EL PASO, Texas - Char Hammel of Las Vegas defeated defending champion Janine Primrose of Gardnerville, Nev., in back-to-back matches Wednesday morning to win the 2010 United States Bowling Congress Senior Queens title.
Hammel came out of the contenders bracket with one loss for the right to face Primrose for the title at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center. As the undefeated player, Primrose had to lose twice in the title match.
Hammel won the opening three-game total pins match, 590-554, to force a deciding match, which Hammel easily won 705-520.
"I just wanted to make one shot at a time and didn't want to have to think about bowling six games to win," Hammel said. "I'm so excited. A lot of hard work has gone into this."
A poker dealer at Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas, Hammel said she had a sub-par performance in the USBC Women's Championships right before the Senior Queens began. However, she bowled well in qualifying and earned the No. 3 seed for the double-elimination, match-play bracket.
"I didn't bowl very well in nationals, but I picked up steam once qualifying began for the Senior Queens," Hammel said. "Once I got comfortable with the venue, it all came together for me."
Hammel won four matches in the winners bracket before being handed her first loss of the tournament by Primrose, 657-647, on Tuesday night. Hammel then defeated USBC Hall of Famer and 2009 Senior Queens runner-up Dana Miller-Mackie of Albuquerque, N.M., for the right for another shot at Primrose.
In the deciding match Wednesday morning, Hammel got out to an early lead of 30 pins after the first game and never looked back, easily defeating the defending champion.
For Primrose, it was an end to her bid to become the first repeat champion in Senior Queens history. She went undefeated at last year's Senior Queens and won her first five matches before dropping the pair of matches to Hammel.
The victory earned Hammel a check for $3,500, a tiara, pendant and trophy, while Primrose earned $1,800 for second place.
2010 SENIOR QUEENS
At El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center, El Paso, Texas
Char Hammel, Las Vegas def. Janine Primrose, Gardnerville, Nev., 590-554 (Primrose's first loss)
Hammel def. Primrose, 705-520 (Hammel wins, earns $3,500; Primrose second, earns $1,800)