SEMINOLE, Fla. – A high-scoring week at Seminole Lanes became a much more difficult test in the stepladder finals of the Pepsi PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open on Saturday.
But No. 5 seed Diana Zavjalova of Latvia was able to fight through to win her opening match, then climbed the stepladder to capture her third PWBA title with a 201-158 victory over top-seed Daria Pajak of Poland.
The finals of the Pepsi PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open, which had five bowlers who are all in their 20s, were televised live on CBS Sports Network.
Zavjalova, who celebrated her 27th birthday on Wednesday, admitted that after a high-scoring week, she didn’t know what to expect with the finals on a pair of lanes not used during the week.
“I was nervous,” Zavjalova said. “I didn’t throw it well in the first game. Once I got through the first game, I got more comfortable, kept moving left and the other girls were struggling. I just kept moving left and just got more comfortable as the games went on.”
An early double in the title match helped Zavjalova to an 18-pin lead after six frames, and when Pajak, 25, missed a single-pin spare attempt for the second time in the match, Zavjalova simply continued to make her spares.
“I did not see the right shape, and when I threw it good, I didn’t carry,” Pajak said. “I tried to make adjustments, and that’s when I threw bad shots. And you cannot win when you miss two spares.”
In the semifinal match against Liz Kuhlkin, 24, of Schenectady, New York, Zavjalova was in a groove, striking on six of her first seven shots. Kuhlkin, who ran the stepladder to win the U.S. Women’s Open in June, managed only two strikes in the 225-157 loss.
Zavjalova had missed two spare attempts in the opening five frames of her second match against Jordan Richard, 22, of Tipton, Michigan. After a missed 10-pin spare attempt in the fifth frame, Zavjalova did not miss anything the rest of the match, finishing with seven consecutive strikes in a 226-172 victory.
“I hate missing spares,” Zavjalova said. “Once I missed, I sat down, decided to start fresh and said ‘Let’s do this.’”
In the opening match, Zavjalova slipped past Verity Crawley, 24, of England, 185-168, in a match that took some big momentum swings in the final frames. Zavjalova had a 10-pin lead entering the ninth frame, but left the 2-4-10 on her first shot and could not convert.
Crawley, with a chance to clear the deficit, hit the pocket only to leave the 7-10 split. Zavjalova struck on her first shot in the final frame to clinch.
For Zavjalova, winning the title meant going through Crawley in the opening match and Pajak in the title match. The three were teammates at Webber International and travel together on the PWBA Tour.
“We’ve known each other for a long time and I love the girls more than anything,” Zavjalova said. “But it’s really tough to bowl against them. I’m happy that I won, but Verity and Daria bowled amazing all week. That’s the beauty of the game – it comes down to one game in the finals and it worked in my favor.”
The Pepsi PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open is the first of three elite-field events that will take place in August. Following the U.S. Women’s Open, the top 24 players on the PWBA points list earned their way into the elite-field events with the remainder of the 32-player field determined through a pre-tournament qualifier (PTQ).
Players had 16 games of qualifying on Friday before the field was cut to the top 12. Six additional games on Saturday morning determined the five players for the stepladder finals.
HOUSTON, Texas (July 29, 2018) – EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., and Liz Johnson of Palatine, Ill., survived a dramatic final game to win the 19th PBA-PWBA Storm Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles title at Copperfield Bowl Sunday, sending Australia’s Jason Belmonte and Chicago’s Diandra Asbaty to their second straight runner-up finish.
Tackett, PBA’s 2016 Player of the Year, and Johnson, one of two women ever to win a PBA Tour title, led the tournament through 17 games before being overtaken by Belmonte and Asbaty. Trailing Belmonte and Asbaty by 10 pins going into the final match, victory in the tournament was going to be decided by whichever team won the game.
