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Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga made bowling history Wednesday by becoming the first woman to qualify for a PBA Tour event.

Johnson finished fourth of 69 bowlers in the nine-game qualifying round of the PBA Uniroyal Tire Classic.

Johnson finished with 2,074 total pins (230.44 average) to finish as the top amateur of the day and qualify as the No. 64 seed in the $232,000 tournament.

She will face top-seeded Brad Angelo of Lockport in a best-of-seven round today.

Angelo, who led last season's PBA point rankings, has cashed in 36 of 39 PBA events but has never won a tournament.

"This is pretty exciting," said Johnson. "I came in here with no expectations. It was actually a last-minute decision to enter. I started off bad out of the gates, but I focused and got better game by game. I'm pretty happy with the results."

Johnson started with a 153 but came back to average 255 over the next six games, including a high of 278 in the fourth game. After a 177 in the eighth game, she sealed her spot with a 214 in the final game.

The top five non-exempt PBA members and the top amateur move on to the 64-person, single-elimination match play event that starts today.

Jack Jurek of Lackawanna finished 11th in the qualifier with 1,952 (216.89).

Johnson was an 11-time winner in the now defunct Professional Women's Bowling Association. She won the 1996 U.S. Open on the way to winning the 1996 Rookie of the Year.

Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wis., finished first in the qualifier with 2,148 pins.

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