The PBA Women’s Series Tour Trials qualifying culminated on Monday at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open, and produced one of the youngest field of PBA Women’s Series bowlers ever.
Four of the 12 bowlers vying for a spot on the Tour are rookies who will be joining the four veterans and four players Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Joy Esterson, Shannon Pluhowsky and Diandra Asbaty who earned exemptions based on their championship victories last season.
In addition to the U.S. Women's Open, 50 participants elected to pay a separate entry fee and use their U.S. Women's Open qualifying scores in the PBA Women's Tour Trials. The top 12 players who entered advanced to the PBA Women's Series, which will feature seven events conducted alongside Denny's PBA Tour stops this season.
PBA Women’s Series players for the 2008-09 season will include: Dorin-Ballard, Esterson, Pluhowsky, Asbaty, Trisha Reid, Brenda Mack, Shalin Zulkifil, Stefanie Nation, Clara Guerrero, Michelle Feldman, Tennelle Milligan, Jodi Woessner, Jen Petrick, Adrienne Miller, Shannon O’Keefe and Missy Bellinder.
Rookie and sole left-hander in today’s field, Trisha Reid of Columbus, Ohio, led the points race for the PBA Women’s Series Tour Trials. She also finished second in U.S. Women’s Open Qualifying.
“This is my first year bowling both the Women’s Series and U.S. Open so I’m really excited,” Reid said. “I knew I had a good chance of making the top 12 (of PBA Tour Trials), but I didn’t think I would lead it. At one point, I shot a 250, then I had a second 250, and I realized I’m really going to make it.”
Tested by four tough lane conditions over four days, the field for the ESPN-televised Round of 16 was also determined Monday at the 2008 U.S. Women's Open, a United States Bowling Congress event.
Dorin-Ballard held onto the top qualifier spot after 32 games with 6,963, an average of 217.59, and leads the field of 16 players who advanced. Dorin-Ballard led for the third consecutive day at Brunswick Zone XL.
"Up until today, I hadn't missed an easy spare, and I missed four in my first four games today," Dorin-Ballard said. "To not miss any spares for three days is huge, and that was really the big difference for me."
The final 16 players will be placed into a one-game, single-elimination bracket, and all remaining rounds will be televised by ESPN for five consecutive Sundays beginning Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Dorin-Ballard was joined at the top of the leader board by Reid who finished second with 6,840. Kristal Wilson of Lawrence, Kan., was third with 6,785, while Asbaty of Chicago was fourth with 6,780.
Other players advancing to the quarterfinals were: No. 5 seed Mack of Indianapolis; No. 6 Zulkifli of Malaysia; No. 7 Nation of Miami; No. 8 Guerrero of Colombia; No. 9 Amanda Burgoyne of Greenfield, Wis.; No. 10 Feldman of Skaneateles, N.Y.; No. 11 Milligan of Costa Mesa, Calif.; No. 12 Kim Terrell of Dover, Del.; No. 13 Maxine Nable of Australia; No. 14 Woessner of Oregon, Ohio; No. 15 Petrick of Canton, Ohio; No. 16 Miller of Albuquerque, N.M.
"The talent out here this year is one of the best pools of talent I have seen in years at a women's event," Dorin-Ballard said. "Players are getting better coaching, competing collegiately and there are more opportunities to bowl in PBA Experience leagues on the patterns we faced this week. People aren't just throwing the ball down the lane anymore, they are learning how to bowl. That makes a huge difference."
For more information on the U.S. Women's Open, including stories, photos and complete results, visit bowl.com.