LINCOLN, Neb. – Two-time Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour champion Jordan Richard of Maumee, Ohio, has been working hard to get ready for the second swing of the 2021 PWBA Tour season, and she’s prepared to return to a familiar venue for the 2021 PWBA Lincoln Open.
The Lincoln Open, which is being held at Sun Valley Lanes, will begin Thursday with the official practice session. Competition gets underway Friday with two six-game qualifying rounds, before the field is cut to the top 32 players.
Advancers will bowl another six-game block Saturday to determine the top 12 athletes, and a final six-game round will determine the four players for the stepladder finals, based on pinfall totals for 24 games.
The finals of the Lincoln Open will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern, with the champion taking home $ 10,000. All qualifying rounds and the stepladder finals will be broadcast live on BowlTV.com.
Richard, the 2018 PWBA Rookie of the Year, has often found success when lacing up to compete at Sun Valley Lanes. She represented Junior Team USA and collected three medals at the 2016 International Bowling Federation World Youth Championships at the 32-lane center and captured the individual title at the 2017 Big Red Invitational as a collegiate competitor for Arkansas State University.
Her most recent title at Sun Valley Lanes was at the 2019 Lincoln Open, where she nearly recorded a wire-to-wire victory and defeated Mexico’s Sandra Gongora in the finals, 215-195.
“I’m excited to go back, and I love Sun Valley Lanes,” Richard said. “I’ve had a lot of success there, and it almost has a feeling of being like home. I’ve been there so many times, so I feel comfortable and have learned a lot of the characteristics of the center. I think my ball roll matches up well with the surface, so hopefully the pattern will play to my strengths this week.”
The 25-year-old right-hander is coming off an eighth-place finish at last week’s PWBA Twin Cities Open and felt like she took away a lot of positives from that performance.
To prepare for the second stretch of the tour season, she changed her practice routine during the nearly three-month hiatus since the PWBA Kickoff Classic Series.
“In January I felt like I was sharp, but I really wasn’t,” Richard said. “There were too many shots I just missed during that week, and I felt like it was from a lack of practice. That really stuck with me. In the past three months, I’ve actually been practicing more than I ever had before. I used to practice a lot when I bowled collegiately, but I kind of got away from that.”
The additional time on the lanes also has helped her better understand ball motion and equipment since switching brands toward the end of the 2020. She’s been in steady contact with her new manufacturer representatives as well, which has helped with the transition to the new equipment.
Richard feels confident in making the right moves at the right times, and she feels she can stay ahead of the transition and avoid the mistakes moving forward this season.
“I wasn’t bowling enough tournaments after I made the switch to Roto Grip to really learn ball motion with my new equipment, and I struggled with that in January a bit,” Richard said. “I was determined to understand it better, and working with Steve (Jacobs) as a ball rep has been such a big help. He has given me a few tricks to understand my ball motion, and it has helped tremendously.”
The Lincoln Open is the fifth event of the 2021 season, which features 20 total tournaments on the schedule. The Kickoff Classic Series, which included three national tour stops and one regional competition, took place Jan. 20-26 at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.
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