfield, Chester, VA, 1610
    114. Marjorie Netz, Las Vegas, NV, 1605
    115. Susan Hirner, Lockport, IL, 1600
    116. Virginia Wright, Winter Haven, FL, 1593
    117. Wendy Brown, La Mesa, CA, 1581
    118. Cheryl Younger, Overland Park, KS, 1577
    119. Leslie Blandford, Jacksonville, FL, 1567
    120. Marilyn Kreg, Delton, MI, 1566
    (tie) Jean Schrilla, Addison, IL, 1566
    122. Gwen Terry, Tacoma, WA, 1560
    123. Sharon Bush, Bloomingdale, NJ, 1552
    124. Theda Hicks, Cantonment, FL, 1551
    (tie) Waynette Lewis, Carsen City, NV, 1551
    126. Carmen Antunez, El Paso, TX, 1547
    127. Freida Gates, Villages, FL, 1541
    128. Sharon Taylor, Frederick, MD, 1537
    129. Deyonne Pickerign, Leavenworth, KS, 1535
    130. Shirlee Tooke, El Paso, TX, 1534
    131. Jean Pakes, Oxnard, CA, 1511
    132. Elizabeth Woods, Bel Air, MD, 1491
    133. Stephanie Milhous, Nevada City, CA, 1471
    134. Donna Munoz, Pleasant Hill, CA, 1468
    135. Louise Szerzo, Pensacola, FL, 1460
    136. Shirley Hollingsworth, Corydon, IN, 1456
    137. Maritza Collazo, Bayamon, PR, 1442
    138. Shirley Strum, Herlong, CA, 1438
    139. Jeania Schmidt, Chula Vista, CA, 1421
    140. Marti Elliott, Seven Lakes, NC, 1126 (WD)