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-Tish Johnson Becomes Third PWBA Career Millionaire

07/23/2001 - PWBA
      LEXINGTON, Ky. - Tish Johnson, Northridge, Calif., became the third female professional bowler to top the $1 million mark in career earnings Thursday, July 19, 2001.

      Johnson, who became pro bowling's new "Ironwoman" in June when she competed in her 201st consecutive tournament in Ft. Worth, Texas, follows Aleta Sill, Dearborn, Mich., and Wendy Macpherson, Henderson, Nev., into the PWBA's Million Dollar Club. The 39-year-old lefthander guaranteed herself another place in bowling history by finishing fifth in the $75,000 Lady Ebonite Kentucky Classic and winning $3,000 to raise her career total to $1,001,965. An additional $1,100 in TV incentive money pushed the figure to $1,003,065. Johnson entered the Lady Ebonite Kentucky Classic-her 205th consecutive tournament--$1,035 shy of the million-dollar mark.

      "I wanted to be the first millionaire, but it wasn't meant to be," Johnson said. "It feels good to be over the hump; I seem a little more relaxed, not as pressured or uptight. "I love this sport, and my goal has always been to get or keep people involved in it one way or another. I think it's all about inspiring someone else to bowl, whether it's working with youth bowlers, giving some fans a few tips after a TV show, signing an autograph, or earning a million dollars. For that reason, I think breaking the million-dollar barrier is a great thing."

      A 21-year veteran of the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour and a title winner since 1982, Johnson was the tour's Player of the Year twice (1992 and 1995), as well as the Bowling Writers Association of America's Bowler of the Year three times (1990, 1992 and 1995). She is the first and so far only woman to capture a "megabucks" bowling championship, winning the $100,000 first prize in the 1996 Super Hoinke Classic in Cincinnati. Johnson owns 24 pro titles, 43 sanctioned 300 games and a high three-game series of 837. Her most recent victory came this spring at the $50,000 Wheelchair Awareness Classic in Mesa, Ariz.

      Among other achievements and honors, Johnson is one of five women to win three consecutive professional bowling tournaments (the others include Millie Martorella, 1967; Patty Costello, 1972 and 1976; Lisa Wagner, last two tournaments of 1987 and first tournament of 1988; and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, 2001). She is a member of the PWBA Hall of Fame, a former WIBC Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow (1980), and a six-time Bowlers Journal All-America selection. Johnson has won the 1993 PWBA High Average Award and the 1982 WIBC National High Average Award, and was twice the PWBA's No. 1-ranked player for the season (1992 and 1995).




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