By Jennifer Roback
This past weekend, the ladies of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour headed to Seminole Lanes in Florida, where one bowler had a historic run.
Breanna Clemmer of Clover, South Carolina, not only won the tournament, but she also set the record for the highest three-game set at 879, after firing games of 237, 190, 289, 300, 300, and 279 in the second round of qualifying.
Her 1,595 six-game total was almost enough to beat the PWBA record for the highest six-game block, which still stands at 1,630 and was set by Jackie Mitskavich in 1997.
“Honestly, I was just trying to get nine and make my spares because I was throwing it so bad,” Clemmer recalled, via PWBA. “I was not comfortable. It was very evident. When Mike said just throw it to two and settle in, I did just that and was able to get 190 out of it.”
However, the 24-year-old right-hander soon became comfortable with the lanes and went on to her historic run.
“I just felt so comfortable,” she continued. “When I'm able to just be Bre, and just do what I am known to do, everything else fades away and nothing else matters. And, that happened today. It's like I had blinders on. Nothing else mattered, but me in that moment, and I was allowed to be selfish on the lanes in that moment. It was amazing. Everything just faded away, and I was able to just settle in and be myself.”
Following the second round of qualifying, Clemmer became the new leader of the tournament and went on to earn the No. 1 seed for the televised finals, alongside No. 2 Diana Zavjalova of Latvia, No. 3 Jordan Richard of Maumee, Ohio, No. 4 Bryanna Coté of Tucson, Arizona, and No. 5 Verity Crawley of England.
During the stepladder finals, Coté, the 2021 PWBA Player of the Year, was able to climb the ladder after defeating Crawley 222-221, Richard 224-172, and Zavjalova, 218-203. She then faced Clemmer, but ultimately lost 226-181. However, the star revealed that she's still happy with her performance.
“I'm 100% happy with my performance,” Coté said following the match, via PWBA. “Obviously winning would have been the icing on the cake, but I executed, filled frames, and had one open in four games. I just tried to make shots, and if my score was the highest one at the end, then so be it. Bre [Clemmer] bowled amazing, and I will never take that away from her. She deserved that win. She dominated all week, and it was a pleasure to watch. So, I'm super happy for her. But again, I'm not sad about my performance. I did all I could. And at the end of the day, if I do all I can and I keep coming in second, that's pretty good.”
This win marks Clemmer's first PWBA title and comes in only her second season on tour.
Previously, Clemmer was a standout player at McKendree University, where she helped the program win two national championships and was a four-time National Tenpin Coaches Association Division II/III Player of the Year.
“I knew I was capable of winning a title, but to do what I did on Friday, I never thought I was capable of that,” Clemmer said. “I always knew I was great and that I was going to be good, but I never dreamt of this. I used to put so much pressure on myself to be perfect because before I came out on tour, I had won everything.
“But, not winning a title last year and not winning rookie of the year really took a toll on me. Last year, I felt like I disappointed a lot of people, when the only person I was disappointing was myself. I know the only thing that matters is what I think, what my grandparents think, and what my family thinks. That's all that matters to me, and those are the only opinions that I really truly care about.”
The PWBA Tour will now head to Maple Lanes in Rockville Centre, New York, for the PWBA Classic Series - Long Island from June 6-12. All the action can be watched live at BowlTV.com