Thanks in great part to a bold move by Johnson to move to an extreme outside angle on the left lane while continuing to play an inside angle along with the rest of the field on the right lane, she gave her team the edge with a 212-192 margin over Asbaty. Tackett was unable to strike in his 10th frame, but Belmonte, needing a double for the win, left a 10 pin on his first shot in his 10th frame. While Belmonte out-scored Tackett, 214-208, but it wasn’t quite enough. Tackett and Johnson, bowling as partners for the first time in the event, won the final match, 420-406, and earned 30 match play bonus pins to post a composite 20-game total of 8,797 pins to win by a 34-pin margin.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Tackett, who earned his 11th PBA Tour title and second of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. “I’m so happy for Liz. I’m so proud to be part of this win. There was not a single person in this building who could have done what she did in that last game. It was absolutely amazing watching her play outside on one lane, inside on the other.
“There are only two people in the world who can do what Liz did – her and Norm Duke. That’s one reason she is the greatest woman bowler of all-time.”
“I’m pretty numb,” Johnson said of her 20th PWBA title. “It’s taken me 17 years to win here. People say ‘You’ve won everything,’ but this is a major title to me. I’m so proud. This is my favorite tournament of the year.
“This has always been an event unlike any we bowl all year and it’s getting bigger and bigger,” she added. “When I started bowling this event I think I was one of the only ones coming from out of town. Now players come from all over the country and all over the world.”
Announced during Bowl Expo, Turbo reaches agreement with Ebonite International to become “The Official Grip of Demo Days”.
Demo Day events give bowlers an opportunity to try the latest product from Columbia 300, Ebonite, Hammer and Track before making a purchase. Demo Day balls will feature Turbo Switch Grip products, the #1 Interchangeable Insert Worldwide.
“Any time you have two industry leaders come to an agreement of this magnitude, it’s a win for the bowlers,” David Wodka, Global Marketing Manager for Ebonite International, said.
“Creating a defined partnership with the brands of Ebonite International was an easy decision,” said Lori Mraz, President of Turbo. “The EBI demo program allows us to showcase our line of insert products, including the tremendously popular Switch Grip.”
Wodka said bowlers who may not be familiar with the Turbo Switch Grip will benefit from being able to test-drive it while trying EBI’s latest product.
“The EBI team puts a lot of effort into their demo program and we’re delighted to help support,” said Mraz. “These events continue to be a great opportunity for consumers try new bowling balls before they actually buy.”
As part of the agreement, Turbo will have a display of finger and thumb insert products at all EBI Demo Days, including the one held in conjunction with Junior Gold, as well as other sponsored events by local retailers. For a schedule of events go to, http://www.ebibowling.com/demo-days
USBC COACHING CERTIFICATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The USBC Coaching Certification and Development Department’s main focus is to provide coaches of all levels with the materials necessary to give them the best opportunities for coaching.
USBC is the only coaching program for bowling recognized by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and we are continuously working to build a stronger relationship with proprietors, pro shop operators and bowlers.
USBC COACHING CERTIFICATION – BRONZE
To take the USBC Coaching Bronze course, individuals first must successfully complete Level I certification.
A Bronze class is intermediate level training designed to increase coaching skills and professionalism. This certification is recommended for high school coaches.
The Bronze certification conference focuses on coaching fundamentals and covers:
Prerequisites: Must be at least 16 years of age and a USBC Level I coach. United States citizens 18 or older will not receive access to tests until they have been approved through the Registered Volunteer Program (RVP). RVP is a background check to help ensure a safe environment for USBC youth members and everyone involved. For more information on RVP, go to www.bowl.com
Fees: $295 (includes all materials). Register at www.bowl.com
More for High School Bowlers and College Coaches
Chesterfield, Michigan – February 19, 2018 – Turbo Bowling Accessories is inviting the next generation of bowling stars to hone in on their skills during Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo VIII this July in Fort Worth, Texas.
Bowlers from all over the United States and several foreign countries will descend on North Texas from July 8-11 to receive instruction from professional athletes, world-class coaches, and industry experts. Session topics include equipment and arsenal choices, the physical game, spare shooting and the mental game.
Collegiate Expo gives high school students the opportunity to interact with college coaches, and learn more about the recruiting experience. The event attracts collegiate bowling coaches from all across the country, giving attendees the opportunity to meet coaches and discuss scholarship opportunities.
