All in the family

by Bob Johnson 0

You probably know her as Jen Petrick, a former collegiate standout who took on Shannon Pluhowsky in the televised finals of the 2003 PWBA Women’s Collegiate Shootout (

These days, she’s Jen Higgins, and she recently came within one match of winning the 15th annual Dayton Open at Beaver-Vu Lanes.

Undefeated through the double-elimination match play, her final opponent was the man who gave her the new last name — her husband Dan. And Dan did what he needed to do: He defeated Jen twice, 184-161 and 266-185, to claim the title.

Later, Jen told the Dayton News, “I was pretty grumpy for a while. But at least we kept it in the family.”

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.