Asbaty, Current share early lead at USBC Queens


    United States

    AMF Carolina Lanes in Matthews, N.C. (April 28 - May 2, 2007)

    2007USBCQElysiaCurrent.jpg Just a week ago, Elysia Current of Ephrata, Pa., was leading the Wichita State women's team to a national championship. This week, she's looking to prove she can win as an individual as well.

    Current and Diandra Asbaty of Chicago shared the first-round lead Saturday in the 2007 United States Bowling Congress Queens at AMF Carolina Lanes, each totaling 1,189 for five games, an average of 237.8 per game, to lead a field of 344 of the top women bowlers in the world.

    Competing in the Queens for the first time, Current quickly proved she was one of the players to watch in the event. Fresh off helping the Shockers win the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships in Wichita, Kan., last week, she said she was prepared for the challenge.

    "After yesterday's practice session, I knew I'd shoot decent today but I didn't think I'd be on top, especially with this being my first Queens," said Current, a first-team collegiate All-American this season. "Competing against all these great women with all of the experience they have makes me want to bowl even better because I know I can compete with them."

    Current had games of 262, 256, 210, 215 and 246 and used a ball she wasn't expecting to throw.

    "In practice yesterday, I didn't even pick up the ball I threw today," she said. "I grabbed it this morning and I strung a few strikes together, so I stuck with it. It gets through the oil real well and it gave me the best line to the pocket."

    2007USBCQDiandraAsbaty.jpg Diandra Asbaty, a two-time U.S. Amateur champion and USBC Youth spokesperson who had games of 269, 234, 265, 189 and 232, had a few simple goals heading into Saturday's opening round.

    "Everyone's goal early is to get comfortable and understand what their bowling balls are going to do," said Asbaty, a nine-time Team USA member. "Making the right moves and getting settled in was what I wanted to do today. It doesn't matter where you qualify, what matters is getting to match play and winning matches."

    Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colo., sits just six pins back of the leaders with 1,183 while Julie Jackson of Rural Hall, N.C., is fourth with 1,152. Cheryl Daniels of West Bloomfield, Mich., is fifth at 1,147 and the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, Lynda Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, is sixth with 1,144.

    Sharon Koh is the best of seven players from Malaysia in seventh place with 1,142. Rounding out the top 10 are former PWBA stars Dede Davidson of Buellton, CA, 1,117; Anne Marie Duggan of Edmond, OK, 1,115; and Michelle Feldman of Skaneateles, NY, 1,111.

    All athletes bowl five more games of qualifying Sunday before the first cut is made. The top 100 bowlers will advance to compete in five additional games Monday morning before cutting to the top 63 plus defending champion Shannon Pluhowsky of Phoenix.

    The remaining 64 athletes compete in three-game, double-elimination match play on Monday and Tuesday. The tournament concludes with the top five bowlers (four from the winners bracket and the contenders bracket champion) facing off live on ESPN2 in the stepladder finals Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern.

    In addition to the live telecast of the Queens, the event is also scheduled to be re-aired on May 20 at 1 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. Tickets for the live broadcast on May 2 are $10 and can be purchased at AMF Carolina Lanes or Northcross Lanes in Huntersville, N.C.

    The USBC Queens, which features an overall prize fund of $200,000 with $30,000 going to the champion, is presented by Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus Hotel/Casinos in Reno, Nev., and is sponsored by Kegel, the official lane maintenance provider for USBC.

    Qualifying - First Round (five games)