Hardeman near top of the standings at 2019 USBC Senior Queens


- After a strong showing last year in her United States Bowling Congress Senior Queens debut, Laura Hardeman of Chula Vista, California, looks poised to make another run at the 2019 edition of the event.

With two rounds of qualifying completed at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Hardeman sits in second place through 10 games with a 2,098 total. USBC Hall of Famer Leanne Hulsenberg of Pleasant View, Utah, leads with a 2,133 total.

Linda Walbaum of Brighton, Colorado, is third with 2,060, and three-time Senior Queens champion and USBC Hall of Famer Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Florida, is fourth with 2,040. Canada's Jill Friis rounds out the top five with 2,035.

Hardeman, who recorded a top-10 finish at the 2018 Senior Queens, was looking to find some consistency in her execution Saturday after missing match play earlier in the week at the National Golden Ladies Classic at the nearby The Orleans Hotel and Casino.

After starting Saturday's opening round with a 159 game, eight of her next nine games were 200 or better.

"I felt like I threw the ball well at the National Golden Ladies, but I wasn't throwing enough strikes," said Hardeman, who bounced back to win the second-chance tournament at the National Golden Ladies Classic. "And when I had bad games, they were really bad. Today, I really wanted to be patient and make the best shots I could."

With one round of qualifying remaining before the event transitions to bracket play, Hardeman will look to stay patient in her moves as she hopes to improve on last year's performance.

"I definitely picked up some confidence after today, but I need to come out strong tomorrow and stay out of trouble," Hardeman said. "I'm going to continue to be patient and stay focused."

Sunday's final round of qualifying will kick off at 11 a.m. Eastern, and after 15 games the field will be cut to the top 31 players and defending champion Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Johnson, a USBC Hall of Famer, is in 18th place after two rounds with a 1,910 total. She is guaranteed the No. 32 spot in the bracket but can improve her seeding through qualifying.

Della Kallenback of Fairfield, California, is in 32nd place heading into Sunday's final round with a 1,859 total.

After the field is cut, bracket play will begin Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern. The double-elimination bracket will feature three-game matches, with total pinfall determining who advances. The five players who make their way through the 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 stepladder finals will take place Monday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern and be featured live at BowlTV.com. BowlTV is providing wire-to-wire coverage of the 2019 Senior Queens.

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.