July 28, 2008 19:00
Last year, the U.S. Women's Open, a United States
Bowling Congress event, was held for the first time since 2003, and Liz
Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., capped off the tournament's return with a
win over Team USA member Shannon O'Keefe of Brookfield, Wis.
Johnson will look to defend her title this week at Brunswick Zone XL in
Romeoville, Ill., where a field of more than 170 of the best women
bowlers in the world will battle for one of the most prestigious titles
in bowling at the 2008 U.S. Women's Open.
Players will compete in four eight-game qualifying blocks over four days
beginning Aug. 1. The field then will be cut to the top 16, who will
compete in ESPN-taped television matches on Aug. 5 and 6. The winner
will take home a $25,000 first prize (based on 200 entries). Official
practice sessions will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
"I just felt like I was in a really good place, like nobody was even
around me out there," said Johnson, who also won the 1996 U.S. Women's
Open. "Once I stepped out on the lanes, I felt aggressive and focused. I
hadn't felt that good in a very long time. Everything just felt like it
fell into place for me. Physically, I felt great, and mentally, nothing
really mattered except putting it to the pins."
Johnson has made her mark not just in topflight women's bowling, but
also in professional bowling overall. In 2005, she became the first
woman to win a Professional Bowlers Association regional tournament and
finished in second place at a Denny's PBA Tour stop, the highest finish
by a woman in a Tour event.
The qualifying portion of the 2008 U.S. Women's Open also will serve a
second purpose. In addition to competing for the coveted U.S. Women's
Open crown, participants who register for the PBA Women's Tour Trials
will have the opportunity to qualify for the seven-event PBA Women's
Series, which will run in conjunction with PBA Tour events this fall.
The top 12 finishers in the Women's Tour Trials will earn exemptions for
the PBA Women's Series and join last year's Women's Series winners
Diandra Asbaty, Shannon Pluhowsky, Joy Esterson and Carolyn
Dorin-Ballard to make up the 16-player field.
The championship match of all PBA Women's Series events will be
televised as part of the ESPN telecasts for the seven Denny's PBA Tour
Those players competing in the Women's Series will be required to become
PBA members, but will only have to join PBA once they qualify.
U.S. Women's Open and the PBA Women's Series Tour Trials entries will be
accepted until the start of practice Thursday at 6 p.m.
The entry fee for the U.S. Women's Open is $250 with an additional $750
entry fee (to be paid on site) for those who choose to enter the Tour
Trials. Entry information may be obtained by calling (800) 514-2695,
ext. 3173 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
Admission for qualifying rounds, Aug. 1-4 (8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.) is $10
per day, while the quarterfinals on Aug. 5 (6 p.m. and 8 p.m.) and Aug.
6 (Noon and 2 p.m.) will be $15. Tickets for the finals on Aug. 6 (8
p.m.) are $25.
Tickets for qualifying rounds are available at the door, while tickets
for quarterfinals and finals may also be purchased at Brunswick Zone XL
or by calling (630) 378-2695.
For tournament information and standings, please visit bowl.com.
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