Intern Kelsy McCraw tells us all about the U.S. Women’s Open in Arlington.
For Lynda Barnes of Double Oak, bowling is a family affair. Her mother was a program director at her local lanes growing up. “I went from the nursery to the lanes,” she says. “But, my mom wouldn’t let me bowl until I could hold a ball with one hand.” No bumpers or ramps for her.
She says the bowling alley was her second home, where she felt most comfortable. By high school, she was being recruited by San Jose State for their women’s bowling program. She went on to be a four-time All-American and a 12-year Team USA player, win dozens of championships and awards, and make her living playing the game she loved.
To bring it full-circle, Lynda then-Norry married fellow pro bowler, Chris Barnes. They have twin sons who she says are bowling enthusiasts, watching mom and dad practice and sometimes touring with them. They’re itching to start their own bowling careers, but they can’t yet hold a ball with one hand.
I met Lynda at the kick-off to the Bowling’s U.S. Women’s 2011 Open at AMF Euless Lanes last Thursday. Â I was one of a dozen media persons there to cover the event and receive a free, custom-fit bowling ball from the Open’s sponsor, Ebonite.
The seven Team USA players on hand to meet-and-greet and offer tips to throwing our new, professional-grade balls would join 286 other women in the tournament. That’s record-breaking participation for the event.
The final four of those 286 bowled in Cowboys Stadium last night in the finals on portable lanes straddling the 50-yard-line. Barnes was one of them; her first top-four finish in the particular event.
The event broke another record, with 6,000 people in attendance to watch. If one of the bowlers had a perfect, 300-point game, they’d win a million dollars. The Team USA members said that it’s a much harder, but not impossible, feat for women bowlers because they lack the strength and hand size to contort the ball’s direction just so.
The Open is going for one more record when it airs on ESPN2 on Saturday night–it wants 10,000 viewers. Did Barnes take home the big enchilada? Is one bowler $1 million richer? You’ll have to tune in to find out.