Team USA leads men's and women's doubles at Pan American Games

GUADALAJARA, Mexico - Team USA is in position to win both gold medals after the opening round in the doubles event at the Pan American Games.

The United States women's pairing of Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., and Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., hold a 215-pin lead after six games, while Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Bill O'Neill of Southampton, Pa., lead the men's field by 137 pins.

All teams will complete six final games in the doubles event Tuesday at Bolerama Tapatio to determine medalists.

Pan Am Liz Johnson and Kelly KulickJohnson had a six-game total of 1,294 (215.7 average), while Kulick added 1,292 (215.3 average) to finish with 2,586. Colombia is second with 2,371, and Canada is third at 2,367.

"This is the first time Kelly and I have actually bowled doubles together," Johnson said. "It was a real grind out there, and that's what both of us like to do. We made good shots and filled frames."

The U.S. women took the lead after the opening game and stayed there throughout the day on the 41-foot Montreal lane condition. The teams will compete on the 34-foot Stockholm lane condition in Tuesday's final round.

"We have to have a clear mind about what to do and where we expect to play the lanes," Kulick said. "The big thing is to be focused on executing shots, and hopefully we can carry a little better than we did today."

PanAmBarnesONeilOn the men's side, O'Neill led the way with 1,309 (218.2 average), while Barnes shot 1,298 (216.3) for a 2,607 total. Venezuela sits in second at 2,470, and Brazil is third with 2,456.

The Team USA pairing got off to a slow start and found themselves in eighth place after the opening game. A 501 score in the third game bolted them into the lead for good.

"The first pair we were on was tricky and the lanes played a lot different than they did in practice," O'Neill said. "With only 10 minutes of practice today, we couldn't find much out there. By the time we started, we were still a little lost."

Heading into the final round on the Stockholm pattern, both players said they feel confident having competed on that pattern at the Pan American Bowling Confederation Championships in May in Guadalajara.

"I'm happy we are leading, but we really didn't bowl well," Barnes said. "We both have a lot of experience on the Stockholm pattern and look to improve our shot-making tomorrow."

Held every four years, the Pan American Games are the second-largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. This year, nearly 6,000 athletes from the American Zone are competing in 36 sports.

(At Bolerama Tapatio, Guadalajara, Mexico)
Monday's Results

DOUBLES (Six of 12 games completed)

1, United States, 2,607. 2, Venezuela, 2,470. 3, Brazil, 2,456. 4, Canada, 2,441. 5, Colombia, 2,400. 6, Panama, 2,353. 7, Dominican Republic, 2,343. 8, Mexico, 2,334. 9, Bermuda, 2,262. 10, Peru, 2,255. 11, Costa Rica, 2,218. 12, Bolivia, 2,206. 13, Ecuador, 2,203. 14, Guatemala, 2,193. 15, Puerto Rico, 2,191. 16, El Salvador, 2,056.

1, United States, 2,586. 2, Colombia, 2,371. 3, Canada, 2,367. 4, Guatemala, 2,354. 5, Chile, 2,315. 6, Mexico, 2,303. 7, Venezuela, 2,260. 8, Dominican Republic, 2,186. 9, Costa Rica, 2,151. 10, Brazil, 2,133. 11, Aruba, 2,113. 12, El Salvador, 2,063. 13, Puerto Rico, 2,044. 14, Bermuda, 2,012. 15, Peru, 1,994. 16, Bahamas, 1,905.