Semifinalists determined at The Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship


    2015 PWBA Tour #11

    PWBA Player of the Year race also will be determined during Sunday's championship round

    2015PWBALogo2.jpg Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, New York, Stefanie Johnson of Grand Prairie, Texas, Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, advanced to the championship round of The Smithfield Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour Championship promoted by on Friday.

    The semifinal matches will feature Liz Johnson squaring off against McEwan and Stefanie Johnson taking on Kulick at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas. The winners will advance to the finals and face off for the major title and $20,000 top prize.

    The championship round will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

    Liz Johnson and Stefanie Johnson automatically were seeded into the semifinals as the top two players on the PWBA point list, while McEwan and Kulick battled their way through the best-of-five single-elimination bracket Friday.

    2015PWBATourLizJohnson.jpgLiz Johnson (pictured left), a USBC Hall of Famer, led the tour in points, earnings and wins on her way into the semifinals. She kicked off the year by capturing her second United States Bowling Congress Queens title and has won the last two events leading into the Tour Championship, including defending her title at last week's Bowlmor AMF U.S. Women's Open, her fourth career win at the event.

    "It's been a dream season for me, and I never would have imagined having three titles this year with two majors," said Liz Johnson, who also won the PWBA Detroit Open in August.

    2015PWBATourStefanieJohnson.jpg"I'm happy to be back in the finals and am going to try to make the best showing I can. I've been very fortunate and lucky to have the career I've had in the last 19 years, and this would be another great accomplishment."

    Stefanie Johnson (right), winner of the PWBA Wichita Open in July, earned her spot in the semifinals as one of the most consistent performers throughout the season, leading the tour in cashes and match-play appearances.

    2015PWBATourDanielleMcEwan.jpgMcEwan (left), the No. 5 seed, had the longest trip through the bracket of the four finalists, but cruised through each of her three matches as she nearly averaged 230 on Friday. She swept Elysia Current of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and Liz Kuhlkin of Schenectady, New York, 3-0, before besting Shannon O'Keefe of O'Fallon, Illinois, 3-1, to advance to the semifinals.

    "I was trying to make good shots since every lane was playing completely different and I had to be constantly on top of the moves," said McEwan, who will make her fourth championship round appearance of 2015.

    2015PWBATourKellyKulick.jpg"This year has been really amazing. I had a rough start to the season, so I figured that would have taken me out of having the chance to be here. I took being here as a bonus, and I think that helped me. The pressure was off and I was just able to bowl. That's how I'm going to approach Sunday."

    Kulick (right), who earned a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed, defeated Erin McCarthy of Omaha, Nebraska, 3-1, before winning the final three games against Rocio Restrepo of Colombia to make her sixth championship round appearance of the season, 3-2. Kulick, the PWBA spokesperson, still is looking for her first title of the year.

    The PWBA Player of the Year race also will be determined during Sunday's championship round. Stefanie Johnson will need to win the Tour Championship to earn the award, otherwise Liz Johnson will take home the honor for the first time in her storied career.

    PWBA members qualified for the Tour Championship by either winning a title during the 2015 season or earning enough competition points. All 2015 PWBA Tour champions (who were members at the time of their victory) received an automatic invitation to the Tour Championship, and the remainder of the 16-player field was filled out through the PWBA points list.


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    The Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship - Match Play Results

    Best-of-five, single-elimination match play

    Round 1 (Losers eliminated, earn $1,000):
    (9) Shannon O'Keefe, O'Fallon, Ill., def. (12) Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 3-0
    (258-179, 218-201, 211-191)
    (5) Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., def. (16) Elysia Current, Ephrata, Pa., 3-0
    (248-160, 237-225, 212-202)
    (14) Liz Kuhlkin, Schenectady, N.Y., def. (7) Kristina Wendell, Kingston, N.Y., 3-0
    (192-164, 181-143, 205-176)
    (15) Amanda Greene, Romney, W.Va., def. (6) Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 3-2
    (187-213, 177-235, 207-153, 215-183, 216-204)
    (8) Rocio Restrepo, Colombia, def. (13) Bryanna Caldwell, Red Rock, Ariz., 3-1
    (198-188, 200-167, 185-238, 183-182)
    (10) Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., def. (11) Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 3-2
    (179-148, 212-175, 174-205, 162-182, 205-159)

    Round 2 (Losers eliminated, earn $2,000):
    O'Keefe def. (4) Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 3-1 (207-224, 204-184, 257-172, 225-220)
    McEwan def. Kuhlkin, 3-0 (251-185, 190-177, 234-203)
    Restrepo def. Greene, 3-2 (212-224, 219-189, 189-138, 181-200, 190-164)
    (3) Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., def. McCarthy, 3-1 (166-207, 178-167, 199-182, 219-149)

    Round 3 (Losers eliminated, earn $3,000):
    McEwan def. O'Keefe, 3-1 (180-259, 246-190, 238-224, 256-214)
    Kulick def. Restrepo, 3-2 (183-220, 206-223, 211-204, 235-187, 196-171)

    (Matches take place Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern live on CBS Sports Network; winners meet for the title)
    (1) Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y. vs. McEwan
    (2) Stefanie Johnson, Grand Prairie, Texas vs. Kulick.