WELCH, Minn. - Latvia's Diana Zavjalova delivered four clutch strikes in the championship match Saturday to win the 2015 Professional Women's Bowling Association Minnesota Open.
Zavjalova, the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Queens champion, defeated Rocio Restrepo of Colombia, 216-208, in a pressure-packed title match at Island Xtreme Bowl.
Finishing the match first, Zavjalova struck in the ninth frame and threw all three strikes in the 10th frame to put the pressure on Restrepo. Needing a double and nine pins in the final frame to win, Restrepo struck on her first shot but left a 7 pin on her second shot to lose.
"I just had a feeling this was going to be my week and it was," Zavjalova said. "I feel like I have been so close and to finally break through and win feels great."
Trailing in the match at the halfway point, Zavjalova made the decision to make a ball change that ended up paying dividends down the stretch.
"I didn't use that ball all week," Zavjalova said. "I was struggling with the transition and I had to figure out a way to strike. So I tried something different and it worked. Go big or go home."
Zavjalova entered the stepladder finals the No. 3 seed and had to win three matches to take the title. In the opening match, she started with the front nine in a 279-205 victory over Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey. In the semifinal, Zavjalova blew past Kayla Bandy of Salisbury, Maryland, 247-209.
Zavjalova earned $10,000 for the title and a spot in the season-ending PWBA Tour Championship presented by GoBowling.com, which will be contested in Arlington, Texas, next month.
For more information on the PWBA, visit PWBA.com.
PWBA MINNESOTA OPEN
At Island Xtreme Bowl, Welch, Minn.
1, Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 742 (three games), $10,000
2, Rocio Restrepo, Colombia, 208 (one game), $5,000
3, Kayla Bandy, Salisbury, Md., 209 (one game), $3,500
4, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 205 (one game) $3,000
Match One - Zavjalova def. Kulick, 279-205
Match Two - Zavjalova def. Bandy, 247-209
Championship - Zavjalova def. Restrepo, 216-208