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In the Pocket: Rotterdam native Kuhlkin rallies to win tournament

In the Pocket: Rotterdam native Kuhlkin rallies to win tournament

Bob Weiner's weekly bowling column
In the Pocket: Rotterdam native Kuhlkin rallies to win tournament
Liz Kuhlkin
Photographer: Bob Weiner/For The Daily Gazette

With Halloween just around the corner, Rotterdam native Liz Kuhlkin had a few tricks up her sleeve last weekend to register a difficult victory in one of the Capital Region’s top tournaments for elite bowlers.

On an extremely demanding condition where strikes were hard to come by, Kuhlkin pulled out a couple of brand new balls and then put on a spare clinic to rally past Ryan Graywacz 206-201 in the finals of the annual Action Bowling Supply Scratch Challenge last Sunday at Towne Bowling Academy.

Towne Bowling Academy is Kuhlkin’s home bowling center, but the oil pattern used for this event leveled the playing field. Kuhlkin needed games of 233 and 235 to grab the top qualifying spot with a 1,057 in the five-game sweeper portion of the tournament, giving her the No. 1 seed for the five-person stepladder finals. She averaged a modest 211 over those five games.

In the championship game, Graywacz, bowling a deep inside angle, led by more than 20 pins most of the way after tossing a triple in frames two through five. Kuhlkin couldn’t put many strikes together against him, but stayed clean by converting several challenging spares, including the 3-6-10 in the fourth frame, the 3-6-9 in the fifth and the washout in the sixth.

Kuhlkin finally doubled in the eighth and ninth frames, and when Graywacz missed a 4-pin spare in the ninth frame, she was able to move past him with a strike on the first ball in the 10th and a spare. Graywacz, a Canastota resident and national staff member at MOTIV Bowling, struck out in the 10th, but it wasn’t good enough.
Kuhlkin earned $950 for the win, and Graywacz took home $550. Brian Hall of Rochester was third ($450), followed by Amsterdam’s Jim Geiger ($360) and Clifford Wheelock of Chicopee, Massachusetts ($250).

The 26-year-old Schalmont High School and Nebraska graduate continues to excel both on and off the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour. She has two PWBA wins, including the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open, and also won the 2016 PWBA Maple City Dodge East Open regional in Hornell. Kuhlkin also has been a stalwart for Team USA, earning several gold, silver and bronze medals in two Team USA appearances and one Junior Team USA berth. She won a gold medal in team competition at the World Championships last summer. The two-time national champion, three-time All-American and NCAA Division I Player of the Year at Nebraska still holds the national record for highest three-game series by a woman (890).

But Kuhlkin also owns numerous other trophies, including last year’s prestigious Donato Scratch Singles tournament at Towne Bowling Academy and the New York State Queens Championship, just to name a few.

Even with all that experience, she was surprisingly on edge for Sunday’s tournament.

“I’ve bowled in a lot of tournaments. I’m a U.S. Open winner and I’m a gold medal winner, but I was nervous out of my mind today,” she said. “It was my home house, in front of my home crowd, and my parents were there. I was lucky to stand up and make a good shot when I needed it.”

Kuhlkin, a Brunswick staffer, said she used a pair of new balls during the tournament, a DV8 Verge and a Brunswick Prism hybrid. For one frame, she even pulled out a Prowler.

“I had a really nice look most of the day. I wasn’t throwing it bad, but I wasn’t stringing strikes, and I had too many splits. I finally moved left,” she said. “I found a few balls that blended my shots in the mid-lane.”

Since she earned a bye for leading the qualifying, she was able to watch the other three matches of the stepladder finals.

“I got to sit and watch, and I saw that the fronts of the lanes were on fire. They were really burned up,” she said. “I juggled with the idea of having to move way right with a lesser-hooking ball. Ryan was standing so far left, behind the ball return, and if I tried that, it wouldn’t be very good. That’s not my shot.

“Fortunately I picked up some tough spares, like that 3-6-9, which is no walk in the park, and making the washout was the key to the match. “

Chalk up another big-time win for Kuhlkin.

STRIKES & SPARES

Clifton Park left-hander Pete Dougherty won the Brian Boghosian Seniors and Women Scratch Tour stop last weekend at Hi-Way Recreation in Wynantskill by defeating fellow lefty Scott Rogers 211-200 in the final. Dougherty earned $320, plus a Storm Match Up ball. Rogers earned $240. John Kirker ($165) and Mark Rathbun ($160) rounded out the top shooters.

