Top 20 Seasons

USBC Films is presenting a new docuseries celebrating the greatest bowlers and seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling.

This series will give a glimpse into the top 20 seasons since the creation of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association in 1960. The videos will dive into top moments and record performances, while recognizing the storied careers of the athletes that continue to inspire the current and next generation of PWBA Tour players.


No. 1 - Patty Costello's 1976
Debuted Dec. 4, 2020


Our journey through the greatest seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling has reached its pinnacle! After examining all of the numbers and record performances, Patty Costello’s 1976 season tops our list!

Costello collected a record-setting seven titles during the season in just 17 events, including a pair of major victories at the U.S. Women’s Open and PWBA Championship. The left-hander added one additional runner-up finish during the season, and she went on to out average the rest of the tour by nearly eight pins over the course of the year.

Costello made a previous appearance on our top 20 countdown, with her five-win 1972 coming in at No. 10. The PWBA and USBC Hall of Famer finished her professional career with 25 titles, which ties her for fourth on the all-time list.


No. 2 - Lisa Wagner's 1988
Debuted Nov. 20, 2020


PWBA and USBC Hall of Famer Lisa Wagner holds the record for career victories on the PWBA Tour with 32 titles, and she captured six of those wins during her fantastic 1988 season to earn the No. 2 spot on our list of the top 20 seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling.

Wagner had 10 seasons on tour with multiple wins, with her six-win performance in 1988 serving as her top season.

She started the year by winning the season-opening event in March and claimed her first major in April at the U.S. Women’s Open. Wagner won three of the first four events to start the summer swing, before capturing her final victory of the year in October.


No. 3 - Carolyn Dorin-Ballard's 2001
Debuted Nov. 13, 2020


An unbelievable run in 2001 has earned Carolyn Dorin-Ballard the No. 3 spot on our countdown of the Top 20 seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling!

Dorin-Ballard started the year with a major victory at the USBC Queens, but that was just the beginning of her dream season. She collected seven wins, including three consecutive victories in June and July of 2001, to tie the record for wins in a single season, set by Patty Costello in 1976.

Dorin-Ballard added two runner-up finishes to her memorable 2001 campaign and made a record 18 TV shows in 23 events.

She now owns 20 PWBA Tour titles and was part of the 2020 PWBA Hall of Fame Class. She was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2008.


No. 4 - Dorothy Fothergill's 1968
Debuted Nov. 6, 2020


Dorothy Fothergill will make her second appearance on our countdown of the Top 20 seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling as we celebrate her incredible performance during the 1968 season.

Fothergill collected four titles during the season, including a pair of majors at the BPAA All-Star (now U.S. Women’s Open) and PWBA Championship. She added three runner-up finishes in the 12-event season to earn the No. 4 spot on our list.

The legendary left-hander, who is part of both the PWBA and USBC Halls of Fame, also was recognized for her performance during the 1969 season, ranking at No. 18 on our countdown.


No. 5 - Kelly Kulick's 2010
Debuted Oct. 16, 2020


Kelly Kulick’s magical run in 2010 comes in at No. 5 in our countdown of the Top 20 seasons in the history of women’s professional bowling.

Although there was not a women’s tour in 2010, Kulick made the most of her opportunities to compete on the biggest stages. She won both women’s majors held during the year – USBC Queens and U.S. Women’s Open – and became the first woman to win a title on the PBA Tour when she kicked off the decade with a victory at the PBA Tournament of Champions.


No. 6 - Millie Ignizio's 1967
Debuted Oct. 9, 2020


Our countdown of the Top 20 seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling goes back to 1967 this week as we celebrate Millie Ignizio’s breakout season, which earned her the No. 6 spot in our rankings.

Ignizio collected four wins in just nine events in 1967, including the first of her three USBC Queens titles. She started the season with back-to-back victories, before adding a runner-up finish in the third event of the year. The talented left-hander collected 10 titles from 1967 through 1973 on her way to both the PWBA and USBC Hall of Fame.


