Stefanie Johnson dominates PWBA Wichita Open to claim first PWBA title


    2015 PWBA Tour #4



    2015WBOWomenNo4KellyKulick.jpgStefanie Johnson (pictured above) of Grand Prairie, Texas, dominated the Professional Women's Bowling Association Wichita Open on Saturday, blasting the field in match play and taking the title in the stepladder finals.

    Johnson, an 11-time Team USA member, defeated Kelly Kulick (right) of Union, New Jersey, 247-221, in the championship match at Northrock Lanes to win her first career PWBA title.

    Needing a mark and good count in the final frame, Johnson stepped up and delivered a clutch strike to lock up the win.

    "After I threw that strike, I was holding back the tears because I knew I still had to make a couple more shots," said Johnson, who was the runner-up at last week's PWBA Lubbock Sports Open. "These are the moments you prepare for and it's amazing to make a good shot when you need one."

    Johnson relished the opportunity to be among the first group of champions since the PWBA Tour relaunched this year thanks to support from the bowling industry.

    2015PWBADianaZavjalova.jpg"This is surreal," Johnson said. "This is my generation's tour and to already have a title is incredible. I'm just so excited to have this opportunity."

    Leading up to the stepladder finals, the top 16 players bowled 16 games of round-robin match play and Johnson dominated the competition. She went 14-2 in her matches and averaged 234 over the 16 games to earn the top seed by 359 pins.

    Kulick entered the stepladder finals as the No. 3 seed and won her opening match against amateur Shannon Sellens of Copiague, New York, 246-172, before defeating Latvia's Diana Zavjalova (left), 216-206, in the semifinal.

    Johnson earned $10,000 for the title and a spot in the season-ending PWBA Tour Championship presented by, which will be contested in Arlington, Texas, in September.


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    PWBA Wichita Open - Stepladder Finals

    Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., United States (July 23-26, 2015)

    Championship Round:
    1, Stefanie Johnson, Grand Prairie, Texas, 247 (one game), $10,000
    2, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 683 (three games), $5,000
    3, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 206 (one game), $3,500
    4, Shannon Sellens, Copiague, N.Y., 172 (one game) $3,000

    Playoff Results:
    First Match: No. 3 Kulick def. No. 4 Sellens, 246-172
    Second Match: Kulick def. No. 2 Zavjalova, 216-206
    Championship: No. 1 Johnson def. Kulick, 247-221


    PWBA Wichita Open - Match Play Results

    Players with position, hometown/country, won-lost-tie record and 16-game total; 30 bonus pins for a win, 15 bonus pins for a tie; top four advance to the stepladder finals

    1, Stefanie Johnson, Grand Prairie, Texas, 14-2-0, 6,776
    2, Diana Zavjalova, Beavercreek, Ohio, 8-8-0, 6,417
    3, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 8-8-0, 6,403
    4, Shannon Sellens, Copiague, N.Y., 9-7-0, 6,190

    Missed Cut:
    5, Jazreel Tan, Singapore, 8-8-0, 6,165, $2,000
    6, Shannon O'Keefe, O'Fallon, Ill., 8-8-0, 6,162, $1,850
    7, Leanne Hulsenberg, North Ogden, Utah, 9-7-0, 6,135, $1,800
    8, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, 9-6-1, 6,115, $1,750
    9, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 8-6-2, 6,095, $1,700
    10, Daria Kovalova, Wichita, Kan., 8-8-0, 6,058, $1,650
    11, Bryanna Caldwell, Red Rock, Ariz., 5-10-1, 6,022, $1,550
    12, Jennifer Higgins, Westerville, Ohio, 8-8-0, 6,021, $1,500
    13, Amanda Greene, Romney, W. Va., 8-8-0, 6,014, $1,450
    14, Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 7-9-0, 5,961, $1,400
    15, Kayla Johnson, Washington, Ill., 6-10-0, 5,957, $1,350
    16, Sabrena Divis, Gillette, Wyo., 3-13-0, 5,708, $1,300