Kelly Kulick takes another major title, wins U.S. Women's Open


    United States

    ImageThe dream season continued to be a reality for Kelly Kulick as she won her second major women's title in 15 days on Wednesday, claiming the U.S. Women's Open, a United States Bowling Congress event.

    Kulick, of Union, N.J., defeated Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., 233-203, in the first live event televised from the new International Training and Research Center. Kulick also won the event in 2003 and became the 11th player to win the event more than once.

    Just two weeks after winning the USBC Queens in El Paso, Texas, Kulick took a 32-pin lead after seven frames against Johnson and rolled to the title. In January, Kulick made sports history when she became the first woman to earn a title on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour, winning the Tournament of Champions.

    "This has just been a magical run for me," said Kulick, who also won the PBA Women's World Championship and the PBA Women's Series Shark Championship in September. "This is it. This is what I've always dreamed about. I'm so humbled right now."

    Kulick, who earned $20,000 for the victory, struck six times starting in the fourth frame to pull away from Johnson, who bowled a clean game but only managed one double.

    "I felt good and got lined up in practice, but the first couple shots didn't come off my hand well," said Johnson, who won the U.S. Women's Open in 1996 and 2007. "After that, I was pretty close, but the pins just didn't fall for me. Kelly just bowled great."

    As the player who hooks the ball the most among the five television finalists, Kulick said that turned out to be an advantage. Kulick was able to stay left of the rest of the players and throw the ball into the part of the lane where the oil pattern had broken down.

    "The way the lanes broke down was an advantage for me tonight," Kulick said. "Knocking out the 10 pin was challenging. I waited for the lane to come to me, and when that happened, it allowed me to strike."

    In the semifinal, Kulick beat Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, 201-176. Dorin-Ballard only managed two strikes in the match and suffered through a stretch of five consecutive nine counts in frames two through six. Kulick, meanwhile, threw a pair of doubles in the match and just needed a mark in the final frame to shut out the USBC Hall of Famer.

    Dorin-Ballard knocked off Colombian native Clara Guerrero of Pflugerville, Texas, 216-192, to advance to the semifinal. Dorin-Ballard threw four consecutive strikes from frames three through six, and Guerrero left a pocket 7-10 split in the sixth frame to fall behind by 24 pins, a deficit from which she would never recover.

    In the opening match, Dorin-Ballard advanced with an overtime victory against Lynda Barnes of Double Oak, Texas. Barnes struck on her final shot in regulation to tie Dorin-Ballard at 207, but on the first extra shot Dorin-Ballard struck and Barnes left a 4 pin to be eliminated.

    The U.S. Women's Open featured a field of 100 of the top female bowlers in the world competing for a total prize fund of $117,100.


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    2010 U.S. Women's Open

    International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas (May 12, 2010

    Championship Round:
    1. Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., $20,000
    2. Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., $13,000
    3. Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, $10,000
    4. Clara Juliana Guerrero, Colombia, $8,000
    5. Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, $6,500

    Playoff Results:
    First Match: Dorin-Ballard def. Barnes, 10-9 in roll-off after a 207-207 tie
    Second Match: Dorin-Ballard def. Guerrero, 216-192
    Third Match: Kulick def. Dorin-Ballard, 201-176
    Championship: Kulick def. Johnson, 233-203.