Nation makes last push to become U.S. Open Champion
Stefanie Nation is making one last push to become a U.S. Open champion.
Nation, Grand Prairie, Texas, rolled her second-best block of the tournament, and sits just 86 pins from the ESPN-television finals of the 2013 Lipton Bowling’s U.S. Open in Columbus, Ohio.
Using games of 212, 203, 209, 198, 214, 225, 227, and 213, Nation improved her average for the tournament to 202.41. With eight games left in match play, Nation is currently in 6th place with eight match games left to bowl at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
The 8-time member of Team USA used a 6-2 match play record, and a 10-6 overall match play record to post a 9,611 score (with bonus pins) for 46 games. Kelly Kulick, the defending champion from Union, N.J., leads with a 10,163 score, and Leanne Hulsenberg, Roseville, Calif., is in 4th with a 9,697 total.
Nation, 29, finished 4th at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open, where the finals were bowled on lanes built underneath the famous arch in Reno, NV. In the first match of the telecast, she defeated Lynda Barnes, 166-158, before falling to Shannon O'Keefe 182-165.
The final round of match play continues Friday evening, after which, the top four bowlers will advance to the stepladder finals at Columbus Western Bowl. First prize to the winner is $50,000.
The men's and women's champions will face off in a special Battle of the Sexes match to crown the ultimate U.S. Open winner. The special match will be broadcast live on ESPN immediately following the men's and women's finals.