Seminars are also offered for parents and coaches. This year, long-time sponsor Dexter has stepped up as sponsor of The Coaches Round Table. Dexter Bowling president Tyler Jensen says Collegiate Expo is an incredible opportunity for all who attend. “Turbo does a tremendous job of conducting the Collegiate Expo,” he said. “The Round Table discussions will give us a chance to really get to know the coaches, and relate to the high school bowlers.”
Jensen says that Collegiate Expo is a chance to share the importance of footwear in the sport of bowling. “Our shoes are for everybody,” said Jensen. “The key for us is to make sure bowlers are in the proper shoe, with the proper fit, style and slide for top performance.”
Turbo has also announced that Ballard’s Bowing Academy and XBowling are the newest sponsors for the eighth edition of Collegiate Expo.
Owned and operated by long-time Turbo Staff member and Regional Sales Manager, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard and PBA Hall of Famer Del Ballard Jr., the Academy’s presence will enhance an already strong list of participating coaches. “Collegiate Expo is such a perfect fit for us to participate,” said Dorin-Ballard, a USBC and PWBA Hall of Famer. “We see such a need for education, especially on the youth level. So we’re happy to be involved in such a great event.”
Sports Challenge Network’s XBowling allows bowlers to use league scores to compete in daily and weekly contests, all from their smartphones.
Logo Infusion will again act as presenting sponsor for the 6-Game Audition Tournament, which gives students an opportunity to perform in front of a captive audience of coaches for scholarship prizes.
“Events like the Collegiate Expo simply aren’t possible without industry support,” said Lori Mraz, president of Turbo Bowling Accessories. “We’re honored that the greatest brands in bowling have joined us, and are firmly committed to developing youth athletes in our sport.”
Sponsors for Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo include: Ballard’s Bowling Academy, The Bowl4Life Foundation, Bowlers Journal, The Bowlers to Veterans Link, Bowlingball.com, Brunswick, Classic Products, Columbia 300, Dexter, DV8, Ebonite, 900 Global, Hammer, Kegel, KidsBowlFree, KR Strikeforce, Logo Infusion, Motiv, On the Ball Bowling, Professional Bowlers Association, Roto Grip, Storm, Track, Turbo, Metro Detroit USBC, UCanBowl2 and XBowling.
Students attending Collegiate Expo VIII should be enrolled in High School grades 10-12 for 2017-2018 school year, or be a 2018 graduate. A minimum entering average for boys of 190 and girls of 175 is suggested for greatest recruiting consideration. Registration for the Collegiate Expo is limited to the first 210 students with paid registration. Registration deadline is April 30, 2018.
For more information and to register on-line, visit www.TurboGrips.com
About 2-N-1 Grips/Turbo Brand Bowling Accessories
Developed as the original 2-N-1™ Grip in 1989, Turbo™ Bowling Accessories has grown to become one of the best and most innovative companies in the bowling industry. Turbo is respected worldwide as a company committed to giving back to the community, and improving the sport on all levels with top quality grip and accessory products; and exceptional service to distributors, pro shops, and bowlers everywhere.
Turbo Bowling Accessories announced that E.J. Tackett, Tom Daugherty and Daria Pajak will be joining their Franchise Player Staff for 2018.
The trio will use and promote the company’s bowling products on the PBA and PWBA tours, as well as participate in coaching and teaching seminars throughout the world.
“Turbo takes great pride in our elite and select team of player representatives,” said Lori Mraz, president of Turbo Bowling Accessories. “Our team members are held in the highest regard and have been chosen to represent the traditions and values of our brand.”
Tackett, Huntington, Ind., owns nine titles on the PBA Tour, including a pair of Major titles. He followed up his 2016 campaign as Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year by winning the Firelake Tournament of Champions, along with three additional Tour titles.
“I’m truly excited to be on board with Turbo,” said Tackett, the 2012-13 PBA Rookie of the Year. “I’ve been using grips for years now, and Turbo Grips fit me better than anything else.”
