International players dominate morning Squad on Cheetah in U.S. Women's Open


    United States

    Strike Zone at Sunset Station in Henderson, Nev., USA (Aug. 3-9, 2009)

    WomensUSOpenLogo.jpgAll 170 players in the 2009 U.S. Women's Open bowl three 8-game blocks on different PBA Experience oil pattern before the first cut to the top 48 players will be made later today. Tuesday was on Shark, Wednesday on Chameleon and Thursday features the shortest of all pattern, Cheetah.

    There is no doubt that the 59 international players from 18 countries, who stayed in Las Vegas after the Women's World Championships to bowl in the Open, had an advantage as they are used to bowl on short in the continental and World Championships.

    Not many of the American bowlers are familiar with pattern like Cheetah, except the Team USA players and the handful of women who compete against the men on the PBA Tour.

    After the scores were out when Squad A had finished the third round, the top 16 consisted of 11 international bowlers and five past or current Team USA members.

    2009WUSOClaraGuerrero.jpg2009WUSOShalinZulkifli.jpgTwo-time World Champion Clara Juliana Guerrero (left), Colombia, started the day with a 205 game and added seven games between 222 and 256 to Squad A on Cheetah with 1876 pinfall total and an average of 234.50. Guerrero jumped to 8th place on the combined average list (Squad A after 24 games, Squad B after 16 games).

    Shalin Zulkifli (right), Malaysia, was next with 1838 and the highest 24 game total of Squad A with 5368. Zulkifli's 223.67 average puts her in second place overall, right behind Squad B leader Missy Bellinder, Fullerton, Calif., who led the field after 16 games with 224.88.

    Three of Zulkifli's team mates present here in Las Vegas made it among the top 16 this morning: Sharon Koh, 1784, Zandra Aziela, 1779, and Wendy Chai, 1747.

    2009WUSOLizJohnsonKellyKulick.jpg2009WUSODiandraAsbaty.jpgThe top U.S. bowler was 2009 USBC Queens champion Liz Johnson (pictured left with Kelly Kulick, right), Cheektowaga, N.Y., who had 1818 and posted the third 300 of this year's U.S. Open in the sixth game. The other team USA members were Kristal Wilson, Lawrence, Kan., 1810, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, 1809, Diandra Asbaty (right), Chicago, 1769, and Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 1727,

    Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic was the sixth player this morning that cracked the 1800-bar with 1804 including a 277 game. Laura Rhoney, Scotland, finished with a 290 game and 1792.

    2009WUSOJanineGabel.jpg2009WUSORocioRestrepo2.jpgRounding out the top 16 were Robin Orlikowski, Canada, 1755, Janine Gabel (left), Germany, 1744, Veronica Lantto, Sweden, 1740 and Rocio Restrepo (right), Colombia, 1729.

    Squad B will complete the third round on Thursday afternoon after which the first cut to the top 48 players will be mad. Based on average, former World Games champion Patricia Luoto (below left), Germany, is currently "on the bubble" in 48th place with an average of 203.58. Her team mate Tina Hulsch (below right) and reigning European ranking champion Nina Flack, are tied for 49th with 203.17.

    2009WUSOPatriciaLuoto.jpg2009WUSOTinaHulsch2.jpgIn case of a tie for 48th place, players will bowl a one-game roll-off immediately after Squad B has finished the round and the scores are verified. A tie in the roll-off will be broken by a one-ball roll-off.

    The U.S. Women's Open, which has an entry fee of $350, is open to any USBC female member and features a prize fund of $150,000. Kim Terrell-Kearney (below left) is the defending champion and will be looking to claim the coveted title for the third time. She also won the event in 2001.

    2009WUSOKimTerrellKearney.jpgAll 170 players including 59 players from outside the U.S. representing 18 countries from all over the world were split into two squads, A and B, to bowl three eight-game qualifying blocks over three days (Aug. 4-6).

    Each 8-game block will be bowled on a different PBA Experience lane pattern. The first block will be bowled on Shark, the second on Chameleon and the third on Cheetah.

    After the qualifying is over, the field is cut to the top 48 players, who will bowl an additional 16 games on Friday Aug. 7.

    The top 12 players after 40 games will advance to the televised, single-game, match-play portion with the top four players receiving a first-round bye directly into the quarterfinals. The winner will receive the $25,000 first-place check.

    2009WUSOEstherCheahZandraAziela.jpg2009WUSOKerrieRyanCiach.jpgAny competitor who rolls a 300 game on one of the first four TV shows will receive a $25,000 bonus, while a perfect game in the semifinals or championship match (the fifth show), will earn $100,000.

    Pictured left ere Malaysia's Esther Cheaha nd Zandra Aziela (l-r). On the right side iWorld Cup champion Kerrie Ryan-Ciach, Canada.

    The Professional Bowlers Association Women's Tour Trials, a simultaneous event gives the bowlers a chance to qualify for the seven-event PBA Women's Series. A total of 43 players have paid the additional entry fee for the Women's Tour Trials.

    The top 12 of those 43 will join the six champions from last season - Michelle Feldman, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Stefanie Nation, Jodi Woessner, Wendy Macpherson and Liz Johnson - as exempt players for the 2009-10 PBA Women's Series.


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    2009 U.S. Women's Open - Standings after Qualifying Round Three (Squad A only)

    Round 1 on Shark, Round 2 on Chameleon and Round 3 on Cheetah. The top 48 after 24 games will advance.


    2009 U.S. Women's Open - Qualifying Round Three (Squad A only)

    8 games on the Cheetah pattern.