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Bowling News USA - June 26, 2011 Shannon O'Keefe Leads the Storm Staffers at Bowling's U.S Women's Open

(Shannon O'Keefe)

Lisanne Breeschoten of the Netherlands leads a record field of 286 players after the first round of qualifying in Bowling's U.S. Women's Open which got underway on Saturday at AMF Showplace Lanes in Euless, Texas.

The Dutch national team member had games of 233, 289, 247, 251, 203, 247, 300 and 227 for 1997 eight-game total and an average of 249.63.

Breeschoten leads Team USA members Shannon Pluhowsky and Storm's Shannon O'Keefe by 23 and 40 pins. Looking for her first U.S. Open title, Pluhowsky started Squad C on Saturday evening with 290, 232, 279, 245, 238, 241 and 268 but had to settle for second place with 1974 behind a 181 final game.

O'Keefe used four 250s and a high game of 269 to finish the first of three qualifying rounds in third place with 1957.

April Ellis was mere 24 pins behind Pluhowsky in Squad to move into fourth place with 1950. Ellis had games of 264, 247, 224, 255, 259, 217, 287 and 197 for a 243.75 average. During qualifying the lanes will be oiled only before the morning squad.

Two-time U.S. Open winner Liz Johnson slipped from was third to fifth place with 1919 and was followed by Anita Manns in sixth with 1915), Defending champion Kelly Kulick had a slow start with 223, 238, 238, and 200 before she closed out the day with 244, 255, 246 and 269 for 1913 pinfall total, good for seventh place.

Rounding out the top 10 after the first day were Jacqui Reese (1901), 16-time PWBA champion Carol Gianotti of Australia (1900) and long-time Team USA member Lynda Barnes (1899).

Four players achieved perfection. Joining Breeschoten in the 300-Club were former World Ranking Masters champions Diandra Asbaty (13th; 1894) and Sara Vargas, Colombia, (T64th; 1738) and Josie Earnest, United States (T988th; 1695).

All 286 players will return on Sunday for the second block: Squad B at 8 a.m., Squad C at noon and Squad A at 4 p.m.

Qualifying runs from Saturday through Monday (eight-game blocks each) and is followed by the Rounds of 32 and 16 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The top five players will determine the champion in a stepladder final on June 30 to be staged on the biggest stage possible for their sport: the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and host of Super Bowl XLV.

The show will be broadcast on ESPN2's "Best and the Brightest," Saturday, July 2 at 6 p.m. ET.

The 2011 U.S. Women’s Open will offer total prize fund of $200.000 based on 300 entries. The tournament winner will receive a $50,000 purse. The runner-up gets $25,000, third place is worth $15,000, the fourth-place finisher takes $12,500 while the fifth-place finisher garners $10,000. If a competitor in the championship match rolls a 300, she will win $1 million.

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