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Bowling: Tournament competition in full swing on many levels

It's tournament season everywhere in bowling, it seems.

The Greater Buffalo USBC Association Open and Women's Championship got under way Tuesday at AMF Airport Lanes.

The USBC Women's Championship is ongoing at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., and the USBC Open has been running for more than a month.

On the state level, after taking off Easter Weekend, competition resumes in the New York State Open in Waverly, near Binghamton, and in the 83rd NYS Women's Championship in South Glens Falls.

Although it is registered as team from Schenectady USBC, 3B's and 1E -- the scratch division team leader at the NYS Women's Tournament -- includes two Western New York bowlers, Sarah Germano and Michelle Sterner. Along with Jessica Aiezza and Liz Kuhlkin, they lead with 2,748. Kuhlkin's 744 set the pace.

Earlier in the month, Kuhlkin, the 2018 U.S. Women's Open champion, defeated Anne Connor of New York Mills, 256-188, in the championship match to defend her title in the 48th NYS Queens Championship in Saratoga Springs.

Kuhlkin, 25, struck out in her last game of qualifying to get into match play.

"I just squeaked in (to the finals)," Kuhlkin told the NYS USBC Association. "I had to double in the 10th frame of the last game to make the cut.

"This tournament does mean a lot to me. I take pride in being from New York and I know my roots, and I never forget about that," said Kuhlkin, a former University of Nebraska star bowler from Schenectady. "It was especially nice to win in Saratoga, not quite in my back yard, but about an hour away. This is a great feeling to go onto the (PWBA Tour) off of a fresh win here."

This weekend, Kuhlkin and other standout women pros were in Ohio for the PWBA Greater Cleveland Regional Open, for the opening tournament of the Professional Women's Bowling Association schedule. Yorktown Lanes in Parma Heights is the venue for the two-day event, which wraps up Sunday after qualifying Saturday.

WNY native Liz Johnson is among the entries in the Tour opener, the first Women's Tour event in the Cleveland area since 1978. Yorktown Lanes also will host a PWBA Regional on Sunday, one of five to be held in conjunction with Tour events.

Local pair leads NYS Open

Michael Platter and David Kirsch (Greater Buffalo USBC) teamed for 1,520 with handicap to take the lead in the 401 and Over Doubles Divsion of the NYS Open.

Kirsch posted 300-830, with Platter adding 658.

This will be the second weekend of the State Open's four-week run at Valley Bowling Center in Waverly.

George Pierce of the Greater Buffalo USBC shot a 290 in doubles in the State Open.

The City Open and Women's Championships got under way with the traditional opening night ceremonies at Airport. It will run until through May 11.

Julie Selk of the Greater Buffalo USBC shot a 290 in the NYS Queens.

Two greats in top form

Two Hall of Famers Norm Duke and Walter Ray Williams Jr. qualified 1-2 in the PBA50 National Championship at The Villages, Fla.,

Duke shot 4,246 (237 average) for 18 games. Williams, who seemingly sets records every time he steps out on the lanes, finished 23 pins in back of Duke.

Second-round leader Johnny Petraglia finished qualifying in fourth with 4,160. The 72-year-old Hall of Famer bowled a 1,307 for six games in the third round Friday.

Frewsburg youth gets award

The New York State USBC YES Committee announced its Graduating Senior Scholarships, Spirit and Future Star Award winners last week.

One grant went to a WNY bowler. Kelsey Fischer of Frewsburg was a $200 Future Star Scholarship Winner for grades K-4.

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