Sportsman’s Bowl will host the 41st annual New York Open State Senior Championships Saturday and Sunday after hosting last weekend, as well. Entry fee will be $60 for doubles, $30 for singles and $10 for a six-game combine. Handicap will be 90 percent of 230. Age divisions will be Class E (age 50-54), Class D (55-59), Class C (60-64), Class B (65-69), Class A (70-74) and Super Senior (75 and older). You may bowl with a senior from another age group. For more information, call 585-343-3736 or email [email protected]. Send entry blanks to NYS USBC 55 Edgewood Drive, Batavia, N.Y., 14020.

Towne Bowling Academy hosts the Albany TNBA Senate Trio Tournament Oct. 26-27 over five squads, beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 26. Entry fee is $30 per bowler, and the top prize, based on 100 entries, is $1,800 per team. Handicap is based on 90 percent of 230, with a maximum handicap of 75 pins per game.

The Amateur League Bowlers Association of New York, for bowlers with averages less than 215, kicks off its 2019-20 season Sunday at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy. The schedule continues Nov. 17 (at Towne Bowling Academy), a doubles tournament on Dec. 15 (back at Uncle Sam Lanes), Jan. 12 (at Town N Country Lanes), March 22 (at Sportsman’s Bowl) and the A.L.B.A.N.Y. Main Event (at Spare Time Latham). All tournaments begin at 9:30 a.m. Handicaps will be 100 percent, but this season, all bowlers will establish a tournament handicap, based on the scores of their first six events.

Sportsman’s Bowl will present its annual five-person team Tavern Tournament Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. Handicap is 100 percent of 220. Entry fee is $125 per team. One in six teams will cash. First place is $550 guaranteed, based on 28 teams. Mail entries to Sportsman’s Bowl at 1652 Crane Street, Schenectady, N.Y., 12303. For more information, call 518-355-4330.

Towne Bowling Academy’s Halloween Tavern Tournament is set for Nov. 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Entry fee is $25 per person. Contact Towne Bowling Academy (518-355-3939) for more information.

MAJOR BOWLING

Chris Fawcett uncorked a 279-790, Jamie Diamond rolled a perfect game on the way to a 769 and Melissa Bogholtz fired a 711 to lead the women in the Sportsman’s Majors Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl.

Billy Wigand slammed a 287-758, Scot Rogers ripped a 268-741, Matt Kallner tossed a 262-740, Ken LaBelle rolled a 300 game and Liz Kuhlkin led the women’s division with a 712 to pace the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League Monday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

In the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic Tuesday night at Boulevard Bowl, Phil Kilmartin registered a 275-953 four-game series, Ryan Karabin shot a 279-911 and Tony Bianchi put together a 908.

Scott Rogers rolled a 259-957, Don Herrington shot a 268-950, Kris Impellizzeri recorded a 279-942, Jessica Aiezza tossed a 278-937 and Liz Kuhlkin had a 926 in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league Wednesday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL CITY LEAGUE

