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Maria Jose Rodriguez leads at PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open


2016PWBA11MariaJoseRodriguez.jpgMaking the cut at the end of the first day of competition means making a paycheck on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour.

Colombian native Maria Jose Rodriguez of Austin, Texas, not only is on her way to cashing another PWBA check, she also has put herself in a better position than what she has seen lately as the leader after 12 games of qualifying at the PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open, taking place at Seminole Lanes.

“It’s been hard because I’ve been making the cut, but I’ve been so far behind the top 12,” said Rodriguez, who has cashed in nine events this season, including a second-place finish at the PWBA Wichita Open. “I literally had no chance every time I made the top 32 because I was 32nd, 31st, 30th.”

2016TeamUSATrialsJosieEarnest2.jpg2016PWBA10ShannonOKeefe2.jpgIn sixth place after the first six-game block of qualifying Friday, Rodriguez averaged 241.8 over the final six games. Her 2,782 pinfall total leads Josie Earnest (left) of Nashville, Tennessee, who finished the opening block with a 299 game (she left the 10 pin) and the second block with a 279 final game, by 15 pins.

Shannon O’Keefe (right) of O’Fallon, Illinois, already a two-time winner on the PWBA Tour in 2016, is third at 2,712. She is followed by Erin McCarthy of Omaha, Nebraska, (2,702) and Stefanie Johnson (below left) of Grand Prairie, Texas (2,645).

2016USBCQueensStefanieJohnson2.jpgMcCarthy (pictured right with Rocio Restrepo, left, after receiving PWBA 300 rings for perfect games rolled earlier this season) opened the day with a 256 game and averaged 246 during the first six games of qualifying to hold the lead.

2016PWBA11RocioRestrepoErinMCarthy300ring.jpgShe fought through a lingering injury all day and had a noticeable limp by the end. She suffered the injury last week at the PWBA Rochester Open, and McCarthy, a registered nurse, said she’s “confident it’s a groin pull rather than a tear.”

“It wasn’t bad until game 3 or 4 of the second block,” McCarthy said. “It was uncomfortable in the morning but not painful like it was last week. It actually kept me slow, so I think that’s a good thing. I sometimes tend to rush my feet.”

2016PWBALogo.jpgThe PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open continues Saturday at Seminole Lanes with six more games to determine the 12 players for round-robin match play. For match play, competitors will be split into two groups of six players, and at the end of match play, the top qualifier in each group will earn an automatic spot in the televised stepladder finals.

The second, third and fourth qualifiers in each group will advance to a group stepladder final, with the winner of each group stepladder also advancing to the TV finals.

All qualifying and match-play rounds of the PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open are being broadcast on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association.

The finals of the PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open will be taped Aug. 7 during the U.S. Women’s Open and air Tuesday, Aug. 30 on CBS Sports Network. Click here for more information, including the complete schedule, news and player bios.

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PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open – Qualifying Standings

Players with position, hometown and 12-game total; a-indicates non-member

1, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Austin, Texas, 2,782. 2, Josie Earnest, Nashville, Tenn., 2,767. 3, Shannon O’Keefe, O’Fallon, Ill., 2,712. 4, Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., 2,702. 5, Stefanie Johnson, Grand Prairie, Texas, 2,645. 6, Amanda Greene, Romney, W. Va., 2,635.

7, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 2,606. 8, Kayla Johnson, Washington, Ill., 2,604. 9, Lindsay Boomershine, Perry, Utah, 2,603. 10, Rocio Restrepo, Louisville, Ohio, 2,579. 11, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 2,578. 12, Summer Jasmin, Beckley, W. Va., 2,562.

13, Kendra Gaines (a), Orlando, Fla., 2,559. 14, Kaidee Sutphin, Mount Dora, Fla., 2,554. 15, Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., 2,517. 16, Kristina Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 2,516. 17, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 2,502. 18, April Ellis, Wichita, Kan., 2,497.

19, Kayla Bandy, Salisbury, Md., 2,495. 20, Stephanie Martins, Brazil, 2,486. 21, Jennifer Higgins, Westerville, Ohio, 2,484. 22, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 2,478. 23, Sabrena Divis, Gillette, Wyo., 2,472. 24, Mariana Ayala, Euless, Texas, 2,470.

25, Clara Guerrero, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,469. 26, Brittany Himmelreich, Cressona, Pa., 2,465. 27, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2,456. 28, Anggie Ramirez Perea, Austin, Texas, 2,452. 29, Karen Marcano, Venezuela, 2,449. 30, Verity Crawley (a), England, 2,436.

31, Megan Kelly, Dayton, Ohio, 2,432. 32, Kerry Smith, New Holland, Pa., 2,430.

Missed Cut:
33, Gabby Mayfield, Lake Isabella, Calif., 2,428. 34, Lucy Sandelin (a), Tampa, Fla., 2,426. 35, Anneli Blomqvist, Sweden, 2,414. 36, Kristina Wendell, Kingston, N.Y., 2,411.

37, Bryanna Cote, Red Rock, Ariz., 2,409. 38, Brooke Bower, Camp Hill, Pa., 2,396. 39, Kamilah Dammers, Aruba, 2,392. 40, Jes Lesagonicz, Atlanta, 2,387. 41, Rachael Gittings, Glen Allen, Va., 2,386. 42, Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio, 2,384.

43, Brigette Coleman (a), High Springs, Fla., 2,379. 44, Ashley Crowder (a), Tamarac, Fla., 2,376. 45, Melissa Stewart (a), Port Saint Lucie, Fla., 2,371. 46, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 2,370. 47, Keli Callahan (a), Las Vegas2,365. 48, Karen Boyd (a), Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 2,354.

49, Elise Bolton, Merritt Island, Fla., 2,346. 50, Nicole Bower (a), Camp Hill, Pa., 2,326. 51, Amanda Flood (a), Brandon, Fla., 2,320. 52, Ashley Purkey, Godfrey, Ill., 2,301. 53, Amber Ottilige (a), Lake Wales, Fla., 2,285. 54, Natalie Goodman, O’Fallon, Ill., 2,278.

55, Jennifer Hernandez (a), Land O Lakes, Fla., 2,263. 56, Pam Sprow (a), Lakeland, Fla., 2,259. 57, Jackie Carbonetto, Blauvelt, N.Y., 2,229. 58, Taylor Bulthuis (a), Coral Springs, Fla., 2,226. 59, Victoria Jones (a), Baltimore, Md., 2,215. 60, Jean Cheshier (a), Tampa, Fla., 2,213.

61, Tiffany Crosby (a), St. Petersburg, Fla., 2,208. 62, Cassandra Hoehnen, Sussex, Wis., 2,201. 63, Kimi Davidson, Irving, Texas, 2,199. 64, Kimberly Roe (a), New Smyrna Beach, Fla., 2,158. 65, Angela Dato (a), Parke, Colo., 2,045. 66, Ashley Chiaramonte, Jackson, N.J., 2,025.

67, Megan McGinley, Cinnaminson, N.J., 2,018. 68, Mary Anne Farris (a), Naples, Fla., 2,011. 69, Tiffany Morris, Bel Aire, Kan., 1,998. 70, Joanne Herman (a), Seminole, Fla., 1,995. 71, Debbie Ayers, La Mesa, Calif., 858 (WD).

Herbert Bickel

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