SEMINOLE, Fla. – Setting goals provides a player in any sport a special focus during a long season.
For Lindsay Boomershine, the goal for the 2016 Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour season was simple – to not be 17th.
Boomershine, of Perry, Utah, went 5-1 in match play at the PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open on Saturday to earn the top seed for the televised stepladder finals. She will be joined on the TV show by Colombia’s Rocio Restrepo, who also won her match-play group to earn the second seed, along with Stefanie Johnson of Grand Prairie, Texas, and Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey.
“I’ve worked so hard for so long, and this is my first TV show – ever – so it’s pretty emotional for me right now,” Boomershine said. “I just kept telling myself to keep working on my game.”
Boomershine and Johnson outdistanced the field in match play and squared off in the position round to determine who would be the top seed for the TV. The loser of the position-round match still would have a shot at the show, but would have to advance through the group stepladder at Seminole Lanes.
The match was decided in the final frame. Needing a mark to win, Johnson left the 2-4-5-8, could not convert the spare, and gave Boomershine a 198-194 victory. With a 30-pin bonus for the win, Boomershine finished with a 5,552 pinfall total to edge Johnson by 12 pins.
Earning the top seed also put Boomershine closer to a goal of reaching the PWBA Tour Championship. All event champions for the 2016 season earn a spot in the 16-player PWBA Tour Championship, with the remainder of the spots filled from the PWBA points list.
Boomershine barely missed several cuts last season, when the cut line was the top 16, prompting her goal this year “to not be 17th.”
“I want to make sure I guarantee my spot,” Boomershine said about making the PWBA Tour Championship. “When the points were posted a few days ago, and I was 19th, I knew I needed to make this week count. I thought, just make top 12 and go from there. Of course, it came down to the last frame because everything always is dramatic for me.”
Johnson went on make the TV show this week, too. She just needed to win another match in the Group A stepladder.
Diana Zavjalova of Latvia started the Group A stepladder by slipping past Josie Earnest of Nashville, Tennessee, 268-247, to earn the chance to meet Johnson. With a second shot to make the TV finals, Johnson claimed a 259-231 victory.
The opening match in the Group B stepladder also provided drama.
Maria Jose Rodriguez of Austin, Texas, had the chance to advance past Erin McCarthy of Omaha, Nebraska. Needing to double in the final frame, Rodriguez saw a good shot result in a 7-10 split. In the group final, Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, rolled to a 278-184 victory over McCarthy.
Saturday’s competition in the PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open kicked off with a six-game block to narrow the field from 32 to the top 12 for round-robin match play. The 12 finalists were split into two groups of six for match play, which consisted of six games including a final position round. The competitor with the highest pinfall total in each group earned a spot in the TV finals, and the next three highest in each group advanced to the group stepladder.
Qualifying and match-play rounds of PWBA Tour events are broadcast on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association. Visit XtraFrame.tv for more information.
Go to PWBA.com for more information about the PWBA Tour.
TELEVISED STEPLADDER FINALS
(Will be taped Aug. 7 and will air Aug. 30 on CBS Sports Network)
Match No. 1: Kelly Kulick vs. Stefanie Johnson
Match No. 2: Rocio Restrepo vs. Match No. 1 winner
Final: Lindsay Boomershine vs. Match No. 2 winner