Liz Johnson, formerly of Cheektowaga, returned on Saturday to the top of the leaderboard at the United States Women's Open bowling tournament, which is taking place in Plano, Texas.
Johnson, now a resident of Deerfield, Ill., finished the second block of match-play competition with a pinfall of 9,552. That was good for a 177-pin lead over Shannon O’Keefe of O’Fallon, Ill. Jodi Woessner of Oregon, Ohio, is in third place at 8,496, while Daria Pajak is in fourth at 9.467.
Johnson has won the last three tournaments (2016, 2015 and 2013), as the event was not held in 2014. That run brought her career win total in the event to five; no other bowler has come close to that total. In fact, no other bowler has ever won two in a row - let alone three. Johnson’s other wins came in 1996 and 2007.
The U.S. Open has only been held since 1971. Before that, the BPAA Women’s All-Star tournament was something for a substitute for that event on the national stage. Marion Ladewig won five straight tournament titles and eight overall.
The final match-play block was slated for Saturday night. The stepladder final will be held today.