Major Bowling Tournaments Roll Into Rockford

ROCKFORD-Rockford was once the capital of women's pro bowling when it was the headquarters for the LPBT and later the PWBA. This week it'll be the focal point of women's bowling again.

The Cherry Bowl will host a Professional Women's Bowling Association event for the first time since 2003. And not one, but two events. The BPAA Women's All-Star Tournament and the Senior Women's U.S. Open.

"We've got past U.S. Open champions. We've got past PWBA Bowlers. We've got team USA. We've got top collegiate bowlers. It's just going to be wonderful," says John Summer the owner of Don Carter Lanes and a BPAA Hall of Famer.

Yes the top women bowlers in the world will be here. Kelly Kulick, Liz Johnson, and Wendy Macpherson are some of the biggest names that'll be competing.

Local bowlers like Trista Flowers and Sue Williams will also be competing for 75 thousand dollars in cash.  They're happy to have this event in their own back yard.

"It's really nice because then you don't have to worry about staying in a hotel. You can go home and sleep in your own bed," says Williams.

And while these two tournaments are going on at the Cherry Bowl, another major tournament will be going on in Rockford at Don Carter Lanes. That's the International Family Tournament. Young bowlers will be competing with their families for 70 thousand dollars in scholarship money.  Bowlers from 28 states will be here.

For one city to host these three events at once, well that just doesn't happen.

"It's pretty rare," says Sommer.

Sommer's pull on the PBA tournament committee combined with the efforts of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau have made this happen.

The action begins Saturday with Pro/Am play at the Cherry Bowl. The women's tournaments will begin on Monday and run through Friday.

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