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Kulick rules the lanes

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Kelly Kulick (00) walked into the “Biggest Little City in the World” and left with one of the biggest titles in women’s bowling for the third time.

The Union, N.J., native captured the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open title in Reno, Nev., beating out more than 200 female bowlers competing for a prize of nearly $170,000.

Kulick had unique conditions to deal with in the competition. The lanes were located outside underneath the famed Reno Arch. She had to bowl through winds gusting between 18-24 mph throughout the finals, with dust on the lanes forcing bowlers to resort to using plastic balls much of the night. However, Kulick used the adverse conditions to secure the 2012 title.

“It was like bowling in the desert,” Kulick said. “Sitting there and watching what was happening before me really helped give me an advantage of figuring out what I had to do to win.”

While attending MSU, Kulick was a three-time All-American and 1997 and 1998 Collegiate Bowler of the Year. She also assisted coach Larry Wilson (65) in guiding MSU’s squad to a National Championship in 1998.

She was the first woman to earn a PBA Tour exemption and in addition to the 2012 title, Kulick won the U.S. Women’s Open title in 2003 and 2010. She became the first woman to win a major title on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour then she captured the 2010 Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas. She earned a berth in the Tournament of Champions by winning the PBA Women’s World Championship.

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