Kelly Kulick Is Unanimous Choice For 2001 PWBA Rookie Of The Year
01/18/2002 - PWBA
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS - To borrow from the well-worn pen of Pete Townshend, the kid is all right. For the first time in the history of the Professional Women's Bowling Association, Kelly Kulick, Union, New Jersey was a unanimous selection as the 2001 PWBA Rookie of the Year.
"I'm humbled by this wonderful honor," said Kulick. "It is extremely gratifying to be noticed by so many of the top bowlers in the world."
Turning pro at the ripe old age of 24, Kulick served notice of her arrival to the rest of the PWBA by starting the 2001 season with a second place finish at the Women's International Bowling Congress Queens tournament. In 23 tournaments she was among the top 10 in 14 events while cashing in 19. In spite of not winning a title this season Kulick qualified for the televised finals in five of the last six tournaments and nine total. She ranked eighth in earnings ($65,057) and ninth in competition points (11,645) and averages (208.02).
"It's a dream come true to finish my rookie year this way. At the beginning of the season I set high goals for myself but Rookie of the Year is icing on the cake."
A three-time member of Team USA (1998-2000), Kulick joined the PWBA ranks after an extremely successful amateur career. In 2000 she was named the U.S. National Amateur Champion. One year earlier she helped Team USA to a gold medal at the 1999 Pan Am Games and claimed a gold and two silver medals at the FIQ World Championships.
A graduate of Morehead State University, Kulick helped guide the Eagles to a 1998 Intercollegiate National Championship and was named the collegiate Bowler of the Year in 1997 and 1998. In addition she was selected as a college All-American three times from 1996-99.
Liz Johnson Selected For 2001 Robby Award
01/18/2002 - PWBA
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS - The Professional Women's Bowling Association voted Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, New York as the 2001 recipient of the Robby Award. Given to the player that "best exemplifies the most positive image of women in professional bowling on and off the lanes, Johnson earned 32 percent of the player's vote en route to the honor.
"I'm very surprised and flattered to receive this award," said Johnson. "It's a great honor to be recognized by your peers for what you do on and off the lanes."
Johnson is the 18th bowler to garner the award. She completed the 2001 campaign as one of the tour's top players ranking second in earnings ($85,827), sixth in competition points (12,337) and second in averages (212.41). In addition, she claimed four titles increasing her career total to ten. Her victory at the 2001 Hammer Players Championship was her second "major" championship of her five-year professional career.
"I feel great about the year I just had. To win four titles and make the championship round ten times is a special accomplishment."
Competing in 20 tournaments, Johnson cashed in 18 events and finished in the top ten 13 times. She appeared in ten televised finals including the Paula Carter Classic where she made national news by bowling a 300-game in the title match. Along with the championship and first place purse, Johnson's perfect game earned her a $50,000 Travelodge Bonus. Including TV incentives, the native New Yorker made the most money among all PWBA'ers taking in $156,827 for the season.
Now a two-time winner of the Robby Award (1998), Johnson's pro career has also included making the 1998 Bowlers Journal International All-American Team and earning the 1996 PWBA Rookie of the Year.
During her time at Morehead State University, Johnson was a three-time Bowlers Journal International Amateur of the Year (1993-95), a two-time U.S. National Amateur Champion (1993-94) and the 1993 the Collegiate Bowler of the Year.
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