Jillian Martin leads after opening day of 2021 PWBA BowlTV Classic

  • 9 August 2021
  • Author: Matt
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Jillian Martin leads after opening day of 2021 PWBA BowlTV Classic

ARLINGTON, Texas - Two rounds of head-to-head match play were completed Monday at the 2021 Professional Women's Bowling Association BowlTV Classic, and Junior Team USA member Jillian Martin of Stow, Ohio, tops the 24-player standings with eight games remaining.

The 17-year-old right-hander averaged more than 214 and posted the best match-play record of the day, 13-3, to set the pace at the International Training and Research Center. All rounds of competition are being broadcast live on BowlTV.

The lead changed hands frequently throughout the day, first belonging to two-time PWBA Tour champion Julia Bond of Aurora, Illinois, who kicked off the action with the third perfect game of the four-event PWBA Summer Classic Series.

A half-dozen players occupied the top spot at some point during the 16 games on the 41-foot oil pattern, with Martin being one of them, and she was able to catapult from third place back into the lead with a 241 effort and a victory in her final game Monday night.

Martin finished with a 3,821 total and was followed by Latvia's Diana Zavjalova (3,818), England's Verity Crawley (3,725), Jordan Richard of Maumee, Ohio (3,631), and Bryanna Coté of Tucson, Arizona (3,603).

"The whole day, I just tried to stick to my process, make good shots and stay calm, and at the end, I was fortunate enough to find a look very different from the end of the first block," said Martin, who ended the day's first eight-game block with 166. "I made the best shots I could and finished with a big game, which was pretty cool."

The 24 bowlers qualified for the BowlTV Classic, the final tournament of the 2021 Summer Classic Series, based on their 18-game qualifying totals from the PWBA Go Bowling Classic and PWBA International Bowling Campus Classic (nine games each).

Martin averaged 210.33 over the two days of qualifying and finished 17th in the BowlTV Classic rankings. She finished tied for 13th in the Go Bowling Classic and 22nd in the IBC Classic, cashing in both events.

"I'm not too disappointed in the first two events because I know there were a few things that were so close to being right where I wanted them to be, and that when they clicked, it would feel really good, and I feel like that kind of happened out here today," Martin said. "In the first event, I just barely missed the cut, and a couple bad shots and missed spares cost me. In the second event, I missed the opportunity to close out a couple games and left splits, which was at least 75 pins. I just need to learn from those things and continue to get better."

All pinfall dropped heading into the BowlTV Classic, and total pinfall, plus bonus pins for each win or tie in match play, will determine the five players for Tuesday's stepladder finals, which will be broadcast live at BowlTV.com at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Martin understands the need to take advantage of the times she has a great look and grind when she doesn't, as well as how important bonus pins are in the match-play format.

"Games 3 and 4, I bowled on the same pair and had some trouble with one of the lanes, but I was able to grind through those games and get two Ws, which is really important in this format," Martin said. "Tomorrow, I'll come in with the same thought process and keep going after those wins. I think if I can have another good day, we should be able to make the show and have a chance to go out and win a title."

Martin was the recipient of a special exemption into the Summer Classic Series from the United States Bowling Congress and Bowling Proprietors' Association of America.

The opportunity was due in part to her memorable performance at the 2021 PWBA Kickoff Classic Series, also at the ITRC, where she turned in finishes of eighth, second and third and rolled a 299 game live on BowlTV along the way.

She is looking to become the youngest bowler in history to win a national PWBA event, a record owned by USBC and PWBA Hall of Famer Wendy Macpherson, who won the U.S. Women's Open at 18.

Competition in Arlington will continue Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern with the final eight games of round-robin match play at the ITRC.

The 2021 PWBA Summer Classic Series brought 56 players, representing more than a dozen countries, to the ITRC.

Germany's Birgit Noreiks took home the title at the Go Bowling Classic for her first individual win and second victory overall, while former Team USA member Jen Higgins of Lewis Center, Ohio, won the IBC Campus Classic on Saturday for her first PWBA Tour title.

The Summer Classic Series also included the 2021 PWBA Dallas/Fort Worth Regional, won by past Junior Team USA member Taylor Bailey of Joliet, Illinois, a member of the 2021 PWBA Tour rookie class.

Categories: Tournaments, Players
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