FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. - Sweden's Sandra Andersson won her first career Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour title Saturday in a stunning title match at the 2019 PWBA Fountain Valley Open.
The back-and-forth finale at Fountain Bowl came down to the final shot as Bryanna Coté of Red Rock, Arizona, was unable to strike on her fill ball to force a tie, leaving an 8 pin to allow Andersson to claim a 184-183 victory and $10,000 top prize.
"This means so much," said Andersson, who earned the top overall seed through 30 games of qualifying this week. "I've been working so hard for the past few years and knew I really, really wanted to win today. I'm just thrilled that I was able to do it."
BowlTV.com provided live coverage of the 2019 PWBA Fountain Valley Open.
Although both players fought to find the best look on this week's 37-foot oil pattern during the title tilt, the match was separated by just three pins, with Andersson having the advantage, heading into the ninth frame.
Andersson, a 27-year-old right-hander, quickly gave the advantage back, leaving a 7-10 split she was unable to convert.
With the open going into the 10th frame, Andersson finished on the left lane, where she had not delivered a strike in her first four attempts, and rolled three strikes to force Coté to strike on her first shot for a chance to win or record a spare and strike for a tie.
"The shot in the ninth wasn't that great, and I wasn't too happy about it," Andersson said. "But I knew to just go and take one pin and see what the scores were. I knew there still was a small chance I could come out as the winner."
Coté, working on a strike in the ninth, left a light-pocket 8 pin and converted the spare to start her 10th frame. Needing a strike to force a one-ball roll-off, Coté delivered a flush pocket hit only to find another 8 pin and second consecutive runner-up finish at the PWBA Fountain Valley Open.
"I literally started crying," said Andersson, who was the runner-up as the top seed at the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Queens. "I'm still a little bit shaky, but I'm really proud I was able to do what I've been practicing for all these years - throw those strikes when it matters."
Coté was the top seed at the 2018 event at Fountain Bowl but fell to Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, in the title match, 215-182. She was proud to be able to throw one of her best shots of the day when she needed it.
"I can take away a lot from today," said Coté, the 2016 PWBA Lexington Open champion. "I fought myself physically a lot just today. There were some games where I wasn't bowling well, but I kept fighting to make the best shots I could to put myself in position to win.
"Recently, I found myself not making the best shots under pressure, so I think I proved to myself I can handle that pressure and make that shot. I put the ball where it needed to go, but the pins didn't fall my way."
Coté advanced to the title match after defeating Colombia's Clara Guerrero, 209-190. Guerrero held a slight advantage heading into the ninth frame but also was slowed down by a 7-10 split.
Coté, who had rolled strikes in her eighth and ninth frames, secured the win with a nine count on her first delivery in the 10th frame.
In Saturday's first match, Guerrero delivered five consecutive strikes starting in the second frame to outdistance hometown favorite Missy Parkin of nearby Laguna Hills, California, 238-189.
Parkin finished in fourth place at the Fountain Valley Open for the second consecutive season.
Competition this week at the PWBA Fountain Valley Open included two eight-game qualifying blocks on Friday to determine the 32 players for Saturday's Round of 32. An additional eight-game block Saturday morning narrowed the field to 12 players, who bowled six additional games to determine the stepladder finalists.
The 2019 PWBA Tour season will continue Sunday at the U.S. Women's Open, the second major championship of the season. The event will be held at Texas Station in Las Vegas, with competition kicking off Sunday with a pre-tournament qualifier at 4 p.m. Eastern.
The first round of qualifying at the 2019 U.S. Women's Open will begin Tuesday at 11 a.m. Eastern.
BowlTV will provide live coverage of qualifying and match-play rounds, and the top five competitors at the end of the week will compete for the title live on CBS Sports Network. The finals will take place Sunday, June 23 at 5 p.m. Eastern.