TUCSON, Ariz. – The last week has been an up-and-down ride for Katelyn Simpson on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour.
Simpson, from Emmett, Idaho, averaged 230 during Friday’s eight-game first round of the PWBA Tucson Open at Golden Pin Lanes and her 1,850 pinfall total leads Josie Barnes of Nashville, Tennessee, by 13 pins. Barnes closed the opening block with a 280 game.
Local favorite Bryanna Cote of Red Rock, Arizona, and 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion Liz Kuhlkin of Schenectady, New York, are tied for third at 1,795 with United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, in fifth at 1,787.
BowlTV.com has live coverage of all rounds of the PWBA Tucson Open, including the stepladder finals.
“I actually was able to see the lane pretty well, and I matched up pretty good, so I took advantage of it,” said Simpson, who said she used one ball the entire block. “It went pretty smooth and I was not paying attention to where I was in the standings – I didn’t really know what game we were in, to be honest. I just went with the flow, took it one shot at a time.”
Simpson struggled at last week’s PWBA Sonoma County Open and also bowled in the Sunday PWBA regional at Double Decker Lanes. She bowled well in the regional though missed the cut to the stepladder finals by two pins after shooting a 169 in her final game.
The performance did give Simpson a confidence boost heading into the Tucson event.
“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.”
Simpson will look to carry that momentum into Friday’s second round of the PWBA Tucson Open, which starts at 5 p.m., after which the field will be cut to the top 32 players.
On Saturday. the top 32 will bowl eight more games before the field is cut to the top 12 players, who will bowl six more games to determine the four players for the stepladder finals at 5:30 p.m.