Standings
Towne Bowling Academy 14-4, J&F Lawn Care 14-4, 20 North 13.5-4.5, DeCrescente Distributing 13-5 Falvey Real Estate 12.5-5.5, Downs Roofing 10.5-7.5, Broadway Lanes 1-8, Bedrock Construction 10-8, Vito Sindoni & Son 9.5-8.5, Boulevard Bowl 8-10, Mohawk Honda 7-11, A Plus Heating 6-12, Rollarama 6-12, Kristel Mechanic 4-14, D&D Lawncare 3.5-14.5, Action Bowling Supply 2.5-15.5.
Match summaries
A Plus Heating (0)
Marc Fowler 198-138-201 — 537, Phil Kilmartin 202-222-216 — 640, Paul Bonesteel (absent) 190-190-190 — 570, Bob Faragon 215-204-216 — 635. Totals: 805-754-823 — 2,382.
Towne Bowling Academy (3)
Tom Earl 236-194-246 — 676, Thomas DiBell 188-216-236 — 640, Marty Capullo  Jr. 236-233-254 ‑723, Don Herrington 227-223-194 — 644. Totals: 887-866-930 — 2,683.
———
Broadway Lanes (1)
Mark Ross 234-237-213 — 684, Helen Waite 170-226-243 — 639, Roy Vanderbogart 215-224-206 — 645, Justin Barcomb 266-243-191 — 700. Totals: 885-930-853 — 2,668.
Mohawk Honda (2)
Chip Tashjian 174-183-191 — 548, Ken LaBelle 195-3-215 — 710, Mark Ray 201-257-255 — 713, John Askew 208-238-207 — 653. Totals: 778-978-868 ­ 2,624.
———
J&F Lawn Care (2)
Jason Brown 228-224-192 — 644, R.J. Martinez 206-211-197 — 614, Nick Stricos 201-226-234 — 661, Steve Hallenbeck 254-188-254 — 696. Totals: 889-849-877 — 2,615.
Bedrock Construction (1)
Jim Geiger 233-222-171 ‑626, Keith Livengood 198-158-198 — 554, Steve Wagoner 268-220-246 — 734, Eric Stangle 188-258-201 — 647. Totals: 887-858-816 — 2,561.
———
Vito Sindoni & Son (0)
Scott Chastenay 182-184-214 — 580, Mike DiCerbo 212-187-247 — 646, Rich Strath 247-210-200 — 657, Joe VanDerLinden 245-193-207‑ 645. Totals: 886-774-868 — 2,528.
Downs Roofing (3)
Chris Tinkle 222-208-204 — 634, Nick Barnes 233-183-247 — 663, Ryan Karabin 233-276-211 — 720, Billy Wigand 226-287-245 — 758. Totals: 914-954-907 — 2,775.
———
Falvey Real Estate (3)
Dan Auricchio 236-253-227 — 716, John Walther III 279-237-212 — 728, Jeff Young 184-222-247 — 653 Ron Unser 144-248-190 — 582. Totals: 843-960-876 — 2,679.
D&D Lawncare (0)
Karrie Blake 171-202-201 — 574, Laura Rotter 196-192-184 — 572, Bill Judge 190-220-148 — 558, Patti Tenyenhuis 237-170-207 — 614. Totals: 794-784-740 — 2,318.
———
DeCrescente Distributing (3)
Jessica Aiezza  224-225-234 — 683, Mark Kuhlkin 211-173-244 — 628, Scott Rogers 215-268-258 — 741, Liz Kuhlkin 234-233-245 — 712. Totals: 884-899-981 — 2,764.
Kristel Mechanic (0)
Mel Kristel 175-243-246 — 664, Jeff Whitehouse 234-162-192 — 588, Ed White 222-247-195 — 664, Bryan Kelley 231-177-224 — 632. Totals: 862-829-857 — 2,548.
———
Boulevard Bowl (1)
P.J. Derenzo 163-186-181 — 530, Ken Wilkins 227-208-191 — 626, Mike Scaccia 201-172-184 — 557, Derek Foti 267-192-224 — 683. Totals: 858-758-780 — 2,396.
Rollarama (2)
Keith Lawyer 109-185-246 — 640, Dan Rotter 237-206-175 — 618, Tony Palumbo 212-258-243 — 713, Rob Beedleson 174-224-193 — 591. Totals: 832-873-857 — 2,562.
———
Action Bowling Supply (0.5)
Rit Fazzone 185-192-176 — 553, Bob Messick 221-247-180 — 648, Natasha Bidwell 232-204-197 — 633, Matt Fazzone 255-257-204 — 716. Totals: 893-900-757 — 2,550.
20 North (2.5)
Marc LeClair 232-203-207 — 642, Kenny Livengood 211-201-236 — 648, Joel Donato 246-234-190 — 670, Matt Kallner 257-262-221 — 740. Totals: 946-900-854 — 2,700.

