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Bowler fights emotions, advances at Players Championship


After 12 qualifying games of the Go Bowling Professional Women’s Bowling Association Players Championship on Friday, Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, has the lead. But a much different accomplishment happened a few spots down the leaderboard.

Gabby Mayfield (pictured) of Lake Isabella, California, fought through an emotional day to earn the 16th and final spot for Saturday’s match-play rounds at The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The top 16 players will bowl two eight-game match-play sessions with the four players with the highest pinfall after the 28 total games advancing to Sunday’s stepladder finals of this season’s second major.

CBS Sports Network will televise the Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship finals live at noon Eastern on Sunday.

Mayfield made match play while dealing with the loss of her home back in Lake Isabella, part of the destruction caused by a massive wildfire in California. While she was in the top five early in the day, after 12 games she was waiting with fingers crossed to see if she made the cut.

“Basically, the first block, I was numb,” Mayfield said. “I didn’t feel anything because I finally talked to my mom and she told me the house had burned down, everything was gone. They were able to save my grandma’s house but nothing in my house. We lost two cats, so when I came in I probably cried eight times in the first 15 minutes when I saw all my friends.”

Mayfield and her fiancé, Brian Valenta, made the move to California in April, just before the tour season started. She said the support of her fellow competitors helped her, and the thought of her family helped push her toward the end.

She said her family fought the fire near her grandmother’s house, about a mile from her house, from 5 p.m. Thursday until early Friday morning, saying the windows were blown out but the house was saved.

“Honestly, I was numb and then I started thinking about it and I was like, I just want to do this for my town, for my parents,” Mayfield said. “Everybody has been so supportive. Brian was behind me every shot and I don’t think I could have kept it together if he wasn’t there.”

2015PWBATourKellyKulick.jpg2015PWBATourStefanieJohnson.jpgKulick (left), who missed last week to have her troublesome right ankle checked out and to rest it, averaged 232 and her 2,782 pinfall total gives her a 37-pin lead over 2015 PWBA Rookie of the Year Stefanie Johnson of Grand Prairie, Texas. Liz Johnson, the 2015 PWBA Player of the Year, is in third followed by Colombia’s Clara Guerrero and Siti Afifah of Malaysia.

Kulick said she had irritation in her right ankle and then overuse in trying to push off compounded the problem. An X-ray and MRI showed a good deal of inflammation, which caused the pain, but there was no structural damage.

“Knock on wood, my body is still healthy, just a lot of inflamed tissue,” Kulick said. “It’s about 85 percent, and if I have good rhythm it doesn’t seem to irritate me. If I try to get aggressive, that’s when I find I have a lot of irritation.”

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Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship – Qualifying Standings

Players with position, hometown and 12-game total

1, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 2,782. 2, Stefanie Johnson, Grand Prairie, Texas, 2,745. 3, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2,733. 4, Clara Guerrero, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,697. 5, Siti Afifah, Malaysia, 2,683. 6, Shannon O’Keefe, O’Fallon, Ill., 2,668.

7, Jennifer Higgins, Westerville, Ohio, 2,658. 8, Rocio Restrepo, Louisville, Ohio, 2,639. 9, Bryanna Cote, Red Rock, Ariz., 2,624. 10, Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., 2,616. 11, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 2,614. 12, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 2,604.

13, Anne Marie Duggan, Edmond, Okla., 2,593. 14, Syaidatul Hamidi, Malaysia, 2,584. 15, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 2,578. 16, Gabby Mayfield, Lake Isabella, Calif., 2,573.

Missed Cut:
17, Amanda Greene, Romney, W. Va., 2,569, $1,200. 18, (tie) Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, and Sabrena Divis, Gillette, Wyo., 2,563, $1,200. 20, Lindsay Boomershine, Perry, Utah, 2,559, $1,200. 21, Kayla Stram, Minnetonka, Minn., 2,557, $1,200. 22, Kayla Bandy, Salisbury, Md., 2,550, $1,200. 23, Natasha Roslan, Malaysia, 2,541, $1,200. 24, Jackie Carbonetto, Blauvelt, N.Y., 2,532, $1,200.

