Kulick, Weber gear up for U.S. Open title defense

ARLINGTON, Texas - Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., and Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., have made their performances at the U.S. Open the cornerstone of their careers. The defending champions will have a chance to add to their legacy next week.

The men and women will compete side by side at this year's Bowling's U.S. Open at three bowling centers in the Columbus, Ohio, area starting Monday. The event will culminate with the live two-hour ESPN finals on July 27.

The U.S. Open will take place at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl, Columbus Western Bowl and Holiday Lanes. The combined events have a prize fund of more than $400,000.

Weber took home a record fifth U.S. Open title last year, passing his father Dick Weber and Don Carter as the all-time U.S. Open champion. He defeated Mike Fagan of Dallas, 215-214 to claim the title.

"This is the tournament I look forward to every year," said Weber, a Professional Bowlers Association and United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer. "I live for the U.S. Open because I know, no matter what, I have a chance to win."

Kulick picked up her third career U.S. Open victory under the bright lights of the Reno Arch in downtown Reno, Nev., last year. She defeated Missy Parkin of Lake Forest, Calif., 170-160 to take the win.

"I don't know what it is about this event, but I always gear up for it," said Kulick, who also won the U.S. Open in 2003 and 2010.

After 24 games of qualifying over three days, the field will be cut to the top 25 percent in each division. A final six-game cashers qualifying round will determine the top 24 men and top 24 women who advance to 24 games of round-robin match play. The final four in each division will advance to the TV finals.

The men's and women's champions will face off in a special Battle of the Sexes match to crown the ultimate U.S. Open winner. The special match will be broadcast live on ESPN immediately following the men's and women's finals.

For more information on the U.S. Open, visit BowlingsUSOpen.com. Live streaming of qualifying and match play will be provided by the PBA's Xtra Frame service.