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Johnson breaks record en route to top seed at USBC Queens

RENO, Nev. - Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., made it clear Tuesday that she was not going to bow out quietly at this year's United States Bowling Congress Queens.

Johnson earned the top seed for the stepladder finals in record-breaking fashion, setting the all-time match-play three-game series mark with an 806-603 victory over Michelle Feldman of Auburn, N.Y.

Johnson will attempt to win her first USBC Queens title during the nationally televised finals live on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. EDT on Wednesday from the Reno Events Center.

Joining Johnson in the championship round is second seed Michelle Feldman of Auburn, N.Y., third seed Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., fourth seed Lisa Bishop of Belleville, Mich., and fifth seed Brenda Edwards of Mansfield, Texas.

This is the fourth time since 2004 that Johnson has advanced to the Queens championship round, but she has always come up short in her bid to win the event. She finished third last year, second in 2006 and fifth in 2004.

"Winning the Queens would be the cherry on the icing for me," Johnson said. "I've had two major titles, national titles, local titles, world titles, but this is the one that has eluded me. I just have to focus on one game because I just don't want to put too much pressure on myself."

In the match to determine the top seed, Johnson blew past Feldman in breaking the match play series record of 803 set a day earlier by Shannon O'Keefe of Arlington, Texas. Johnson's 806 series also makes her the only woman to shoot 800 in match play in both the Queens and the USBC Masters (843 in 2007).

"Not only was I excited to shoot 800 in the Queens, but also having one in the Masters is a pretty proud feat for me," Johnson said. "Michelle and I just went out there and had a good time because at that point we were both on the show already."

The top four seeds were the final four players remaining in the winners bracket, while Edwards made her way through the contenders bracket. Edwards defeated defending champion Lynda Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, 710-676 to earn the final spot in the finals.

The 2009 USBC Queens featured a field of 251 of the top female bowlers in the world competing for a total prize fund of $200,000 with $30,000 going to the winner.

At National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev.
Tuesday's Results

Match play
Double elimination, three-game matches decided by total pinfall
(Name/hometown followed by three-game pinfall total)


Round 2

Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., def. Kristal Wilson, Lawrence, Kan., 791-645
Stefanie Nation, Arlington, Texas, def. Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio, 718-566
Michelle Feldman, Auburn, N.Y., def. Samantha Williams, Hunt Valley, Calif., 553-531
Carol Gianotti, Henderson, Nev., def. Adrianne Barela, Henderson, Nev., 652-596
Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., def. Kendra Gaines, Orlando, Fla., 679-556
Shannon O'Keefe, Arlington, Texas, def. Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 679-676
Lisa Bishop, Belleville, Mich., def. Leslie Rapach, Charlotte, N.C., 695-523
Brenda Edwards, Mansfield, Texas, def. Jamie Martin, Omaha, Neb., 681-601

Round 3

Kulick def. Nation, 653-630
Feldman def. Gianotti, 743-668
Johnson def. O'Keefe, 733-722
Bishop def. Edwards, 654-646

Round 4

Feldman def. Kulick, 652-583
Johnson def. Bishop, 663-563

Round 5

Johnson def. Feldman, 806-603


Round 3
(Losers eliminated, earn $1,700)

Missy Bellinder, Fullerton, Calif., def. Takiko Naganawa, Japan, 707-588
Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, def. Stephanie Beck, Dubuque, Iowa, 753-572
Kim Terrell-Kearney, Dover, Del., def. Nichole Spratford, Flanders, N.J., 673-590
Michelle Sterner, Niagara Falls, N.Y., def. Rebecca Williamson, Matoaca, Va., 589-569
Elysia Current, Ephrata, Pa., def. Jennifer Petrick, Canton, Ohio, 645-642
Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, def. Shana Ray, Woodsboro, Texas, 668-646
Christina Kinney, Las Vegas def. Shannon Pluhowsky, Phoenix, 627-617
Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., def. Christine Kato, Pearl City, Hawaii, 637-556

Round 4
(Losers eliminated, earn $2,000)

Martin def. Bellinder, 569-536
Gaines def. Dorin-Ballard, 643-612
Terrell-Kearney def. Williams, 706-616
Sterner def. Wilson, 655-654
Woessner def. Current, 670-549
Barnes def. Asbaty, 690-665
Rapach def. Kinney, 606-591
Galante def. Barela, 608-557

Round 5
(Losers eliminated, earn $2,400)

Gaines def. Martin, 710-621
Terrell-Kearney def. Sterner, 650-630
Barnes def. Woessner, 676-584
Galante def. Rapach, 700-589

Round 6
(Losers eliminated, earn $3,300)

Edwards def. Gaines, 764-581
Terrell-Kearney def. Gianotti, 738-635
Barnes def. O'Keefe, 657-605
Galante def. Nation, 667-657

Round 7
(Losers eliminated, earn $4,200)

Edwards def. Terrell-Kearney, 702-693
Barnes def. Galante, 729-667

Round 8
(Loser eliminated, earns $5,500)

Edwards def. Barnes, 710-676

By Lucas Wiseman
USBC Communications