By Emil Williams Jr.
SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - In what’s been a popular method to win on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour this season, Erin McCarthy of Elkhorn, Nebraska, climbed the ladder to win the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open.
The 31-year-old right-hander defeated Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, 212-172, to win her first career major title Tuesday at Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center. She is the fifth player this season to successfully climb the stepladder to capture a title.
McCarthy earned the coveted green jacket, iconic trophy and $60,000 for the win. The U.S. Women’s Open was broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
In the title match, McCarthy opened with three consecutive strikes and tossed five in the first six frames to sprint to a 28-pin advantage. McEwan was slow to get out of the gates with just one strike and two open frames during the same period. The lead continued to increase for McCarthy as McEwan was unable to double during the final four frames, allowing McCarthy to lock up the match.
On Monday night, McCarthy had to throw two strikes in the 10th frame to earn the No. 5 seed and advance to the finals. On Tuesday night, McCarthy earned her place in the record book as the latest U.S. Women’s Open champion.
“Fifty-six games plus these are grueling,” said McCarthy, who won her second PWBA Tour title and first since 2018. “You’ve got bad games and really good games. The highs and lows of the tournament, it is beyond stressful. There were a lot of nerves, but even more nerves in that final game. I just really focused on one shot at a time. I made sure that my feet were slow, because if my feet were slow, everything else should align appropriately. To make it here to the top, this is the greatest moment of my life. This is going to be something that I never, ever forget.”
McCarthy was one of four players in the stepladder with previous championship-round experience at the U.S. Women’s Open, recording third-place finishes in 2017 and 2018. Despite neither event resulting in a win, she learned from those experiences and applied some valuable lessons Tuesday, which helped steer her to the winner’s circle.
“This feels absolutely incredible,” said McCarthy, who is the eighth different PWBA Tour champion this season. “I think from my past two U.S. Open shows, I learned what not to do for this one. I rushed a lot during those shows. The 10 frames go by super quick, and I'm a quick bowler to begin with, so I forced myself to stay slow during the show. Last night, I went to bed and thought about what I was going to do differently today. I did everything differently today than I did on those last two shows, and it paid off.”
McCarthy advanced to the title match after defeating No. 2 Jordan Richard of Maumee, Ohio, 235-206. A late rally by Richard forced McCarthy to mark in the 10th frame to advance to the title match. She delivered a strike to advance.
In Match 2, McCarthy was locked in a battle with two-time PWBA Player of the Year Shannon O’Keefe of Shiloh, Illinois. After McCarthy failed to shut out O’Keefe, the 15-time champion needed two strikes and eight pins to advance. O’Keefe struck on the first two offerings but left the 4-6-7-9-10 split on her fill ball to lose, 220-218.
In the opening match, McCarthy defeated Singapore’s Shayna Ng, 212-178. McCarthy led by four pins in the sixth frame but a missed 6-9-10 gave the lead to Ng. The 15-time member of Team Singapore converted the 1-2-8-10 and 4-10 split early in the match to remain clean, but she was unable to double and missed a 10 pin in the final frame to give McCarthy the victory.
All competitors bowled 24 qualifying games over three days to determine the 30 players advancing to Round 4. After eight additional games, the field was cut to the top 24 bowlers for round-robin match play.
The five finalists were determined by total pinfall, including bonus pins, for 56 games.
For more information about the U.S. Women’s Open, visit BOWL.com/USWomensOpen.
2022 U.S. Women's Open
At Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center
South Glens Falls, N.Y.
1, Erin McCarthy, Elkhorn, Neb., 879 (four games), $60,000.
2, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 172 (one game), $30,000.
3, Jordan Richard, Maumee, Ohio, 206 (one game), $22,000.
4, Shannon O’Keefe, Shiloh, Ill., 218 (one game), $17,000.
5, Shayna Ng, Singapore, 178 (one game), $13,000.
Match No. 1 – McCarthy def. Ng, 212-178.
Match No. 2 – McCarthy def. O’Keefe, 220-218.
Semifinal – McCarthy def. Richard, 235-206.
Championship – McCarthy def. McEwan, 212-172.