Before the NASCAR Playoffs return to Richmond Raceway (Richmond), the top 16 players in the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) will compete in the pinnacle event of their season on Sept. 16-18. The PWBA Tour Championship, the final major championship of the 2019 PWBA Tour season, will return to the historic Old Dominion Building for the third consecutive season.
“As the NASCAR Playoffs return to the Capital City, the first championship to be decided in Richmond will be the PWBA Tour Championship,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “We look forward to hosting this world-class event for the third consecutive year as we continue to grow the fan experience for our fall race week.”
The 16-player field for the PWBA Tour Championship is comprised of PWBA members who won a 2019 event with the remainder of the field filled through the season-points list. The PWBA athletes competing for the coveted title are: Shannon O’Keefe, Danielle McEwan, Dasha Kovalova, Liz Johnson, Jordan Richard, Missy Parkin, Clara Guerrero, Liz Kuhlkin, Maria José Rodriguez, Shannon Pluhowsky, Bryanna Coté, Stefanie Johnson, Cherie Tan, Josie Barnes, Shayna Ng, and Sandra Andersson.
O’Keefe, who earned the 2019 PWBA Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season, returns as the top seed. She won the 2017 PWBA Tour Championship, which was the first year the event was held at the Richmond Raceway Complex. This season O’Keefe has won four events – PWBA Twin Cities Open, PWBA Tucson Open, PWBA East Hartford Open, BowlerX.com PWBA Orlando Open – and now owns 12 career PWBA Tour titles. She also leads the PWBA in points, earnings, average, cashes and championship-round appearances this season.
Danielle McEwan, who won her second major title at the U.S. Women’s Open, earned the No. 2 seed. This continues her streak of winning at least one title each season since the PWBA Tour relaunched in 2015. She shares the streak with O’Keefe. As the top two seeds, O’Keefe and McEwan will receive byes to the semifinals.
Dasha Kovalova, who captured her first career major at the USBC Queens and rolled a 300 game in the finals to win the Pepsi PWBA Louisville Open, will be the No. 3 seed. Liz Johnson will compete as the No. 4 seed seeking a trifecta in the PWBA Tour Championship – her first title of the season, 11th career major championship and 25th career PWBA title. As the third and fourth seeds, Kovalova and Johnson will receive byes to the second round.
Maria José Rodriguez will return to defend her 2018 PWBA Tour Championship title. She is ranked as the No. 9 seed via the PWBA points list. Before taking last year’s title, Rodriguez hadn’t won a single match in appearances at the 2016 and 2017 PWBA Tour Championship.
“Heading into last season´s Tour Championship I was zero for Richmond, so my goal was to win one game,” Rodriguez said. “Once I did, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. To be one of only four to win this event is amazing, but I can't wait to have a chance to become the first player to win the event twice. Defending my title just means I had a good tournament last season.”
The 16-player field will compete in a single-elimination best-of-five match-play bracket to determine the two competitors who will join O’Keefe and McEwan in the semifinals. The finals will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network on Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. (eastern).
The full schedule of events for the PWBA Tour Championship is below. All times are eastern:
Monday, Sept. 16:
- Noon: Matches 1-2
- 3 p.m.: Matches 3-4
- 6 p.m.: Matches 5-6
Tuesday, Sept. 17:
- Noon: Matches 7-8
- 3 p.m.: Matches 9-10
- 6 p.m.: Matches 11-12
Wednesday, Sept. 18:
- 8 p.m.: PWBA Tour Championship Finals
QubicaAMF, whose U.S. headquarters are in Richmond, built four state-of-the-art lanes inside the historic Old Dominion Building for the PWBA Tour Championship. QubicaAMF is the world’s largest manufacturer of bowling products.
The bowling industry will be represented on the track as Go Bowling, the consumer-facing brand of the bowling industry, is the entitlement sponsor of the Go Bowling 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff race as part of Richmond’s NASCAR Playoffs Race Weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver.
On Friday, Sept. 20, Go Bowling and the PWBA will host Fan Fun Friday in the historic Old Dominion Building from noon to 5 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to bowl with some of the world-class PWBA athletes on the PWBA Tour Championship lanes prior to the Go Bowling 250. There will also be giveaways and autographs. Free bowling will continue in the historic Old Dominion Building on Saturday, Sept. 21 prior to the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race.
Tickets for the PWBA Tour Championship are $25 for a three-day pass (Sept. 16-18). Individual tickets for the finals of the PWBA Tour Championship that will be televised on CBS Sports Network on Sept. 18 are $20. Individual tickets for sessions on Sept. 16-17 are $10. Tickets are available at the Richmond Ticket Office, via phone at 866-455-7223, or online at richmondracewaycomplex.com.
To learn more about the PWBA Tour Championship, visit PWBA.com for information about the PWBA Tour, including the Tour Championship bracket, news, player biographies and more.
Richmond Raceway PR