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Rocio Restrepo leads, Jordan Richard in contention at PWBA Columbus Open

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Searching for the right words to describe her success on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour this season, rookie Jordan Richard paused for a moment before responding.

“I really don’t know how to put it into words,” said Richard (featured photo), who is in third place after two rounds of qualifying at the Nationwide PWBA Columbus Open. “It’s fun. I’m having a lot of fun, so that is kind of where it comes from. I’m just bowling happy. I stick to what I know and don’t go too far from that.”

Rocio Restrepo (left), who won last week’s BowlerX.com PWBA Twin Cities Open, has the lead after 16 qualifying games at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.

Restrepo averaged just over 230 during the two eight-game blocks and has a 20-pin lead over first-round leader Shannon Pluhowsky (right) of Dayton, Ohio. The native Colombian who resides in Louisville, Ohio, had games of 205, 205, 222, 238, 258, 220, 221 and 233 in the second eight-game round.

“Going into tomorrow, I’m just going to see what’s out there,” Restrepo said. “Every day is different. These girls get smarter and smarter, play them different and attack it a different way. I’ll just see what’s out there and go with the flow.”

Rounding out the top 5 were Clara Guerrero (left) of Colombia with 3,575 and Liz Johnson of Palatine, Ill., with 3,520. Birgit Pöppler (right) of Germany took the last spot to advance with 3,366.

The top 12 bowlers return Saturday morning to bowl six additional games and the top five in pinfall after the round (22 games total) advance to the stepladder finals. Saturday’s stepladder finals will be televised live on CBS Sports Network at 5 p.m. (Eastern).

As Richard seeks to become the second player this year to make three consecutive shows, she admits her success during the 2018 PWBA Tour season has been a little bit shocking, even to her.

“I have really high expectations, no matter what,” said Richard (left), who joined the PWBA Tour after completing her collegiate career at Arkansas State. “Of course, I want to win. Did I think I would win? No. To come out here and win my first title in four tournaments and then make two consecutive TV shows, it’s really exciting.”

While Richard said she now knows she can be competitive each week, she continues to learn about her game and what it takes to win on tour. She said everything is a learning experience, from her talks with ball representatives during competition to watching ball motion on the lanes.

She also has virtually wrapped up PWBA Rookie of the Year honors. She said it was a goal, but figured that goal was highly unlikely.

“I had goals when I came out here, and Rookie of the Year was one of them,” Richard said. “But I knew I was missing the first three tournaments so I didn’t think I would be able to have enough points to win. It never crosses my mind until someone asks about it. The accolades come when they come and I don’t ever focus on them.”

The Nationwide PWBA Columbus Open is the third and final elite-field event on the 2018 PWBA Tour. The top 24 bowlers on the PWBA points list after the U.S. Women’s Open qualified for the elite events. The remainder of the 32-player field at each event was completed through a pre-tournament qualifier.

Click here for more information on the PWBA Tour.

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2018 PWBA Tour Schedule & Champions

Nationwide PWBA Columbus Open – Second Round Results

Players with position, hometown and 16-game total. Top 12 advance. n-denotes non-member.

1, Rocio Restrepo, Colombia, 3,692. 2, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 3,672. 3, Jordan Richard, Tipton, Mich., 3,595. 4, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 3,575. 5, Liz Johnson, Palatine, Ill., 3,520. 6, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 3,503.

7, Daria Pajak, Poland, 3,478. 8, Verity Crawley, England, 3,440. 9, Maria Jose Rodriguez, Colombia, 3,425. 10, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 3,417. 11, Jen Higgins, Westerville, Ohio, 3,398. 12, Birgit Pöppler, Germany, 3,366.

Missed Cut:
13, Liz Kuhlkin, Schenectady, N.Y., 3,329, $1,200. 14, Giselle Poss, Nashville, Tenn., 3,328, $1,200. 15, Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., 3,325, $1,200. 16, Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio, 3,304, $1,200. 17, Sydney Brummett, Wichita, Kan., 3,287, $1,200. 18, Josie Barnes, Nashville, Tenn., 3,276, $1,200.

19, Shannon O’Keefe, Shiloh, Ill., 3,268, $1,200. 20, Haley Richard, Tipton, Mich., 3,266, $1,200. 21, (tie) Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., and Sandra Gongora, Mexico, 3,253, $1,200. 23, Olivia Sandham, Saint Joseph, Mo., 3,225, $1,200. 24, Jessica Mellott, Lauderhill, Fla., 3,179, $1,200.

25, Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas, 3,155, $1,200. 26, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 3,151, $1,200. 27, Bryanna Cote, Red Rock, Ariz., 3,129, $1,200. 28, Daria Kovalova, Ukraine, 3,126, $1,200. 29, Lindsay Boomershine, Perry, Utah, 3,083, $1,200. 30, Shelby New (n), Anderson, Ind., 3,039, $1,200.

31, Chelsey Stephens (n), Frankfort, Ky., 2,958, $1,200. 32, Erin Czuprynski, Tinley Park, Ill., 2,946, $1,200.

Herbert Bickel

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