NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Six-time U.S. Women's Open champion Liz Johnson of Palatine, Illinois, still is at the top of the standings at the 2019 event after Friday's cashers' round, but the field has narrowed the gap as the top 24 players prepare for round-robin match play.
The United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer struggled during her first eight-game block on Friday's 42-foot oil pattern at Texas Star Lanes, which will be used for the duration of the event, but she finished with 234 in her final game to reclaim the overall lead with a 6,703 total for 32 games. Johnson finished the cashers' round with a 1,558 score.
Shannon Sellens of Long Beach, New York, briefly held the lead and now sits in second place with 6,683, while Sweden's Joline Planefors moved into third with 6,625.
Latvia's Diana Zavjalova had the top block during the cashers' round (1,778) to jump from 19th place to fourth overall with 6,606, and Julia Bond of Aurora, Illinois, sits in fifth with 6,582.
The field at the 2019 U.S. Women's Open started with 108 players and was cut to the top 36 after three eight-game qualifying rounds. The 36 advancers returned to Texas Star Lanes on Friday for eight additional games to determine the 24 competitors heading to match play.
Puerto Rico's Estefania Cobo rolled 243 in her final game to earn the final spot into match play, finishing with a 6,379 total, a 199.34 average.
Defending U.S. Women's Open champion Liz Kuhlkin of Schenectady, New York, also advanced to match play and is in 22nd place with a 6,434 total.
Match play will begin Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern with the first of three eight-game blocks. Match play resumes Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern with the final two blocks, including a position round. The five finalists will be determined by total pinfall, including bonus pins, for 56 games.
The stepladder finals will take place Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern, with the champion claiming the $20,000 top prize and coveted green jacket.
The U.S. Women's Open is the second major championship on the 2019 Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour schedule, and each round of the 2019 event leading up to the stepladder finals will be broadcast at BowlTV.com.