SPORTSMAN’S MAJORS

Standings
Muny Grille 22-2, Next Level Detailing 20-4, Metroland Photo 18-6, Universal Auto Parts 17-7, Mike’s Hot Dogs 16-8, Team No. 5 13-11, The Appliance Specialist 12-12, Madison Grille 9-15, Team No. 10 8-16, I.D.I.D. 5-19, Sauce Baseball 3-21, Klonowski’s Pro Shop 1-23.
Match summaries
Team 10 (3)
Noah Burke 234-202-210 — 646, Rob Mengel 269-247-217 — 733, Cory Buckley 234-227-214 — 675, Tyler Mochrie 259-235-247 — 741. Totals: 996-911-888 — 2,795.
The Appliance Specialist (1)
Mike Liberatore 207-209-205 — 621, Melissa Bogholtz 238-237-236 — 711, Steve Fawcett 191-204-201 — 596, Chris Fawcett 252-259-279 — 790. Totals: 888-909-921 –2,718.
———
Klonowski’s Pro Shop (0)
Doug Bywater 200-166-199 — 565, Ted Klonowski Jr. 179-171-176 — 526, Vince Simoni 221-225-178 — 624, Jim Petronis 208-223-215 — 646. Totals: 808-785-768 — 2,361.
Metroland Photo (4)
Lee Quivey 185-196-214 — 595, Bill Heaphy III 219-217-247 — 683, Mike Gallitelli 214-246-255 — 715, B.J. Smith Jr. 225-208-215 — 648. Totals: 843-867-931 — 2,641.
———
Madison Grille (0)
Nick Kallner 235-203-213 — 651, Eric Hilton 185-244-186 — 615, Len Reyngoudt 223-207-206 — 636, Vacant 200-200-200 — 600. Totals: 843-854-805 — 2,502.
Next Level Detailing (4)
Kim Swiatocha 258-168-215 — 641, Jim Bassotti 238-264-202 — 704, Jim Parker 247-224-217 — 688, Matt Swiatocha 259-236-235 — 730. Totals: 1,002-892-869 — 2,763.
———
Universal Auto Parts (4)
Andy Smith 268-268-216 — 752, Dave Henderson 214-228-235 — 677, Chris Smith 186-215-212 ‑613, Chris Fedden 280-216-198 — 694. Totals: 948-927-861 — 2,736.
I.D.I.D. (0)
Tony Fernandez 181-212-225 — 618, Flash Gordon 176-162-161 — 499, Jim Valentino 210-169-216 — 595, A.J. Perone 226-243-200 — 669. Totals: 793-78-802 — 2,381.
———
Sauce Baseball (1)
Fred McMahon 205-220-238 — 663, Earl Lawrence Jr. 218-210-232 — 660, Bob Tedesco Jr. 197-215-213 ‑625, Mike Smith 226-207-210 — 643. Totals: 846-852-893 — 2,591.
Mike’s Hot Dogs (3)
Terry Ray 223-235-214 — 672, Tammy Sader 246-237-189 — 672, Mike Giaquinto 209-242-191 — 642, Kevin Palmer 227-237-210 — 674. Totals: 905-951-804 — 2,660.
———
Muny Grille (4)
Jay Diamond 191-268-249 ‑  708, Dave Bingham 207-222-168 — 597, John Musto Jr. 244-267-245 — 756, Jamie Diamond 300-222-247 — 769. Totals: 942-979-909 — 2,830.
Team 5 (0)
Zach Gravell 184-233-194 — 611, Kalynn Carl 194-223-189 — 606, Bill Carl 213-192-196 — 601, Justin Carl 220-208-227 — 655. Totals: 811-856-806 — 2,473.

FRANK DEPALMA BOULEVARD CLASSIC

Standings
Masons Automotive 22-8, Team 8 21-9, Boulevard Bowl 16-14, Kalpro 16-14, Town & Country Lanes 14-16, Ledies 14-16, D.A. Parisi & Co. 13-17, Bye 4-26.
Match summaries
Boulevard Bowl (4)
Mike Scaccia 226-214-213-169 — 822, Brian Hart 179-205-172-194 — 750, Derek Foti 185-199-254-172 — 810. Totals: 590-618-639-535 — 2,382.
Kalpro (1)
Keith Lawyer 213-193-199-224 — 829, Kyle Wilkins 146-203-174-198 — 721, Joe Carusone 167-172-237-178 — 754. Totals: 526-568-610-600 — 2,304.
———
Masons Automotive (3)
Ron Williams 213-244-169-223 — 849, Robin Fredenburgh 188-213-181-216 — 798, B.J. Smith Jr. 206-221-265-175 — 867. Totals: 607-678-615-614 — 2,514.
Town & Country Lanes (2)
Terry Ray 193-179-211-154 — 737, Tom Anderson 203-175-208-245 — 831, Anthony Scaccia 213-244-205-203 — 865. Totals: 609-598-624-602 — 2,433.
———
Bye (0)
No one bowled.
Team 8 (5)
Ryan Karabin 279-219-212-201 — 911, Tony Bianchi 226-228-231-223 — 908, Phil Kilmartin 222-244-212-275 — 953. Totals: 727-691-655-699 — 2,772.
———
Ledies (3)
Kathy Bryk 183-240-188-188 — 799, Mark Hansen 222-223-174-206 — 825, Dan Bryk 185-167-202-196 — 750. Totals: 590-630-564-590 — 2,374.
D.A. Parisi & Co. (2)
John Mecca 194-202-234-200 — 830, Jeff Williams 172-201-213-194 — 780 Ken Wilkins 214-225-248-170 — 857. Totals: 580-628-695-54 — 2,467.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL MIXED DOUBLES

