By Jennifer Roback
This past weekend, the ladies of the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour started their 2022 season in Rockford, Illinois, at the PWBA Rockford Open.
Following two days of bowling, five bowlers made it to the live finals on CBS Sports where Stefanie Johnson was able to climb the ladder to secure the win.
Johnson, who was the No. 5 seed overall, started off strong after defeating her friend and longtime Team USA teammate Shannon O'Keefe by a score of 243-220 and later downed Hall of Famer Kelly Kulick 223-177 to continue on her quest.
In round three, Johnson then faced Breanna Clemmer, who rolled the first 300 of the season and had led the event after its first 18 games with an average of 228.50. Despite the success of the young star, she was not able to hold off Johnson and lost with a final score of 226-200
Johnson then faced No. 1 seed Liz Kuhlkin in the final round of the stepladder finals and started off strong with an early double, but a split in the third frame gave Kuhlkin the advantage and forced her to mark in both the ninth and tenth frame, which she was able to successfully do finishing the match 228-203.
"During the entire stepladder, my thought process never changed," Johnson said following the match. "I knew I just had to commit to making a good shot and let the universe work how it works. My opponents bowled well, and I just needed to bowl better than them, and that's really the only thing I had control over. I made a couple bad shots and talked to the reps, and we just tried to stay ahead of the transition anyway. I think ultimately that's kind of what got me into the winner's circle."
The PWBA Tour will now head to Addison, IL, for its annual USBC Queens event from May 18-24, where one bowler will take home the $60,000 prize and tiara. Fans can watch all the action live on BowlTV with the finals being broadcasted on CBS Sports Network.