Germany’s Poppler Leads After Second Round at 2016 Queens

by Bob Johnson 0

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LAS VEGAS - Germany's Birgit Poppler leads a field of more than 250 bowlers after two rounds of qualifying at the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Queens.

Poppler used games of 236, 245, 267, 186 and 225 for a 1,159 total Sunday at The Orleans Bowler Center to bring her 10-game total to 2,397. Two-time USBC Queens champion Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, is in second place with 2,388, and Singapore's Jazreel Tan is third with 2,324.

The USBC Queens is the first major of the 2016 Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour season, and the tournament's stepladder finals will be televised live on CBS Sports Network on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Poppler, who captured a gold medal in doubles at the 2008 World Bowling Youth Championships, rolled 806 in her final three games Saturday to finish the opening round in second place with 1,238. The 29-year-old right-hander used that momentum as she averaged nearly 250 for her first three games Sunday on her way to the top of the standings.

"I've just been trying to take it shot by shot," said Poppler, who fired a perfect game during qualifying of the 2015 Queens in Green Bay, Wisconsin. "I think I have had the right equipment in my hands so far. I really didn't have to adjust that much yesterday and was able to use the same ball and move left. Today, I started farther to the right with something stronger and was able to do the same. I knew the scores were going to be high after the first block, so I'm just trying to keep it up and take it game by game, day by day."

Competition continues Monday morning at 11 a.m. Eastern with the final round of qualifying. After 15 games over three days, the top 63 players in the field will join defending champion Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, New York, in the double-elimination match-play bracket.

Johnson is guaranteed the No. 64 spot in the bracket but can improve her seeding through qualifying. The USBC Hall of Famer fired a 1,134 set Sunday and is in 44th place with a 2,184 total.

The match-play bracket will feature three-game matches, with total pinfall determining who advances. The five players who make their way through the bracket will advance to the stepladder finals and have the chance to take home the top prize of $20,000.

All rounds of competition leading up to the stepladder will be broadcast on Xtra Frame, the online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association. To subscribe to watch the action on Xtra Frame, visit XtraFrame.TV.

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.

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