Standings
Revolutions Pro Shop 100-40, DeCrescente Distributing 86-54, Towne Bowling Academy 85-55, Next Level Detailing 84-56, 15 Church 78.5-61.5, Sindoni Sausage 78-62, A Touch of Country Florist 77.5-62.5, Sportsman’s Bowl 74-66, Jackie Goodell Keller Williams 74-66, Strike & Spare Pro Shop 73.5-66.5, Capital District Mobile Vet 72-68, Pete’s Auto Parts 66.5-73.5, GPC Solar Control 66-74, Solid Surface Craftsman 65.5-74.5, Boulevard Bowl 65.5-74.5, Bellevue Builders 55.5-84.5, Never Enough Performance 53.5-86.5, Team 4 53-87, Team 5 51.5-88.5, A Plus Heating & Cooling 40.5-99.5.
Match summaries
Revolutions Pro Shop (11)
Lindsey McPhail 224-183-225-200 — 900, Don Herrington 268-234-189-259 — 950. Totals: 509-434-431-476 — 1,850.
15 Church (9)
Aliyah Liberatore 203-178-167-193 — 741, Ben Empie 159-199-204-151 — 713. Totals: 443-458-452-425 — 1,778.
———
Pete’s Auto Parts (8)
Jenn Schissler 185-201-168-255 — 809, Chuckie Schissler 163-254-217-223 — 857. Totals: 395-502-432-525 _ 1,854.
Team 5 (12)
Amber Dominic 234-199-238-210 — 881, Vinny Struffolino 225-223-183-212 — 843. Totals: 517-480-479-480 — 1,956.
———
A Plus Heating & Cooling (5)
Michelle Largeteau 118-122-128-127 — 495, Tony Pasquerella 144-200-159-175 — 678. Totals: 381-441-406-421 — 1,649.
GPC Solar Control (15)
Elizabeth Criscuolo 160-193-126-152 — 631, Gabe Criscuolo 202-224-210-217 — 853. Totals: 425-480-399-432 — 1,736.
———
Solid Surface Craftsman (4)
Cheyanne McPhail 224-233-203-195 — 855, Justin Zullo 190-183-192-170 — 744. Totals: 457-459-438-417 — 1,771.
Capital District Mobile Vet (16)
Chris Allen-Valenzuela 188-267-212-253 — 920, Craig Taylor 225-238-224-216 — 903. Totals: 426-518-449-482 — 1,875.
———
Next Level Detailing (3)
Kim Swiatocha 152-194-191-246 — 783, Matt Swiatocha 243-183-200-226 — 852. Totals: 416-398-412-493 — 1,719.
Towne Bowling Academy (17)
Kris Impellizzeri 224-29-214-225 — 942, Tony Palumbo 236-193-248-232 — 909. Totals: 484-496-486-481 — 1,947.
———
DeCrescente Distributing (9)
Jessica Aiezza 219-278-224-216 — 937, Scott Rogers 259-217-235-246 — 957. Totals: 490-507-471-474 — 1,942.
Boulevard Bowl (11)
Lisa Rathbun-Read 200-243-204-24 — 894, Cliff Ruth 192-223-195-212 — 822. Totals: 450-524-457-517 — 1,948.
———
Bellevue Builders (11)
Ursula Pasquerella 239-179-184-216 — 818, Bill Nolan 173-181-246-178 — 778. Totals: 458-406-476-440 — 1,780.
Strike & Spare Pro Shop (9)
Jackie Malone 173-166-279-162 — 780, Paul Dumas 224-186-257-218 — 885. Totals: 435-390-574-418 — 1,817.
———
Sportsman’s Bowl (12)
Erika Poje 202-202-233-213 — 850, Joe Wolf 170-219-194-191 — 774. Totals: 413-462-468-445 — 1,788.
A Touch of Country Florist (8)
Janelle Irwin 184-215-210-186 — 795, Steve Irwin 230-204-258-166 — 858. Totals: 446-451-500-384 — 1,781.
———
Sindoni Sausage (7)
Liz Kuhlkin 234-258-245-189 — 926, Joe VanDerLinden 225-171-221-247 — 880. Totals: 466-436-473-443 — 1,818.
Team 4 (13)
Kaitlyn Goodermote 213-170-204-243 — 830, Nick Barnes 226-202-213-205 — 846. Totals: 490-423-468-499 — 1,880.
———
Jackie Goodell Keller Williams (13)
Nicole D’Amario 131-226-223-246 — 826, Tom Rogers 214-225-233-211 — 883. Totals: 392-498-503-504 — 1,897.
Never Enough Performance (7)
Jessica Brockmyer 258-216-225-225 — 924, Lee Quivey 149-17-193-266 — 778. Totals: 442-421-453-526 — 1,842.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected] or @BobWeiner58 on Twitter.

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