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-Michelle Feldman Named 2002 PWBA Player Of The Year

01/06/2002 - PWBA
      ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS - The Professional Women's Bowling Association announced today that Michelle Feldman, Skaneateles, NY has been selected as the 2002 Player of the Year. The 11-time champion garnered 60 percent of the PWBA player ballot to beat out Leanne Barrette, who was named Player of the Year Runner-Up.

      A winner of three titles this past season, Feldman fought back her tears of joy upon finding out the news from PWBA President John Falzone. She stated, "Earning the Player of the Year award has been a dream of mine for a long time. This means so much to me because it is voted on by the players, and after spending close to seven months with them on the road, it is a wonderful feeling to be recognized by my peers."

      A tour veteran of nine years, Feldman competed in 21 PWBA events in 2002 with an overall average of 213.93 (fourth). She led the tour in earnings ($80,905) and competition points (11,101) while appearing in nine televised finals.

      "I knew that if I wanted to be the tour's top player this year I had to bowl well under pressure. I always looked forward to competing on TV because it was a chance to take on the best of the best. There is no better source of motivation."

      Always a crowd favorite because of her infectious enthusiasm and sparkling smile, Feldman nabbed her first national title of '02 at the St. Clair Shores Classic. She closed out the spring/summer swing in July by winning three PWBA events in a seven-day period including a national title at the Louisville Open, a non-sanctioned title at the Sport Bowling Champions Challenge and a PWBA Regional championship in Altoona, Pa.

      In the second half of the PWBA campaign, Feldman showed no signs of slowing down as she finished in the top 10 in five of eight tournaments and claimed her third championship by winning the Greater San Diego Open. In addition to cashing in every event, she co-led the tour in perfect games (2) and match play wins with 216.

      Selected as the Player of the Year Runner-Up, Barrette gave Feldman all she could handle in the race for the post-season honors. The 26-time titlest also won three championships last year and qualified for the TV finals nine times.

      Barrette ranked second in earnings ($72,960) and competition points (11,041) and boasted the season's top average (216.45). In spite of missing one top 24 cut, the five-time Women's International Bowling Congress All-American equaled Feldman's match play win total with a record of 216-140-4 (.600 win pct.)

      Along with posting the PWBA's top match play winning percentage, Barrette was the only player to win back-to-back titles and string together five consecutive appearances in the championship round.

      Armed with a Hall of Fame resume after 16 years of service as a pro, perhaps Barrette's best moment of '02 came at the Lady Ebonite Classic where she became just the fourth player ever to surpass one million dollars in earnings.

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