MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Bryanna Coté of Red Rock, Arizona, earned her spot in the 2016 Smithfield Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour Championship by beating Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, in the title match of one of the final events of the season.
On Friday, Coté advanced to the second round of the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship, taking place at Uptown Alley, by once again dispatching her Team USA teammate in thrilling fashion.
Coté was one of six players to advance to the second round at the season’s final major Friday. The opening round consisted of best-of-five, single-elimination matches.
Coté fell behind early in the match, dropping the first two games against Kulick, but quickly responded with two consecutive wins to even the match. In the deciding game, neither player could pull away. In the end, it was Coté who threw the first strike in the final frame to seal the Game 5 victory, 236-215. Cote will face left-hander Cherie Tan of Singapore on Saturday at 9 a.m. Eastern.
“I wasn’t throwing it very well the first couple of games,” said Coté, who recently won the PWBA Lexington Open to earn a spot in the Tour Championship. “I wasn’t really comfortable where I was on the lane, so I actually decided to go farther right where I’m more comfortable playing. My husband, Randy, and I decided to go there, and it worked out. Both Kelly and I had struggles with carry and getting the ball to read. The right lane was really tight. I finished on that lane, which I wasn’t looking forward to, but I just told myself to execute the best I could. I know Kelly was fishing during the fourth game to find something, and she did, so it really could’ve gone either way.”
The bracket-style event continues Saturday with six more single-elimination matches, after which the four finalists will be set for Sunday’s championship round.
The semifinals and title match of the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network on Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern.
Saturday’s second-round matchups include: Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, vs. Amanda Greene of Romney, West Virginia; Shannon O’Keefe of O’Fallon, Illinois, against 2015 PWBA Rookie of the Year Stefanie Johnson of Grand Prairie, Texas, and defending champion Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, taking on Singapore’s New Hui Fen.
The event’s 16 players qualified for the Tour Championship by either winning a title during the 2016 season or earning enough competition points to earn a spot in the bracket.
All 2016 PWBA Tour champions (who were members at the time of their victory) received an automatic invitation to the Tour Championship, and the remainder of the 16-player field was filled out through the PWBA points list.
The top two players on the season point list, reigning PWBA Player of the Year Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, New York, and Colombia native Rocio Restrepo, now from Louisville, Ohio, automatically were seeded into the semifinals, while McEwan and Pluhowsky received first-round byes for the Tour Championships as the third and fourth players on the points list.
The remaining 12 invitees battled in the first round of matches Friday.
All match play rounds are streamed live on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel of the Professional Bowlers Association. For more information on the PWBA, visit PWBA.com. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit XtraFrame.TV.