ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. - England’s Verity Crawley jumped from 10th to first and has the lead following two rounds of match play at the 2022 Professional Women’s Bowling Association BVL Classic.
Crawley posted a 10-5-1 record Friday to finish with a 3,960 total, including bonus pins for each win or tie. She fired the tournament’s first 300 game en route to the highest eight-game block of Round 2 (1,894) to help claim the lead.
She’s followed in the standings by Mexico’s Sandra Gongora (3,927), Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York (3,911), Colombia’s Maria José Rodriguez (3,878) and Jordan Richard of Maumee, Ohio (3,831).
The 24 athletes who qualified for the BVL Classic will return to the Maple Lanes on Sunday for a final eight-game round of match play on BowlTV.com, with the top five competitors advancing to the stepladder finals.
The stepladder of the BVL Classic will be broadcast live Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern on CBS Sports Network, with the champion claiming the $10,000 top prize.
The 43-foot BVL Classic oil pattern is producing higher scores in comparison to the previous two events, and Crawley was able to find her comfort zone early and settle in during the evening block.
“Tonight's motto for me was more strikes in less shots,” said Crawley, who won the 2021 Greater Nashville Open. “I have a very painful finger at the moment. So for me, it was kind of one of those where I got really comfortable and felt like I could finally play to my ‘A’ game. I really just wanted to take advantage of that, make the best shots I could and it was just really nice to be able to bowl and fully be myself.”
Crawley is nursing an injury to her right middle finger, which has provided its fair share of pain, including during Saturday’s morning round, where she finished in 10th place. Like all great athletes, the 27-year-old right-hander is doing everything she can to relieve pain and increase her chances of scoring well, despite the pain and other mental and physical fatigue from the amount of games bowled this week.
“Well, so far I've spent most of my downtime at CVS buying whatever I can to try and relieve some pain,” Crawley said. “But, tonight, it's rest as much as possible. It's really difficult on our bodies with this schedule. My body feels great apart from my finger. So that's kind of what's difficult, right? It feels like such a tiny issue. Yet it bothers me so much. And that's what's so frustrating, because the rest of my body feels pretty good. I feel like I've worked hard enough in the offseason to where I feel strong enough to be able to handle this amount of games.”
The top 24 athletes based on their combined qualifying totals for the Long Island Classic and BowlTV Classic (24 games) advanced to the BVL Classic.
Liz Kuhlkin of Schenectady, New York, won her third career title at the Long Island Classic on Wednesday, defeating Bryanna Coté in the championship match, 192-190. Singapore’s Cherie Tan also won her third career PWBA title at the BowlTV Classic, defeating Colombia’s Clara Guerrero, 237-213.
Pinfall dropped at the beginning of the BVL Classic, with advancers bowling three eight-game blocks of round-robin match play Saturday and Sunday.