News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Kegler's Korner

October 29, 2006

Keggler's Korner: Women making their marks in PBA

TERRE HAUTE — The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) rolled off its national tour this week with the USBC Masters, the finals being televised live on ESPN inside the Wisconsin Exposition Center beginning at 1 p.m. today.

But while this is predominantly a men’s tour — just opening up its membership to women a couple years ago following the demise of the Professional Women’s Bowlers Association — a trio of women familiar to Terre Haute bowlers have been making their marks, literally.

Most of the off-season national media attention has been focused on Kelly Kulick, the first woman to earn a season-long exemption when she finished sixth at the PBA Tour Trials last June.

Making her tour debut this week, Kulick slipped into the match-play round by the slimmest of margins. She won a one-game roll-off against 2003-04 PBA Rookie of the Year Chris Johnson, 210-156, after the pair tied for 63rd place with a 3,129 15-game pinfall after three days of qualifying.

While Kulick was just scraping by, Liz Johnson — the first woman to qualify for a PBA event in 2004 whom also finished second in a PBA event in 2005, finished 11th with 3,321. Carolyn Dorin-Ballard finished 25th with 3,247.

In match play, Kulick won her first match against John Nolen (588-573), but then was knocked out in the double-elimination format by Doug Kent (739-614) and Mark Clark (635-596).

Both Johnson and Dorin-Ballard fared a little better, but were eventually eliminated too.

Johnson was 3-2 in match play. After falling to Christopher Sand (656-669), she topped Steve Lemke (700-560), Mike Edwards (686-674) and Dan Bock (658-584), before being sidelined by Mike Rose (651-630).

Dorin-Ballard finished 2-2 in match play. She topped seven-time winner Steve Jaros (620-606), six-time winner Mika Koivuniemi (686-613), before being stopped by Mike Wolfe (703-687) and 32-time winner Pete Weber (669-629).

Possibly the best pairing in the tournament not on today’s TV show was the roll-off for fifth place late Friday night, as 42-time PBA winner Walter Ray Williams Jr. topped 32-time winner Weber 748-712.

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