Liz Kuhlkin rallies to qualify for Albany Open PWBA

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SOUTH GLENS FALLS – The maxim “it’s not how you start but how you end” applied to at least a few bowlers on Friday night at the Professional Women’s Bowling Association tournament at Kingpin’s Alley.

Local favorite Liz Kuhlkin of Schenectady has won 740 in her last three games to move from outside the cup line to 24th place at the PWBA Albany Open. She was the only bowler in the Capital Region to land a spot among the top 32 returning for the cash round on Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, Union, NJ’s Kelly Kulick netted the tournament’s only 300, racking up 12 catches in Friday’s 12th and final qualifying game to take the lead in the overall standings before Saturday.

The top 32, taking the bowling pins from Friday’s qualifying with them, will pitch six games starting at 10 a.m. The top 12 will advance for another block of six games at 2:30 pm Saturday afternoon.

“I was nervous, very nervous this morning,” said Kuhlkin, who was 36th after Friday morning’s six qualifying games. “A lot more people showed up than I thought. I haven’t bowled in front of my parents professionally in a while, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well.”

By the evening session, the crowd behind its halls had swelled and applauded with every strike. Kuhlkin, a 27-year-old right-hander, has barely gained ground with 561 in her first three games.

“My back was against the wall at the time,” she said. “My ball rep (from Brunswick), Chuck Gardner, came over and said, ‘You have to get close,’ saying I was way too far to the left (on the approach). I moved four (planks) right with my feet and I was able to bounce off the gutter.

“It was awesome. The place was getting crazy. It was getting loud and it was cool. My family came. I have a lot of friends here. My best friend’s parents came – just a lot of people that I did. didn’t expect to come were here. I’m not used to that on tour, and that’s okay. When you live in New York, you don’t get the opportunity to go bowling near home you most of the time. “

Kulick, 44, best known as the first woman to win a major PBA title (2010), will be the player everyone is chasing at the start on Saturday. She was third before the final match but passed Danielle McEwan of Stony Point and Shannon O’Keefe of Shiloh, Ill.

“I wanted to finish it,” she said. “This is the third time this season that I have the top 10 or 11 and I couldn’t close the door. I was happy, especially to be behind the counter (in the center of the bowling alley) and the audience. It was great to give them that victory. “

O’Keefe comes in as a second bowler on Saturday. McEwan is third and Stefanie Johnson of McKinney, Texas, fourth.

Two other bowlers from the area were up for the cut but failed in the evening block.

Schenectady’s Janelle Irwin was 22nd after the morning’s six games, but was 42nd, scoring 199.3 for the tournament. Suzie Morine of Castleton finished 34th after the first qualifying block and finished 44th.

“I started to get a little tired of the second block towards the end,” said Irwin, who has played “five or six” PWBA events in the past two years. “Twelve games is a lot of bowling. “

Other Capital Region finalists: Jessica Aiezza (Mechanicville) 61st, Jessica Abel (Broadalbin) 62nd, Kalynn Carl (Colony) 63rd and Catie Bell (Averill Park) 66th.


(Kingpin’s Alley, South Glens Falls)
Two rounds, 12 games

(n-non-member)

1, Kelly Kulick, Union, New Jersey, 2,860. 2, Shannon O’Keefe, Shiloh, ill, 2,827.3, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, 2822. 4, Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas, 2,761. 5 , Liz Johnson, Niagara Falls, 2,737.6, Breanna Clemmer, Clover, South Carolina, 2723.

7, Alexis Neuer, Milton, Pa., 2707. 8, Lauren Pate, Inver Grove, Minnesota, 2 703. 9, Bryanna Côté, Tucson, Arizona, 2697.10, Verity Crawley, England, 2664. 11, Sydney Brummett , Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2,653. 12, Kara Mangiola, Spencerport, 2,638.

13, Julia Bond, Aurora, Illinois, 2,634. 14, Sandra Gongora, Mexico, 2,627.15, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 2,625. 16, Caitlyn Johnson, Beaumont, Texas, 2,590.17, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 2,588. 18 (tie), Maria Jose Rodriguez, Colombia, and Daria Pajak, Poland, 2,579.

20, Taylor Bulthuis, Coral Springs, Fla., 2,578. 21, Shalin Zulkifli, Malaysia, 2,576. 22, Summer Jasmin, Beckley, Virginia, 2,575. 23, Kerry Smith, New Holland, Pa., 2,571. 24, Liz Kuhlkin, Rotterdam, 2.568.

25 Taylor Bailey, Joliet, Illinois, 2.563. 26, Valérie Bercier, Muskegon, Michigan, 2,550. 27, Birgit Noreiks, Germany, 2.549. 28, Elysia Current, Ephrata, Pennsylvania, 2.539. 29, Amanda Naujokas (n), Lake Ronkonkoma, 2.520. 30, Lindsay Boomershine, Perry, Utah, 2492. 31, Mallory Nutting (n), Topsham, Maine, 2488. 32, Gazmine Mason, Cranston, RI, 2487

(failed to qualify)

33, Stephanie Zavala, Downey, CA, 2481. 34, Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Florida, 2,466. 35, A Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 2,457 36, Ingellimar Beasley, Clarksville, Tennessee, 2,456. 37 , Aseret Zetter, Mexico, 2447.38, Sabrena Divis, Gillette, Wyo., 2446.

39, Kayla Bandy, Wichita, Kansas, 2434. 40, Dasha Kovalova, Ukraine, 2421.41, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 2395. 42, Janelle Irwin, Schenectady, 2392. 43, Abby Ragsdale, Aurora, Illinois, 2377. 44, Suzie Morine (n), Castleton, 2339.

45, Laura Plazas, Colombia, 2336. 46, Maria Bulanova, Russia, 2313. 47, Jennifer Hocurscak, Orange, Connecticut, 2311. 48, Estefania Cobo, North Richland Hills, Texas, 2309. 49, Elise Bolton, Merritt Island, Florida, 2,305.50, Melissa Kammerer (n), Staten Island, 2,301.

51, Christina Hartl, Ephrata, Pa., 2.286. 52, Kayla Crawford, Silvis, Illinois, 2284. 53, Michelle Sterner (n), Niagara Falls, 2265. 54, Jordan Richard, Maumee, Ohio, 2249. 55, Nichole Toto (n), North Brunswick, NJ , 2 242. 56, Heather D’Errico, Rochester, 2 230.

57, Jennifer Roback (n), New York Mills, 2225. 58, Danielle Knittle, State College, Pennsylvania, 2218.59, Morgan Brunet (n), Plattsburgh, 2172.60, Emma Grace Dockery (n), Kent, Ohio, 2,160. 61, Jessica Aiezza (n), Mechanicville, 2,157. 62, Jessica Abel (n), Broadalbin, 2,075. 63, Kalynn Carl (n), Colony, 2.071. 64, Suzette Draper, Dumont, New Jersey, 2.068. 65, Renee Riffey (n), Glen Burnie, Maryland, 2.030. 66, Catie Bell, Parc Averill, 2.024.

300 games: Kelly kulick



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