25, Leanne Hulsenberg, Pleasant View, Utah, 2,529, $1,200. 26, Elysia Current, Ephrata, Pa., 2,524, $1,200. 27, Karen Marcano, Venezuela, 2,522, $1,200. 28, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Austin, Texas, 2,514, $1,200. 29, Josie Earnest, Nashville, Tenn., 2,504, $1,200. 30, Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, Ill., 2,501, $1,200.

31, Sin Li Jane, Malaysia, 2,495, $1,200. 32, Stephanie Martins, Brazil, 2,492, $1,200. 33, April Ellis, Wichita, Kan., 2,487. 34, Sharon Koh, Malaysia, 2,486. 35, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, 2,481. 36, Sandra Gongora, Mexico, 2,476.

37, Summer Jasmin, Beckley, W. Va., 2,474. 38, Liz Kuhlkin, Schenectady, N.Y., 2,470. 39, Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia, 2,462. 40, Syazwani Sahar, Malaysia, 2,461. 41, Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., 2,430. 42, Kristina Wendell, Kingston, N.Y., 2,426.

43, Holly Harris, Wichita, Kan., 2,412. 44, Brandi Calderon, Tempe, Ariz., 2,409. 45, Kayla Johnson, Washington, Ill., 2,408. 46, Tnia Falbo, Greensburg, Pa., 2,406. 47, Katie Zwiefelhofer, Racine, Wis., 2,400. 48, Brandi Branka, Fairview Hgts, Ill., 2,393.

49, Jamie Martin, Omaha, Neb., 2,391. 50, (tie) Samantha Schaden, Baltimore, Md., and Ashley Purkey, Godfrey, Ill., 2,390. 52, Kaidee Sutphin, Mount Dora, Fla., 2,388. 53, Mariana Ayala, Euless, Texas, 2,386. 54, (tie) Kim Adler, Ojo Caliente, N.M., and

Anneli Blomqvist, Sweden, 2,384. 56, Allie Ijams, Wichita, Kan., 2,383. 57, Megan Kelly, Dayton, Ohio, 2,381. 58, Kristina Rosberg, Ord, Neb., 2,380. 59, Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio, 2,364. 60, Jes Lesagonicz, Atlanta, Ga., 2,360.

61, Nora Lyana Norkamal, Malaysia, 2,355. 62, Kerry Smith, New Holland, Pa., 2,331. 63, Ashley Rucker, Bartlesville, Okla., 2,323. 64, Andrea Behr, Kettering, Ohio, 2,322. 65, Elise Bolton, Merritt Island, Fla., 2,306. 66, Natalie Goodman, O’Fallon, Ill., 2,303.

67, Esther Cheah, Malaysia, 2,293. 68, Natalie Cortese, Hoffman Estates, Ill., 2,288. 69, Anggie Ramirez-Perea, Austin, Texas, 2,277. 70, Crystal Resop, Schofield, Wis., 2,271. 71, Linda Walbaum, Brighton, Colo., 2,266. 72, Rachael Gittings, Glen Allen, Va., 2,264.

73, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 2,258. 74, Samantha Kelly, Waukesha, Wis., 2,250. 75, Debbie Ayers, La Mesa, Calif., 2,241. 76, Kimi Davidson, Irving, Texas, 2,226. 77, Rochelle Hansen, La Vista, Neb., 2,206. 78, (tie) Kerrie Watson, Canada, and

Brittany Himmelreich, Cressona, Pa., 2,175. 80, Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2,171. 81, Julie Oczepek, Saginaw, Mich., 2,149. 82, Stevie Mours, Franklin, Wis., 2,042. 83, Megan McGinley, Cinnaminson, N.J., 1,983.

Herbert Bickel

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