PWBA Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year Races come down to final stop in August

ARLINGTON, Texas – After six different locations and eight events, the 2024 Professional Women’s Bowling Association National Tour season has been full of highlights and intrigue as the PWBA Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year races heat up with PWBA Tour Championship Week in Detroit, the culminating event on the schedule in August.

The season started off in May at Cedervale Lanes in Eagan, Minnesota, where veteran Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, took home the PWBA GoBowling! Twin Cities Open title over England’s Verity Crawley, who climbed the stepladder as the No. 5 seed to reach the title match.

Pluhowsky also won the PWBA Music City Classic as a part of the PWBA Classic Series – Nashville, earning multiple titles in a season for the first time in her PWBA Tour career. She leads the tour in top-12 appearances with six and is tied with Crawley for most stepladder appearances with four.

The United States Bowling Congress Queens in Green Bay, Wisconsin, saw Pluhowsky take the top seed heading into match play, but she was dispatched by 2023 Rookie of the Year Hope Gramly of Aubrey, Texas, who became the No. 1 seed for the TV finals and earned her second Queens finals telecast in three years.

Defending champion Lindsay Boomershine of Brigham City, Utah, made the stepladder and attempted to become the first person to repeat as Queens champion since 1982, while Canada’s Felicia Wong made her first career telecast.

Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, also made the TV show, looking to claim her third tiara overall and first since 2010 to punctuate what has looked to be a resurgent season for the five-time major titlist.

But it was Jillian Martin of Stow, Ohio, who was the last bowler standing, winning her first major and becoming the youngest Queens winner ever at 19 years old, breaking the previous record that Wendy MacPherson set in 1988 at the age of 20.

It was Martin’s second win at a PWBA event, after claiming victory at the 2021 BowlTV Classic to become the youngest athlete to win a national tour event. Martin took the longest road possible to victory at the Queens as she lost her first-round match only to rattle off seven-straight wins in the Elimination Bracket before becoming the No. 3 seed on the TV show.

After Martin took home the tiara, the PWBA Classic Series – Nashville rolled around, and it saw Singapore’s Cherie Tan put her stamp on the season, finishing no worse than third in all three Classic Series events, winning the 2024 BowlTV Classic and authoring the second-highest 12-game qualifying total since the PWBA Tour’s 2015 relaunch of the tour (2,964).

The following week in Clarksville, Indiana, Lauren Russo of Ballwin, Missouri, averaged over 239 for 24 games en route to her first career PWBA title at the Southern Indiana Open.

The title match between Russo and 2023 PWBA Player of the Year Jordan Richard of Tipton, Michigan, was the second-highest combined scoring title match since the relaunch of the tour at 526 (267-259).

High scores were prevalent throughout the Southern Indiana Open as five 300 games were thrown in competition, including two by Erin McCarthy of Elkhorn, Nebraska. The five perfect games tied for third most at any one PWBA event and pushed the overall number of 300s thrown so far during the 2024 PWBA Tour season to 10.

Malaysia’s Sin Li Jane is not on the list of bowlers who have achieved perfection so far this season, but that’s about the only list her name isn’t at or near the top of.

Sin returned to the PWBA Tour this season after a four-year hiatus, and, so far, she has made her presence known in a big way. She won her first event back at the PWBA Bowlers Journal Rockford Open in a wire-to-wire victory.

She continued with a strong effort the following week at the USBC Queens, finishing sixth, one spot out of the stepladder finals.

In Nashville, Sin won the first event of the Classic Series, the Greater Nashville Classic, placed in the top 12 at the BowlTV Classic and was in the top 24 at the Music City Classic. Then, the following week, she placed 14th at the Southern Indiana Open.
At the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open in Indianapolis, Sin lurked in the shadows, staying within the cut to advance to match play before coming alive to win 16 of her 24 matches to clinch the No. 1 seed on the TV show. Once there, she went on to defeat Latvia’s Diana Zavjalova for her first career major and third PWBA title of the season.

Needless to say, the soft-spoken Sin came roaring back to the PWBA Tour with her performance on the lanes. In her three stepladder appearances, Sin has been the No. 1 seed twice and the No. 3 seed once while going a perfect 5-0 in matches and averaging over 228.

Sin Li Jane has already carved out a piece of history for herself this season, but can she make even more heading into the final PWBA Tour stop in Detroit as she looks to become the first international Player of the Year in PWBA history?

She leads the tour in wins (3), earnings ($103,325) and points (79,850), while tied for first in match play appearances (5). Sin is also tied for second in top-12 appearances (5), tied for third in stepladder appearances (3), tied for fifth in cashes (7) and is eighth on tour in average with 215.81 in 208 games bowled this season.

Sin still must contend with Pluhowsky, who is only a few thousand points behind, a gap that can easily be closed with one good event. Crawley is also someone to watch. She’s about 26,000 points behind, a larger gap to close, but one good week can close it quickly.

Additionally, there are also players like Dasha Kovalova of Ukraine, Bryanna Coté of Tucson, Arizona, Richard and more who could make a jump up if they have a great week in Detroit.

Over in the Rookie of the Year race, Crystal Elliott of Palm Bay, Florida, is leading the pack in a strong class of new PWBA bowlers. Elliott has cashed in all eight events so far, making three match-play appearances and earning a stepladder finals berth at the Twin Cities Open where she finished fifth. Elliott also has the 11th-highest average on tour this season with 213.58 in 192 games bowled, continuing her excellent 2024 as she won the United States Amateur Bowling Championships to earn a spot on Team USA and the NCAA Bowling Championships with Jacksonville State.

Other notable rookies having strong starts to their PWBA careers are Bailey Delrose of Crest Hill, Illinois, Laura Beuthner of Germany, Rebecca Hagerman of Loves Park, Illinois, and Cassidy Courey of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, all of whom have cashed at least three times and made match play at least once.

Elliott has a comfortable lead in the ROY race with a 20,000-point cushion over Delrose, but as this season has already shown, anyone from anywhere can pop off at any time.

The PWBA Tour continues July 25-28 with the PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles in Houston, before the PBA/PWBA/PBA50 Jonesboro Trios event in Jonesboro, Arkansas, July 31-Aug. 3. These events will not count toward points but will count as a title toward their respective tours for the winners.

For more information on the SABC Mixed Doubles, visit

For the Jonesboro Trios, visit