After Kelly Kulick's "annus mirabilis" or year of wonders in 2010 when she won the TOC, the Queens, the U.S. Women's Open, the Malaysian Open, and a PBA regional, expectations for her may have soared to impossible heights this season, only to see her unsuccessfully defend her TOC and Queens titles. However, she did dominate her Women's Team USA teammates on all four sport patterns at last month's Pan Am trials, just as she is dominating the qualifying rounds of the 2011 U.S. Women's Open.
In fact, she put on a spectacular performance yesterday by shooting games of 278, 247, 279, 258, 238, 268, 277, and 255 for a blistering 2100 series and 262.5 average for eight games.
Yes, I know the lanes aren't especially challenging for a U.S. Women's Open, but I don't care how "easy" they are, Kelly Kulick bowled great to do what she did, and she is the best female bowler on the planet. And she was already leading by an appreciable margin after 16 games, but her block yesterday rocketed her to a commanding lead over second place Shannon Pluhowski after the end of yesterday's third round and overall total of 24 games.
This morning, the top 32 qualifiers bowled 8 games to determine who made the cut to the top 16, and tonight those select bowlers will bowl 8 games of match play followed by 8 more games tomorrow to decide the top 5 for Thursday night's stepladder finals that will be televised on delay Saturday, July 2 at 6 PM Eastern on ESPN2.
Click here for a wrap up of yesterday's action, and look below for video of all three squads yesterday.