At last, Liz Johnson is a champion on the PBA Tour.
The Western New York native who now lives in Palatine, Ill., achieved her long-time goal Saturday when she won the PBA Chameleon Championship in the World Series of Bowling at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
Johnson earned the title by defeating Anthony Pepe of Long Island, 220-206 in the championship match. Liz started with three strikes while Pepe spared then left single pins for opens in the second and third frams. Johnson had another three-bagger in the middle of her game to take a commanding 178-147 lead.
The championship was worth $20,000. She became the second woman to win a title on the mostly-male PBA Tour. Kelly Kulick won the PBA Tournament of Champions in 2010.
To reach the title match, Johnson had to finish in the top two in a four-bowler semifinal. She struck in the ninth frame then struck out in the 10th for a 257 total. Pepe, had a strike and nine pins in his 10th frame for 255. Wes Malott (248) and Tom Smallwood (236) were eliminated.
The Chameleon final was taped for telecast on ESPN on Dec. 17.
Jason Belmonte won the World Championship, the premier event of the World Series of Bowling in Reno, defeating Jesper Svensson of Sweden, 238-225 in the last match of the stepladder. That was after Belmonte defeated Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga in the semifinal match. Ciminelli, who qualified in the No. 3 slot, finished third and collected $25,000. He defeated No. 4 seed Wesley Troup, 193-180, after Troup's triumph over Matthew Sanders in the opening stepladder match.