No. 7 - Liz Johnson's 2017
Debuted Oct. 2, 2020


USBC Hall of Famer Liz Johnson rolled to her third consecutive PWBA Player of the Year award in 2017, and her dominating showing during the season earns her the No. 7 spot in our countdown of the Top 20 seasons in the history professional women’s bowling.

Johnson’s 2015 campaign was No. 17 on our list, and her 2017 season featured some of the most jaw-dropping statistics since the relaunch of the PWBA Tour. She collected three wins, including two majors – Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship and her fourth consecutive U.S. Women’s Open.

Her overall consistency helped her advance to TV in nine of the 13 events, including a stretch of five consecutive tournaments, and she finished as the runner-up at the USBC Queens and third at the Tour Championship.

Johnson also would find success on the PBA Tour in 2017, becoming just the second woman to win a PBA Tour title after she claimed victory at the PBA Chameleon Championship.


No. 8 - Aleta Sill's 1984
Debuted Sept. 25, 2020


Legendary southpaw Aleta Sill put together an incredible run during her 1984 season, and it earns the No. 8 spot on our list of the Top 20 seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling!

The PWBA and USBC Hall of Famer collected five titles in 1984, putting an exclamation point on the year with a win in the final event of the season at the LPBT Tournament of Champions. She also finished as the runner-up in three events, including the Queens.


No. 9 - Shannon O’Keefe’s 2019
Debuted Sept. 18, 2020


The most recent performance in our countdown of the Top 20 seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling belongs to Shannon O’Keefe and her remarkable 2019 campaign, coming in at No. 9 on our list!

O’Keefe claimed her second consecutive PWBA Player of the Year by posting five wins, including her third major victory, and second overall, at the PWBA Tour Championship. O’Keefe put together an incredible 11-2 record in her stepladder finals appearances during the season and also finished second at the QubicaAMF PWBA Players Championship and third at the U.S. Women’s Open.


No. 10 - Patty Costello's 1972
Debuted Sept. 11, 2020


We are halfway through our countdown of the 20 greatest seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling! Our dive into the top 10 starts with the great Patty Costello and her performance during the 1972 season.

The PWBA and USBC Hall of Famer collected five titles during the season, including a stretch of three consecutive wins and a successful title defense at the PWBA Championship.


No. 11 - Donna Adamek's 1980
Debuted Sept. 4, 2020


Our countdown of the 20 greatest seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling continues this week as we celebrate Donna Adamek’s 1980 season.

The PWBA and USBC Hall of Famer quickly collected 13 titles over a five-year stretch from 1977-1981, with her performance in 1980 including three victories in just 12 events. Her biggest wins of the season came at the Queens, where she successfully defended her title, and the WPBA Championship. Adamek claimed her third of four consecutive IBMA Bowler of the Year awards in 1980, and she finished her career with 19 PWBA Tour titles.


No. 12 – Robin Romeo’s 1989
Debuted Aug. 28, 2020


Robin Romeo’s five-win campaign during the 1989 season comes in at No. 12 on our list of the 20 greatest seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling.

Romeo won two of the first three events to start the season, and she claimed her biggest win of the year at the U.S. Women’s Open on her way to being named PWBA Player of the Year. Romeo’s 17 career wins helped her earn induction to both the PWBA and USBC Halls of Fame.


No. 13 – Pat Costello’s 1974
Debuted Aug. 21, 2020


A pair of major victories and four total wins in 1974 helped PWBA and USBC Hall of Famer Pat Costello earn the No. 13 spot on our countdown of the Top 20 seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling.

Costello captured her first title of the season at the U.S. Women’s Open, and she went on to add the PWBA Championship for her second major of the year. She claimed a total of 13 titles during her career.


No. 14 - Tish Johnson's 1992
Debuted Aug. 14, 2020


Tish Johnson earned the No. 14 spot on our countdown of the 20 greatest seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling with her incredible four-win 1992 season.

