In many ways bowling is the most egalitarian sport there is. Literally anyone – even a caveman – can get a strike once in awhile. And everyone can roll the ball in the gutter. Mastering bowling means understanding how to navigate in between those extremes. You must be consistent and focused, willing to be boring enough to do the same thing over and over again, exactly the same way. If you can do that you have a chance to be a good bowler. But to be a pro bowler… well not just anyone can do that.

And to actually win on the pro tour (not many at all have taken home a PBA championship trophy) is even harder. And until Sunday never in the history of the Professional Bowlers Association had a women ever won a PBA Tour title. Remember the name Kelly Kulick.

Kelly Kulick won the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas. She not only beat one-time bowler of the year, Chris Barnes in the final, she crushed him by 70 pins, 265 – 195.

To get to the finals Kelly had to win and score high all week long. And then in the televised Sunday match Kelly had to win one match to make the finals. She beat a guy named Mika by getting a strike in the last frame to advance to title match. She then faced off against Barnes.

This match was never close. Only an unlucky 7-10 split ruined a nearly perfect game. Kelly closed out Barnes with 7 strikes in a row.

I know this is “only” bowling, and to most people it is not a real sport. But any time a lady can beat men on equal footing in a legitimate competition it is definitely worth noting. With her win Kelly gets a two-year exemption from qualifying on the men’s tour and $40 thousand dollars. This is especially significant considering there is no longer a formal women’s pro tour.

With her wireless mike attached as she bowled the final frame she said aloud, ”history has been made in the world of sports…“

Yes, history was made, and it is important, even if it is bowling – I’m serious!

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  1. Little_Sam says:

    How Walter Ray Williams, Jr. won the Bowler of the Year ESPY Award over Kelly is beyond me. Kelly deserved this award hands down. Shame on you ESPN!!