TUCSON, Ariz. – Consistency can be considered less than exciting at times, and Shannon O’Keefe admitted her consistently consistent effort in Friday’s early round of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tucson Open caused a little frustration.
But at the end of Friday’s second round, O’Keefe led the field at the PWBA Tucson Open at Golden Pin Lanes with a 3,593 pinfall total (a 224.5 average). O’Keefe holds a 72-pin lead over Latvia’s Diana Zavjalova heading into Saturday’s action, with the next four spots taken by O’Keefe’s Team USA teammates – Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York; Sydney Brummett of Wichita, Kansas; Jordan Richard of Tipton, Michigan; and Josie Barnes of Nashville, Tennessee.
On Saturday morning, the top 32 players return to Golden Pin Lanes for eight games before the field is cut to the top 12. The 12 advancers will bowl six additional games to determine the top four players, based on total pinfall, for Saturday’s stepladder finals at 5:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. Eastern).
BowlTV.com will continue its live coverage of the PWBA Tucson Open on Saturday, including the stepladder finals.
O’Keefe, from Shiloh, Illinois, averaged 220 during Friday’s first round, showing her consistency with a 229 high game and a low game of 211, to sit 11th after the eight-game block.
“I was really frustrated the first block, and that seems really silly, because I couldn’t take advantage of those good pairs and shoot that big game,” O’Keefe said. “That was really frustrating, and then I looked at the scores as lunch and I was like, ‘Chill out.’”
The second eight-game block saw O’Keefe’s scores spread out a little more, but she did manage the big game with a 268 and kept her low game to a 200.
“The second block I was able to take advantage of a few good pairs and string a little more together,” said O’Keefe.
O’Keefe, the 2018 PWBA Player of the Year, already has a title this season, as she won the PWBA Twin Cities Open as the top seed for her ninth career win. It put her a step closer to her goal of 10 PWBA Tour titles.
“I would like to finish the season at 10 titles – I’m not sure why I picked that number,” O’Keefe said. “It’s funny because a couple of years ago, when this tour started, I just wanted to win a title. I just always dreamed of winning a title after 12 years of not being able to win a title.”
The PWBA Tucson Open stepladder finals will be the PWBA Tour’s sixth of the season. A total of 21 spots have been available in the first five stepladders and no bowler has yet to make two finals appearances this season.
Katelyn Simpson of Emmett, Idaho, averaged 230 during Friday’s eight-game first round to take the early lead. Simpson, after struggling at last week’s PWBA Sonoma County Open, also bowled in the Sunday PWBA regional at Double Decker Lanes and just missed the cut to the stepladder finals.
“I didn’t bowl very well at the national stop at Sonoma,” Simpson said. “I tried to figure out what went wrong, and I changed some surfaces for the regional. I was very happy with my performance – yes, it was disappointing I missed the stepladder by two pins – but I thought I threw it better so I was content I was moving in the right direction.”
Valerie Bercier of Spring Lake, Michigan, posted the only 300 game on Friday, rolling 12 consecutive strikes in Game 4 of the second round.