Shalin Zulkifli leads 2009 U.S. Women's Open as field is cut to the top 48 players


    United States

    Kerry Smith beats Danielle van der Meer in roll-off for 48th place, 178-168

    2009WUSOShalinZulkifli2.jpg2009WUSAMissyBellinder3.jpgMalaysian star Shalin Zulkifli (pictured left) was not only the best of the 59 international players in the 2009 U.S. Women's Open but she led the entire 170-player field after the 3-day preliminaries as the field was cut to the top 48 players.

    31-year-old right-hander had an 1830 8-game series on the PBA Shark oil pattern, 1700 on Chameleon and 1838 on Cheetah to lead the Open with 5368 total pinfall and an average of 223.67 for 24 games. Second-round leader, Missy Bellinder (right) of Fullerton, Calif., is second with 5321

    009WUSOCarolynDorinBallard2.jpg2009WUSOLizJohnson.jpgBellinder is followed by USBC Hall of Famer Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (left) of Keller, Texas, with 5320, and Tammy Boomershine of North Ogden, Utah, with 5294.

    Rounding out the top 5 is  2007 U.S. Women's Open champion Liz Johnson (right) of Cheektowaga, N.Y., with 5260.

    Aumi Guerra (below left), Dominican Republic, was in 23rd place after round one, improved to 16th after round two and finished round three, which included a 277 game, as second-best international bowler.

    2009WUSOAumiGuerra.jpg2009WUSOShannonOKeefe.jpgThe long-time Dominican national team member, coached by Craig Woodhouse in seevnth year as national coach, holds the 6th place with 5207 and an average of 216.96.

    Mere two pins behind was 2007 World Singles champion Shannon O' Keefe (right), Arlington, Texas, who closed out her series on Cheetah also with a 277 game to leap into 7th place with 5205 (216.88).

    Cheetah typically is the shortest and the highest-scoring of the five PBA Experience lane conditions, and success most often is found by playing toward the outside part of the lane, where Zulkifli is most comfortable.

    2009WWCClaraGuerrero4.jpg 2009WUSOBiancaFlanagan.jpg"When we looked at the schedule and saw that Cheetah was the last pattern of qualifying, we were happy because all of us (on Team Malaysia) bowl well on it," said Zulkifli, who posted a high game of 268 on the way to a 1,838 set Thursday morning, the third-highest of the day behind Australia's Bianca Flanagan (1894) and Colombia's Clara Juliana Guerrero, left (1876).

    Guerrero, who won two gold medals in the Women's World Championships last week here in Las Vegas, sits in 8th place with 5199, while Flanagan jumped 90th to 30th place (4978) in a span of 8 games.

    "I wasn't actually thinking about being in the lead. I was just focusing on getting as many pins as I could, especially for the Tour Trials. My target was to be 100 over each block, and if I could do that, I would be happy."

    2009WUSOTammyBoomershine2.jpg2009WUSOAmandaFagan.jpgThe tournament has seen three 300 game so far, one on each day. Boomershine (left) started on Shark, Amanda Fagan (right), Patchoque, N.Y. (9th, 5197) was next on Chameleon and Liz Johnson followed today on Cheetah.

    The 170-player U.S. Women's Open field now will be cut to the top 48, who will bowl an additional 16 games Friday on the final two PBA Experience lane conditions, Scorpion and Viper.

    Before the 48 players will start with the first of two 8-game blocks on Friday, Danielle van der Meer, Netherlands, and Kerry Smith, New Holland, Pa. will break the tie for 48th place (4998) in a one-game roll-off at 8.30am.

    2009WUSODaniellevanderMeerGhislainevanderTol.jpg2009WUSOKerrySmith.jpgThe Dutch national team member, who studies in the U.S., (pictured left with team mate Ghislaine van der Tol, right, who had just one pin more to finish 47th) rocketed into the top 48 thanks to a 290 in the penultimate game but almost gave it away with a 176 in the last game. Smith finished with 213 after five consecutive sub-200 games to force the roll-off.

    In the one-game roll-off on Friday morning, Kerry Smith (pictured right) defeated Danielle van der Meer, 178-168.

