January 11, 2001:
PWBA Announces 2001 Schedule
1/11/2001 - PWBA
ROCKFORD, IL - The Professional Women's Bowling Association has announced the release of their 2001 Spring/Summer schedule kicking off the season opener with the prestigious Queens event. The Tour will visit Sawgrass Lanes in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, May 7-11, 2001, for the first stop of a twelve-week swing that will take the Tour from coast to coast twice. PWBA's presenting sponsor, The Women's International Bowling Congress, will hold bowling's most premier match play event; the rigorous Queens format makes it one of the most difficult and prestigious to win. 1990's Bowler of the Decade, Wendy Macpherson, Henderson, Nev., will be defending her crown against the best women bowlers in the world.
The Spring/Summer schedule also has an addition of three new events. The Albuquerque Open will be played from May 27-31, 2001, in New Mexico, The Fort Worth Classic, June 17-21, 2001, in Texas, and the last new stop, June 24-28, 2001, in Memphis, Tennessee.
From Florida the lady professionals head north to the Midwest for the St. Clair Classic in Fairview Heights, IL for their fourth visit. Kim Adler, Cocoa, FL, will be defending her title. Adler defeated 1999 champion, Wendy Macpherson in the championship finals 203-181. Adler won three matches to claim the title, a crystal-bowling pin and the first prize money of $11,000.
Heading west, the Tour returns to Omaha, NE, for the Omaha Open, May 20-24, 2001. Last year, Michelle Feldman, Skaneateles, NY, dramatically won her fifth title by defeating Lynda Barnes, Wichita, KS, by overcoming an injury she sustained by a fall in practice right before the televised finals. This will be the eighth visit to Omaha. Past champions include: 1990's Bowler of the Decade, Wendy Macpherson; 1980's Bowler of the Decade, Lisa Wagner; two-time champion, Marianne DiRupo; 1994 PWBA Rookie of the Year, Tammy Turner; and two-time PWBA Player of the Year, Leanne Barrette.
In the fourth week, the PWBA will head southwest to Albuquerque, NM for the Albuquerque Open. Owners Art Silva and Diana Silva are excited to be hosting these fine athletes to their center. Diana Silva has something in common with the PWBA; she is a former BPAA U.S. Open champion, winning in 1979.
Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, N. Richland Hills TX, will be looking forward to the next two stops, winning back-to-back titles in 2000 by defeating Michelle Feldman two consecutive weeks at Country Club Lanes in Mesa, AZ and Grove Bowling Center in San Diego, CA. The Mesa Open, last year known as the Bowl for Blindness Classic, will be held June 2-7. Jay & Lori Means, owners of Country Club Lanes, raised over $20,000 for a national eye research organization dedicated to finding treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases. The Greater San Diego Open will be held June 17-21, 2001.
In the seventh week, the Tour revisits the Lonestar state for the first time to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area since 1983. Aleta Rzepecki, better known as Aleta Sill of Dearborn, Mich., found happiness and prosperity in Dallas. Sill concluded a perfect year with a victory, a first prize of $4,300, a new car, and the 1983 Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour earnings title. Sill who was 21 at the time, won the LPBT Dallas-Ft. Worth Classic at Expressway Lanes, November 17, with a 227-212 victory over No. 1 qualifier Pam Buckner of Reno, NV. Sill also rolled her first perfect game of her career to win a prize worth $15,000, a new convertible Ford Mustang. The ladies will be returning to Fort Worth, TX, at Don Carter Cityview, June 17-21.
Another return visit after a three-year hiatus, the Tour returns to Memphis, TN, June 24-28. Kim Adler came from the second position to defeat Marianne DiRupo 244-170 in the championship match in the Tunica Mid South Classic in June of 1997.
Moving southeast the Tour revisits Danville, VA, for the Southern Virginia Open for its fourth year. 2000 leading money winner, Wendy Macpherson, won her eighteenth career title in the Southern Virginia Open by defeating Carolyn Dorin-Ballard 205-182. Previous champions are Michelle Feldman and Aleta Sill.
In the ninth week, the Tour returns to Tennessee after a year's absence for the Chattanooga Open, July 8-12. Lisa Wagner came from the fourth position to defeat previous champion, Kim Adler, 223-166 in the championship match to win her 32nd career title. Wagner holds the most career professional titles by one over Aleta Sill.
The ladies then head to Lexington, KY, for the Lady Ebonite Classic, July 15-19. Since 1989, The Lady Ebonite Classic is one of the longest running tournaments holding its tournaments in various locations until it found Kentucky its home. The tournament alternates every other year in Louisville and Lexington. Last year in Louisville, Michelle Feldman defeated Leanne Barrette to win her second Lady Ebonite title. Her first win was in 1998, the inaugural year of the tournament in Louisville. Other past champions include: two-time champions, Kim Adler and Nikki Gianulias; Aleta Sill, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Marianne DiRupo, Jackie Mitskavich, Leanne Barrette, and Tish Johnson.
To wrap up the Spring/Summer Tour, the PWBA makes its sixth visit at Terre Haute Bowling Center for the Clabber Girl Greater Terre Haute Open. Carol Gianotti-Block came from the second position to defeat 1998 champion, Kim Adler, for her 15th career title and her first title since an elbow injury sidelined her for most of the 1999 season. The Clabber Girl title also holds a special memory for Lisa Bishop of Bellevue, Michigan. In 1997, Bishop defeated Carol Norman, Oklahoma City, OK, 224-204 in the championship match to win her first title of her career. Other past champions are; Jennifer Swanson and Jackie Sellers.
The entire 2001 schedule will broadcast on ESPN2 during prime time on Monday nights and selected day slots. ESPN2, part of the ESPN sports cable network giant, reaches over 70 million homes and became the fastest growing network in 1999.