STANDINGS: Match Play | Qualifying
RALEIGH, N.C. - The transition into match play at the QubicaAMF Professional Women's Bowling Association Players Championship on Thursday proved beneficial to Sydney Brummett of Fort Wayne, Indiana, as she jumped 10 spots and into contention for Sunday's televised finals.
Brummett went 6-0 in the opening round of match play at Buffaloe Lanes North to move into seventh place, though Singapore's Cherie Tan and Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, the lone left-handers competing this week, have built a sizeable lead on the rest of the field.
Tan dropped to second, behind Pluhowsky, after the morning's final qualifying round but rebounded with a 4-2 mark in match play and leads through 24 games with a 5,742 pinfall total, including bonus pins. Pluhowsky went 3-3 in match play and stands second with a 5,633 total.
Ukraine's Dasha Kovalova is 150 pins behind Pluhowsky with 5,483, and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York (5,444), and Germany's Birgit Pöppler (5,358) round out the top five.
Competitors will return to Buffaloe Lanes North on Friday at 9 a.m. Eastern for two additional rounds of match play, including a position round. Pinfall totals for 36 games, including bonus pins, will determine the five players advancing to the stepladder finals.
The finals of the PWBA Players Championship, the third major of the 2019 season, will be broadcast live on Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern on CBS Sports Network.
Brummett started match play 199 pins outside the top five, but she quickly cut the deficit to 54 pins entering Friday's final rounds on the strength of her unscathed record.
"For me, match play is no different than qualifying," Brummett said. "I can't do anything about what the other person does. She's going to make her best shots, and I'm going to make mine. I just hope my score is higher than hers at the end of the match."
Qualifying provided a late spark for the 23-year-old right-hander, however, as she found herself out of the cut and one of seven players within 15 pins of the number heading into the final game.
She rolled 258 to pass eight players, finishing qualifying with an 18-game score of 3,813. Nicole Trudell of Bridgeport, Connecticut, finished 18th to grab the final spot into match play with 3,807, and Pluhowsky was the qualifying leader with a 4,265 total.
"Lately, I've been doing a lot of what I call discipline days in practice," Brummett said. "I've kind of revamped my game over the last year and a half, and in those last few shots of qualifying, I made a ball change and told myself it's just like discipline day - just do what you're supposed to do, post your shot and the pins will fall down. Thankfully, they did."
Brummett will continue to focus on her process as she hopes to make a run at her first career championship-round appearance on the PWBA Tour.
"I need to make sure I'm mentally prepared for tomorrow," Brummett said. "I had a really great day, but I want to be just as process-oriented and see how far up the ladder I can go."
All competitors at the 2019 PWBA Players Championship rolled 18 games of qualifying over two days at Buffaloe Lanes North to determine the top 18 for round-robin match play.
BowlTV.com is providing livestream coverage of all rounds leading up to the stepladder finals.