Tackett says that signing with Turbo goes beyond just using their products in competition. He says that Turbo’s efforts to develop and grow youth bowling were a big plus for him.
“Not only do I get to use great products, but I get the opportunity to participate in clinics and seminars that Turbo operates,” Tackett said. “I want to do more with youth bowling and getting more kids involved in our sport. That’s how bowling is going to thrive and survive. Being associated with Turbo allows me to be a part of the change.”
Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., owns a pair of PBA titles to go along with 13 PBA Regional Tour wins. He says that Turbo’s team concept was a major factor in his signing.
“My success on the PBA Tour is directly related to the teams that I surround myself with,” said Daugherty. “The better my teams get, the better I bowl. The people at Turbo gave me the feeling that they wanted me to be part of the team as much as I wanted to be on the team.”
Off the lanes, Daugherty operates a pair of bowling pro shops. He says his association with Turbo is also a smart decision for his businesses.
“The quality of Turbo gear is second to none,” Daugherty said. “Signing with Turbo gives me the confidence in knowing that I have the best grips in my bowling balls. As a pro shop owner I can now offer the best products to my customers.”
Pajak, from Pila, Poland, found success in her first year on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour. Her season included a pair of TV appearances and her first win at the Greater Detroit Open. Pajak led the PWBA Tour with three perfect games in 2017, two of which came at the U.S. Women’s Open. She was the top seed for the stepladder finals before losing to fellow Turbo staffer Liz Johnson, 188-176 in the final match.
Tackett, Daugherty and Pajak join a Franchise Tour staff at Turbo that includes DJ Archer, Diandra Asbaty, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Josh Blanchard, Ryan Ciminelli, Andres Gomez, Leanne Hulsenberg, AJ Johnson, Liz Johnson, Marshall Kent, Danielle McEwan, Matt McNiel, Shannon Pluhowsky, Ronnie Russell, Stuart Williams and Diana Zavjolova. These members join Lifetime Team Turbo Staff Members Jason Couch, Ted Hannahs, Mika Koivuniemi, Johnny Petraglia and Guppy Troup.
“Leaders and innovators, our team is passionate and persevering,” said Mraz. “We’re delighted to welcome the return of many loyal staff members and tour veterans as well as some exciting new additions to the team.”
Turbo employs over 400 staff members worldwide which include other National, Regional and International Staff members. Many Regional Staff Contracts are awarded to Turbo Xtreme Dealers which own, operate or are affiliated with a bowling retail store in the US or Canada. Xtreme renewal and enrollment starts up in February 2018. For details on the program or for a complete listing of Turbo Player Staff Representatives visit www.turbogrips.com.
PLANO, Texas – United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Liz Johnson of Deerfield, Illinois, just bought a house and is in the process of permanently relocating from New York to Illinois, and she’ll now need to make some room in her new place for a couple more trophies.
The 43-year-old right-hander defeated Poland’s Daria Pajak, 188-176, to win the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open at Plano Super Bowl on Sunday, marking the fourth
consecutive time, and sixth time in her career, she has claimed the coveted green jacket.
The win, which was broadcast live on CBS Sports Network, was the record 10th major victory of her career and second of the season. She earned $20,000 for the win, and Pajak took home $10,000 for the runner-up finish.
The two-time reigning Professional Women’s Bowling Association Player of the Year, Johnson won the Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship in June and also claimed a standard PWBA title earlier in the year at the 2017 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open.
USBC Hall of Famer Marion Ladewig won the U.S. Women’s Open a record eight times, including five straight, starting with the inaugural edition in 1949.
On the way to the win Sunday, Johnson threw two doubles to stay head of Pajak, who rolled a pair perfect games and averaged more than 229 this week to earn the top seed for the championship round.
Johnson needed just two pins in her final frame to secure the win and sealed it with a six-count on her first delivery.
She now is a formal trophy presentation away from her third consecutive PWBA Player of the Year award, which is based on competition points from the 13 of the season’s 14 events.
