Kulick fires 300 to lead opening day of 2021 PWBA Albany Open

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STANDINGS

SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y.
- Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, rolled 300 in her final game Friday at the Professional Women's Bowling Association Albany Open to move into the lead after two rounds of competition.

The United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer concluded her second six-game block at Kingpin's Alley Family Fun Center with 12 consecutive strikes to record the highest round of the day (1,523) and take over the top spot in the standings with a 2,860 total, a 238.33 average.

Kulick jumped from third to first in the final game, passing Shannon O'Keefe of Shiloh, Illinois, and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York. O'Keefe (2,827) and McEwan (2,822) are second and third, respectively.

Opening-round leader Stefanie Johnson of McKinney, Texas (2,761), and Liz Johnson of Niagara Falls, New York (2,737), also finished Friday in the top five.

The 66-player field was cut to the top 32 players after Friday's second round, with Gazmine Mason of Cranston, Rhode Island, holding onto the final spot with a 2,487 total, a 207.25 average.

Mason rolled 170 in her final game but remained in the top 32.

Last week's PWBA BVL Open champion Stephanie Zavala of Downey, California, made a run at the number in the final game, but a 4-6-7-10 split in her 10th frame resulted in her missing the cut by six pins with a 2,481 total.

Kulick, a six-time major champion, started her 2021 season by advancing to the stepladder finals of the PWBA Twin Cities Open and PWBA Lincoln Open. She finished third at the Twin Cities Open and was the runner-up as the top seed at the Lincoln Open, falling to Liz Johnson in the title match, 238-213.

The 44-year-old right-hander skipped the PWBA Greater Cleveland Open but returned for the season's first major at the USBC Queens, where she advanced to match play and finished tied for 49th place. Kulick placed 22nd at last week's BVL Open.

After starting Friday's competition with a 1,337 six-game block, Kulick fired games of 206, 265, 269, 279 and 204, before connecting for 300 in her final game to average 253.83 in the second round.

Saturday's third round will consist of an additional six games, with the top 12 returning to the lanes for one more six-game round to complete qualifying. The top four players, based on total pinfall for 24 games, will advance to the stepladder finals.

The stepladder will be Saturday at 6 p.m. Eastern and broadcast live on BowlTV.com. The champion will earn $10,000.