Johnson earned the PWBA Player of the Year award for the first of two times that year (she also won it in 1995) and would go on to win 25 titles in her illustrious career, becoming one of the most popular and entertaining players the sport has ever seen.


No. 15 – Nikki Gianulias’ 1982
Debuted Aug. 7, 2020


Nikki Gianulias earned the No. 15 spot on our countdown of the Top 20 Seasons in the history of professional women’s bowling with her thrilling run through 1982.

Gianulias bowled for the title in eight of the 14 events that season, winning four times on her way to being named the BWAA (now IBMA) Bowler of the Year. She would go on to win 19 titles in her career and be inducted to the PWBA (1996) and USBC (1997) Halls of Fame.


No. 16 – Wendy Macpherson’s 1997
Debuted July 31, 2020


Wendy Macpherson makes her second appearance on our countdown of the Top 20 Seasons in PWBA history, with her performance from the 1997 season coming in at No. 16 on our list.

Macpherson captured four titles on her way to setting the single-season earnings record ($165,425), and her overall showing helped her earn her second consecutive PWBA Player of the Year award. She’d also go on to win the award in 1999 and 2000 to be named Bowlers Journal’s Female Bowler of the Decade for the 1990s.


No. 17 – Liz Johnson’s 2015
Debuted July 24, 2020


The PWBA returned to action in 2015 after a 12-year hiatus, and Liz Johnson helped usher in the latest era of the tour by claiming her first of three consecutive PWBA Player of the Year awards and the No. 17 spot on our list of the Top 20 Seasons in the history of women’s professional bowling.

Johnson captured three wins during the season, including a pair of major titles at the USBC Queens and U.S. Women’s Open. Since the relaunch of the tour in 2015, Johnson has collected 10 titles, including five majors, and sits sixth all-time in tour titles with 24.


No. 18 – Dorothy Fothergill’s 1969
Debuted July 3, 2020

Dorothy Fothergill made a huge impact on the world of professional women’s bowling in the late 1960s, and her 1969 season comes in as No. 18 on our list of the Top 20 Seasons in PWBA Tour history.

The PWBA and USBC Hall of Famer collected three wins in the seven events during the 1969 season, including a pair of majors – the BPAA Women’s All-Star (now U.S. Women’s Open) and PWBA Championship. The talented left-hander also was named the BWAA (now IBMA) Bowler of the Year award for a second consecutive season.


No. 19 – Wendy Macpherson’s 2000
Debuted June 26, 2020


The legendary Wendy Macpherson and her run during the 2000 season ranks as No. 19 on our list of the Top 20 Seasons in the history of professional women's bowling.

The PWBA and USBC Hall of Famer registered two wins during the 23-event season, including the Queens, but it was her incredibly consistency that helped her earn a spot on the countdown. Macpherson notched a then-record 15 championship-round appearances on her way to claiming her fourth PWBA Player of the Year award.


No. 20 - Joy Abel's 1966
Debuted June 19, 2020

PWBA and USBC Hall of Famer Joy Abel will kick off our countdown of the Top 20 Seasons in the history of professional women's bowling.

Her 1966 season comes in at No. 20 on our list. Abel claimed three titles, including the BPAA Women's All-Star (now known as the U.S. Women's Open), on her way to being named BWAA (now IBMA) Bowler of the Year.


Top 20 Seasons - Trailer

BROADCAST SCHEDULE

(All times Eastern; subject to change)

Thursday, Jan. 21 - 9 p.m.
PWBA Bowlers Journal Classic
Championship Round
BowlTV.com

Saturday, Jan. 23 - 9 p.m.
PWBA ITRC Classic
Championship Round
BowlTV.com

Sunday, Jan. 24 - 9 p.m.
PWBA Arlington Regional
Championship Round
BowlTV.com

Tuesday, Jan. 26 - 9 p.m.
PWBA Hall of Fame Classic
Championship Round
BowlTV.com

LIVE TWITTER FEED