June 29, 2012 — Former Morehead State University bowler Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., captured her third Bowling's U.S. Women's Open title Wednesday with a victory over Missy Parkin, 170-160, on lanes located outside underneath the famed Reno Arch in Reno, Nev.
"I don't know what it is about this event, but I always gear up for it," said Kulick. "To have this type of atmosphere, it brings a lot of attention to our sport, which is much needed. The Bowling Proprietors' Association of America, Ebonite and all the sponsors are trying to showcase women's bowling, and I support it."
Kulick also won the U.S. Women’s Open title in 2003 and 2010.
The finals will be broadcast Tuesday, July 3, at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
With winds gusting between 18-24 mph throughout the finals, the players were forced to deal with adverse conditions throughout the evening. Dust on the lanes drastically affected the scoring pace and forced the bowlers to resort to using plastic balls much of the night.
"It was like bowling in the desert," said Kulick, who entered the finals as the top seed and only had to bowl one match to win the title. "Sitting there and watching what was happening before me really helped give me the advantage of figuring out what I had to do to win."
In January 2010, she became the first woman ever to win a major title on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour when she captured the 2010 Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas. Kulick earned a berth in the Tournament of Champions by winning the PBA Women's World Championship, the first PBA women's major tournament. The Tournament of Champions is one of the PBA Tour's four major tournaments.
In June 2006, she was the first woman to earn a PBA Tour exemption.
Kulick, a three-time All-American, was the 1997 and 1998 Collegiate Bowler of the Year while at MSU. In 1998, she helped guide coach Larry Wilson’s squad to the National Championship.
The MSU women won national championships in 1989, 1998, 2000 and 2002, were runner-ups in 1993 and finished in third place in 2006.
The 2012 U.S. Women's Open featured 202 of the best female bowlers in the world competing for a prize fund of nearly $170,000.