“It’s probably cliché, but it’s a dream-come-true season,” said Johnson, who was the runner-up to Latvia’s Diana Zavjalova at the 2017 USBC Queens in May. “I never could’ve thought about winning two majors and finishing second in the third one, along with the possibility of a third player of the year, and I can’t put into words the season I’ve had. With all the talent we have out here on the Tour, to be in the position I’m in is the best feeling in the world.”
Johnson entered Sunday’s live TV finals as the No. 5 seed and defeated four talented young players to climb the ladder for the second consecutive year.
“Climbing up the ladder always is tough, and a couple of times I thought there was no way it was going to happen,” Johnson said. “I was close early and then found my look, but in the third match, I lost my feel a little bit. I had to take a step back mentally, take some deep breaths and just focus on making better shots. It was a little more of a grind today than we saw during the week, and that’s when experience really helps. Sometimes, you have to expect the unexpected.”
Pajak was looking to become the first international player since 1982 to win the U.S. Women’s Open. Japan’s Shinobu Saitoh was the first and only other to do so, defeating USBC Hall of Famer Robin Romeo, who went on to win the event in 1989.
Pajak is in contention for the 2017 PWBA Rookie of the Year Award, which will be decided at the season-ending Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship, the fourth major on the 2017 PWBA Tour schedule and an invitation-only event that features eligible champions and the top point-earners from the current season.
The 24-year-old right-hander earned a spot in the PWBA Tour Championship with a win at the recent PWBA Greater Detroit Open, the first title of her PWBA career.
“I lost to the best bowler in the world, ever,” Pajak said. “Liz is probably – not probably, she is the best bowler in the world. I could never take advantage of the fact she was missing a little bit. I’m upset that at the time I really needed to carry, I didn’t, because I felt that could have changed the game. I don’t like losing in the ninth frame, but it is what it is.”
On the way to the seventh U.S. Women’s Open championship match of her career, Johnson needed to fill 15 pins in her final frame to get past Team USA member Erin McCarthy of Omaha, Nebraska.
Johnson left, and converted, the 3-6 combination on her first offering and then tossed a crossover strike to earn a spot in the final by a 199-195 margin.
Throughout match play this week at Plano Super Bowl, McCarthy suffered from severe back spasms and was unable to sit during the match.
She led by 26 pins after five frames, before missing a 3-10 split in the sixth frame slowed her momentum and allowed Johnson to take the lead with strikes in frames seven through nine.
The semifinal between Johnson and McCarthy was rematch of the title tilt at the 2015 Queens, where Johnson defeated McCarthy, the top seed, to win her second Queens tiara.
Prior to meeting with McCarthy, Johnson found herself down nine pins at the halfway point of her match against Canada’s Valerie Bercier, but she tossed six consecutive strikes, starting in the fifth frame, to outdistance the former University of Nebraska standout, 255-223.
The day’s opening match featured just seven strikes between the two players, but nine consecutive clean frames from Johnson to start helped her sneak past Nicole Trudell of Bridgeport, Connecticut, 191-178.
Back-to-back splits from Trudell in the seventh and eighth frames, including a 7-10 in the latter, proved to be her undoing, despite Johnson leaving, and missing, a split of her own in the final frame.
The 2017 U.S. Women’s Open started with 114 competitors, who each bowled 24 games of qualifying over three days before the field was cut to the top 38 for Friday’s eight-game cashers’ round.
The 32-game pinfall totals determined the 24 bowlers for match play, while their 56-game totals, including 30 bonus pins for each win, decided the five players for the TV show. There were 10 perfect games this week, with Pajak (two) and Johnson among them.
The championship round of the U.S. Women’s Open was one of four finals contested Sunday at Plano Super Bowl.
The finals of the 2017 PWBA Orlando Open, PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open and Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open were taped for broadcast on CBS Sports Network on Aug. 15, Aug. 22 and Aug. 29, respectively.
All qualifying and match play rounds of the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open were broadcast live on XtraFrame, the online bowling channel of the Professional Bowlers Association.