    A total of 20 international players from 13 countries advanced to Round of 48.

    2009WUSOSandraGongora2.jpg2009WUSOSofiaRodriguez2.jpgMalaysia has brought five of six players into the fourth day of competition, while Colombia has 3 and Australia 2 players left. Canada, Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany, Korea, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, and Venezuela will be represented by one player each.

    Singles World Champion Stefanie Nation, Arlington, Texas, missed the cut by four pins in 50th place while silver medalist Sandra Gongora (left), the sole Mexican in the field, landed in 90th place.

    Also failing to advance were the national teams from the Philippines and Russia as well as Sofia Rodriguez (right) from Guatemala and Putty Armein from Indonesia.

    2009WUSADanaMillerMackie.jpg2009WUSATishJohnson.jpgTwo of the four LPBT and PWBA legends competing in the event advanced and two missed the cut. Three day prior to her 53rd birthday, 16-time champion Dana Miller-Mackie (riht), Albuquerque, N.M., landed in 13th place averaging 214.79 over 24 games.

    25-time champion and PWBA Hall of Famer Tish Johnson (left), Colorado Springs, Colo., who was the third woman in professional bowling, who has earned over a million Dollar in prize money, made the cut in 34th place.

    2009WUSOLeanneHulsenberg.jpg2009USBCWCRobinRomeo.jpgJohnson's long-time rival on the Tour, 26-time champion and back-to-back LPBT Player of the Year ('90, '91) Leanne (Barrette) Hulsenberg (left), Roseville, Calif., missed the cut by 81 pins.

    Hulsenberg was joined by 17-time champion and Women's Professional Bowling Hall of Famer Robin Romeo (right), Newhall, Calif., who finished 94th.

    This year, the U.S. Women's Open features a new format with the top 12 players advancing to the five-part ESPN series. The overall prize fund for this year's event is $150,000 with $25,000 going to the winner.

    2009WUSOKimTerrellKearney.jpgThe 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 (pictured left, 14th, 5111) is the defending champion and will be looking to claim the coveted title for the third time. She also won the event in 2001.

    All 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 was bowled on a different PBA Experience lane pattern. The first block on Shark, the second on Chameleon and the third on Cheetah.

    After 24 games, the field was cut to the top 48 players, who will bowl an additional 16 games on Scorpion and Viper 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.

    Any 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.

    The shows will air on five consecutive Sundays at 2 p.m. EDT beginning Sept. 13. The scheduled is subject to change. Along with her bid to make a second consecutive appearance on the televised portion of the U.S. Women's Open, Zulkifli also is focused on returning to the Professional Bowlers Association Women's Series, where she hopes to improve on her overall performance from last year.

    Zulkifli leads the field of 43 players who have paid the additional entry fee for the PBA Women's Tour Trials, which uses the U.S. Women's Open scores to determine who will qualify for the 2009-10 PBA Women's Series.

    The top 12 bowlers from the Tour Trials 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.



    Related Articles

    International players dominate morning Squad on Cheetah in U.S. Women's Open
    Missy Bellinder takes over lead in 2009 U.S. Women's Open after Day Two Qualifying
    Australia's Ann-Maree Putney sets the pace on the Chameleon pattern at 2009 U.S. Women's Open
    Bellinder, O'Keefe, Pluhowsky add their names to the leaderboard in U.S. Women's Open
    Tammy Boomershine starts 2009 U.S. Women's Open with a perfect game
    2009 U.S Women's Open set to begin at Strike Zone at Sunset Station in Las Vegas
    Bowlingdigital to provide Live Coverage from the 2009 U.S. Women's Open - A USBC Event
    Televised perfect games to pay up to $100,000 at U.S. Women's Open
    International bowlers invited to compete in U.S. Women's Open



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

    Round 1 on Shark, Round 2 on Chameleon and Round 3 on Cheetah. The top 48 after 24 games advance. Kerry Smith def. Danielle van der Meer in roll-off for 48th place, 178-168.

    300 games - (3) Tammy Boomershine, Amanda Fagan, Liz Johnson



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

    8 games on the Cheetah pattern.



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

    8 games on the Cheetah pattern.