February 21, 2007 19:00
On the highest scoring pattern on the Denny’s PBA Tour, Kelly Kulick showed she can more than keep up with the men.
Kulick, the first woman to earn a full-season exemption on the Denny’s PBA Tour, averaged 246.21 over her 14 games Thursday to finish sixth in the 2007 Bayer Classic Round of 64 at Emerson Lanes.
The 29-year-old finished sixth out of 140 bowlers at last summer’s Denny’s PBA Tour Trials to earn one 10 exemptions given out that week. She has struggled in her rookie season, making matching play just three times in 15 events coming into this week and is 54th in the PBA World Point Rankings. She needs to finish in the top 40 – or win a title – to stay exempt for next season.
Kulick started with a bang Thursday, firing a 299 in the first game. She sat 18th after the first seven games, but averaged 253.43 over the final seven with no games under 230 to move up to sixth.
“I had two bad games today, one was just a bad pair (of lanes) and the other I missed two spares so that was my fault,” said Kulick (Union, N.J.). “Tonight I came out and the lanes were different than the first block but I made a good ball choice and I was very aggressive with my ball speed. I threw a couple bad shots and got some good breaks, I must admit.”
Kulick will have the unenviable task of facing all-time Denny’s PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the Round of 32. Williams was 50th after the first seven games, but averaged 244.29 over the final seven to finish 27th.
Leading the field with a 3,507 14-game pinfall and a 250.50 average was Andrew Cain (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Cain is bowling in just his fifth Tour event as a PBA member but has already posted two top-eight finishes, including a TV appearance and a fourth-place finish in the 2007 Dick Weber Open in his first career event.
Cain will face No. 32 Dave D’Entremont (Middleburg Heights, Ohio), who fired a 240 in the final game to edge out Chris Barnes (Double Oak, Texas) by 10 pins for the final spot in match play.
Last week’s Go RVing Classic winner Patrick Allen (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) finished third and will face No. 30 Mike Wolfe (New Albany, Ind.)
The Round of 32 gets underway Friday at 9 a.m. EST, followed by the Round of 16 at 2 p.m. and the Round of 8 at 7 p.m.
The top four bowlers will advance to Sunday’s live ESPN televised finals at 12:30 p.m. EST at Emerson Lanes. The winner will take home $25,000 and a one-season Denny’s PBA Tour exemption.
300 Games (8) - Parker Bohn III, Jason Couch, Tommy Delutz Jr., Mike DeVaney, Patrick Girard, Chris Hayden, Riga Kalfas, Mike Mineman.
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