17-Year-Old Jillian Martin Continues To Make Bowling History

By Jennifer Roback

Credit: PWBA

At just 17-years-old, Jillian Martin continues to make a name for herself in the sport of bowling.


On August 10, 2021, the Junior Team USA member became the youngest bowler to win a Professional Women's Bowling Associate Tour event.


Martin was able to defeat England's own Verity Crawley, 221-188, at the 2021 PWBA BowlTV Classic to add her name to the record books and take home the trophy, along with the $10,000 top prize.


"I was very nervous going into that match, but I reminded myself how special it was to have an opportunity to win a tournament against the best ladies in the world," Martin told BowlTV following the historic win.


"I wanted to make the most of it and have some fun. I kept telling myself that the whole match. I made a couple bad shots, but it was incredible to have that opportunity and be able to find success at the highest level."


The previous record was set back in 1986, when PWBA and United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer, Wendy Macpherson, had won the U.S. Women's Open at the age of 18.


Martin had faced a similar opportunity back in January of 2021 when she made it to the title match of the PWBA ITRC Classic but ultimately fell short, losing to Bryanna Coté, 244-238.


"I made good shots last time against Bryanna and bowled the best game I could to give myself a chance, and while it was a hard loss, I learned from it and wanted to come back from it," Martin continued.


"I knew I'd be back out here competing at some point in time, but I didn't know it would be this soon. I figured that whenever that time came, I'd try to be the best I could be and take advantage of the opportunity."


Credit: PWBA

Before Martin's PWBA Tour title, the 11-time JTBA champion also won the 2021 PBA Jr. National Championship back in March.


Martin also finished third at the 2021 PWBA Hall of Fame Classic this season.


Martin will be featured on Fox & Friends Saturday, August 14, 2021, to represent the sport of bowling on their National Bowling Day special.


The arrangement was already scheduled prior to her historic win but will now give her something more to talk about.


"I didn't even think about that," Martin said about the upcoming appearance. "I'm so in the moment. I have this awesome trophy. It's so crazy. Yeah, it's going to be really cool to go out there and be able to say I won a PWBA tournament at 17. I knew that was going to be a great experience, and this will make it even better, for sure."


The future continues to be bright for the Ohio native as she continues her bowling journey.