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Bowling News USA - June 27, 2011 Pluhowsky Leads at the U.S Women's Open, O'Keefe, Woessner, Asbaty in Contention

Shannon Pluhowsky of Kettering, Ohio, leaped one spot during the second round to lead a field of 284 players from the original 291 including five no-shows into the final day of qualifying at the U.S. Women's Open.

Pluhowsky, a two-time World Cup champion and USBC Queens winner, finisher her second block with 268, 204, 277 and 269 for 3872 total and an average of 242 for sixteen games.

The lefty holds 62-pin lead over defending champion Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., who leaped from seventh to second place behind a 1907 series today. Kulick, has won the USBC Queens and the PBA Tournament of Champions alongside the U.S. Open last year, has totaled 3820 pins.

Storm's Shannon O'Keefe is in tenth place (3714) followed by fellow staffers Jodi Woessner (12th place - 3695) and DIandra Asbaty (16th - 3647).

Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y. moved up two places to third with 3805 and is followed by April Ellis, who maintained her fourth place with an 1844 series and 3794 total.

Jacqui Reese led Squad A, which closed out the second day of qualifying Sunday evening at AMF Showplace Lanes in Euless, Texas, to overtake fifth place with 3753 including an 1852 series today. Long-time Team USA member Lynda Barnes (left) was mere pins behind to leap into sixth place with 3744.

Tennelle Milligan jumped from 20th to seventh place with 3740 thanks to a 1907 series. Day one leader Lisanne Breeschoten (right) slipped to eighth place with 3723. The Dutch national team member had eight games between 203 and 235 but her 1726 series and 215.75 average was the lowest of the top 10 bowlers.

Anita Manns is the fourth player of Squad A, who is among the top 10, in ninth place with 3721.

Tinickia Fleming currently holds the 32nd and last place to advance with 3552 or an average of 222.

The international contingent is well represented among the top 32. 16-time PWBA champion Carol Gianotti of Australia is 13th with 3694.

Koreans Kim Seul Ki (24th; 3596) and Kim Chun Hee (25th; 3591) are sandwiched between Swedish World and European champion Helen Johnsson (right; 23rd; 3599) and Nina Flack (27th; 3687).

Australia's Maxine Nable and Latvia's Diana Zavjalova are tied for 28th place at 3586. Current European Bowling Tour ranking leader Mai Ginge Jensen, Denmark, is 31st with 3557.

137th place Brittani Scruggs-Barb rolled the ninth 300 game of this Year's U.S. Open in the sixth game of Squad A.

The remaining 284 players will return on Monday for the third and last qualifying block before the first cut to the top 32: Squad C starts at 8 a.m., Squad A follows at noon and Squad B will close out the qualifying 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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