Hulsenberg paces field in opening round at 2019 USBC Senior Queens


- United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Leanne Hulsenberg of Pleasant View, Utah, raced into the early lead at the 2019 USBC Senior Queens after a strong finish to Saturday's first round of qualifying.

Hulsenberg leads the 84-player field at Gold Coast Hotel and Casino after posting a 1,092 total for her first five-game block. The second round of competition will take place Saturday at 5 p.m. Eastern and be featured live at

After a 165 start, Hulsenberg rolled games of 204, 224, 244 and 255 to edge three-time Senior Queens champion and USBC Hall of Famer Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Florida, who finished the first round with 1,085.

Canada's Jill Friis is third with 1,080, Heidi Holloway of North Las Vegas, Nevada, is fourth with 1,037 and Laura Hardeman of Chula Vista, California, is fifth with 1,027.

"I'm always a slow starter," said Hulsenberg, who will be inducted into the Professional Women's Bowling Association Hall of Fame in May. "Yesterday in practice, I had a good look to where I could kind of hook it, and I tried to do that the first game. It wasn't working, so I thought it probably would be smarter to play them straighter, which was the better thing to do."

The second round of qualifying will be contested on the burn from Round 1 on the 40-foot oil pattern this week, and Hulsenberg feels she's prepared to continue to make the right adjustments.

"Normally, I like burn squads," Hulsenberg said. "Once I got lined up in Game 2, I didn't have to change balls, so I have a couple of others to go to and move left if I need to. I'm probably going to try and keep on doing what I'm doing until it won't let me anymore, then make the jump left."

Defending champion Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colorado, sits in 40th place with a 902 total. As the returning champion, Johnson is guaranteed the No. 32 spot in the bracket but can improve her seeding through qualifying. Seeding will be determined by total pinfall after 15 games of qualifying.

The bracket will feature three-game matches, with total pinfall determining who advances. The five players who make their way through the double-elimination bracket will advance to the stepladder finals. The tournament features a true double-elimination format, so the No. 1 seed for the stepladder finals would have to lose twice in the championship match.

The Senior Queens welcomes the top female bowlers age 50 and older. Competitors will be looking to claim the coveted tiara and $8,000 top prize awarded to the champion.