Kulick ready for tough task of defending USBC Queens title

    04/19/08

    USBC Queens

    2007USBCQKellyKulickChampion.jpg Even without a professional women's bowling tour, defending United States Bowling Congress Queens champion Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., says the fields are getting stronger each year in the few major women's events that remain.

    Kulick will take on a tough field of more than 300 of the best women bowlers in the world when she attempts to defend her Queens title (pictured left after her victory last year) starting April 26 at Super Bowl Lanes in the Detroit suburb of Canton, Mich. The finals of the event will be televised live from Skore Lanes in Taylor, Mich., by ESPN2 on April 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern.

    "I believe the fields today are stronger than they used to be with international bowlers coming over and the incredible number of tough collegiate bowlers," said Kulick, a current Team USA member. "There are so many talented players that there are no easy matches in the Queens anymore. It's a tough road to the top, and hopefully I'll be prepared enough."

    Heading into last year's Queens, Kulick was by far the most tested and practiced player in the field. She had just come off an historic season in which she was the first woman to earn an exemption on the Denny's Professional Bowlers Association Tour and was as sharp as she had ever been in her bowling career.

    "Bowling on the men's tour for a full season gave me a lot of on-lane preparation," said Kulick, who will automatically be seeded into match play as defending champion. "I don't feel like I've spent as much time on the lanes leading up to this year's Queens, but mentally I feel like I'm ready. I've taken the last few months to get in the gym and train. Hopefully, I'll be able to get to the point I was at last year and walk into those shoes to find the same level of success."

    Should Kulick come away with another victory, she would become just the fifth woman to successfully defend a Queens title, joining Katsuko Sugimoto (1981, 1982), Donna Adamek (1979, 1980), Dorothy Fathergill (1972, 1973) and Mildred Ignizio (1970-71). Kulick also would become the seventh woman with multiple Queens titles.

    The Queens kicks off with 10 qualifying games over two days before the field is cut to the top 100 for five additional qualifying games. The top 63 then advance to join Kulick in double-elimination match play, which begins at 1 p.m. April 28. The final five players will advance to the televised stepladder finals.

    The qualifying and match play portions of the Queens at Super Bowl Lanes are open to the public at no charge. A limited number of tickets for the televised finals at Skore Lanes will be sold for $10 and can be purchased at either bowling center starting April 26.