CLINTON, Iowa – Julia Bond of Aurora, Illinois, had no idea that her lucky number would be three heading into the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Iowa Regional this weekend.
As the No. 3 seed in the stepladder finals, Bond defeated three players on the way to her third career PWBA regional title Sunday. She topped Ayra Aminuddin of Malaysia, 207-171, in the title match at Plaza Bowl in Clinton, Iowa. Bond earned $1,400 for the victory.
The event’s eight-game qualifying round and stepladder finals were broadcast live at BowlTV.com.
The title match was close through the first six frames, with both players trading strikes and spares. Aminuddin doubled first, in the fifth and sixth frames; Bond answered right back with a double of her own in the sixth and seventh frames.
Aminuddin, a freshman at Mount Mercy University, responded with back-to-back splits, paving the way for Bond. Despite missing a 7 pin in the ninth frame, Bond secured the title after Aminuddin opened for the third consecutive frame.
“My game plan today was about staying focused and deciding before I stepped up on the approach, what I was going to do,” said Bond, who has won each of the three regional events she’s entered in the last two seasons. “So long as I stay in the moment and don’t let my mind wander, I’ll be all right.”
The 2019 University of Nebraska graduate found early success on the PWBA Tour as a rookie last season, winning both the PWBA Lincoln and Sonoma County regionals, as well as the Go Bowling! PWBA Regional Showdown, a made-for-TV event featuring the top performers of the 2019 regional season.
After starting with games of 198 and 163 in qualifying, Bond knew something had to change
“The first few games, I didn’t have a great look with the first couple of balls I tried,” said Bond, a four-time Team USA member. “Once we started Game 3 this morning, I got into a ball that let me play the track area and keep moving left, and that really catapulted me up the standings.”
Bond fired games of 279, 238, 241, 258 and 248 before closing with a 204. Going into the final game, Bond was leading but was passed by Aminuddin who shot 254 and Kayla Crawford of Silvis, Illinois, who shot 279.
Aminuddin led qualifying with a 1,868 total (a 233.5 average) on Sunday’s 40-foot condition. Crawford finished with 1,846, Bond had 1,829 and Jodi Gawlik of Streamwood, Illinois, earned the final spot in the stepladder with 1,812.
Bond dispatched Crawford, 215-156, in the semifinal after building a 24-pin lead just five frames into the match. Both players started their respective games with an open; Bond delivered a double in the third and fourth frames, then again in the seventh and eighth. Crawford was never able to connect on back-to-back strikes and opened in both the fourth and ninth frames.
Bond cruised to a 204-180 victory over Gawlik in the opening match thanks to two splits from Gawlik in the first five frames.
The Iowa Regional featured 42 players, with the top four qualifiers advancing to the stepladder finals based on their eight-game qualifying totals.
The 2020 PWBA regional schedule includes 10 events, with six following a national stop on the 2020 PWBA Tour schedule. All PWBA members received points toward the BowlTV PWBA Regional Cup, which is a season-ending bonus for the top 10 players, based on points earned in all regional events. The highest points-earner will receive a $3,500 bonus, while 10th place in points will earn $500.
The next regional event will be the PWBA Northern Colorado Regional at Highland Park Lanes in Greeley, Colorado, on March 28.