Kelly Kulick became the first woman to win a Professional Bowlers Association title at the Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas. It's a historic win for woman in bowling and in athletics.

Direct access to this web page:


Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women
Contact: eMail | web site


Kelly Kulick (born March 16, 1977) is an American professional bowler from Union Township, New Jersey.

Kulick is the first woman ever to win a Professional Bowlers Association tour title, winning the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas on January 24, 2010. After finishing the weekly qualifing as the #2 seed, she defeated #3 qualifier Mika Koivuniemi to advance to the final against Hall-of-Famer Chris Barnes. In the final, she threw 10 strikes in a dominating 265-195 win. She now has a 2-year exemption to compete on the PBA tour.

Kulick is a former three-time collegiate player of the year from Morehead State University. Kulick is also a former two-time Collegiate Bowler of the Year and was a two-time All-American at Morehead State.

Kulick began her professional career with the now defunct Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA), winning the 2001 Rookie of the Year Award. She also won the 2003 U.S. Women's Open. As an amateur, Kulick was a three time member of Team USA (1998-2001). After the demise of the PWBA, Kulick began bowling in the PBA Eastern Region. In 2005-06, Kulick cashed in 12 of the 14 regional events in which she competed.

On June 4, 2006, Kulick made history by becoming the first female professional bowler to earn a PBA Tour exemption (see PBA Bowling Tour: 2005-06 season). This allowed her to compete in every PBA event of the 2006-07 season. Kulick did not perform well enough to retain her exemption for the 2007-08 season, finishing 54th in points. Kulick was also unsuccessful in her attempt to regain an exemption for the 2007-08 season at the 2007 PBA Tour Trials.

The PBA opened its membership to women in April 2004 after the Professional Women's Bowlers Association folded. The PBA Tour switched to an all-exempt field in 2004-05, with 58 bowlers earning full-time exemptions for each season. Two women — Liz Johnson and Cathy Dorin-Lizzi — have gained entry to PBA Tour events through weekly qualifying.

Kulick is quoted as saying, "To be the first woman is huge...words can't even describe the feeling. I feel confident I can be a good enough competitor to stay out on Tour. My next goal is to make a television show and become the first woman to win a PBA Tour title," a feat she accomplished by winning the Tournament of Champions in 2010, an event broadcast live on ESPN.

Kelly Kulick was featured as a supporting character in Spider-Man's cast, as friend and former girlfriend of Flash Thompson, starting with Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #20. She was written into the comic after bowling a pro-am event with the daughter of one of the Spider-Man writers.[1]

Kelly won the USBC Queens event in May 2007. She missed a chance to become the tournament's seventh multiple winner in 2009, when she was defeated in the final match by Liz Johnson, 247-204.[2]

In recent years, Kelly defeated Shannon Pluhowsky, 219-204, to win the inaugural PBA Women's World Championship -- the first women's major tournament under PBA sanction. The finals were contested September 6, 2009, and aired October 25 on ESPN. With the win, Kulick earned a spot in the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions, where she was the first-ever female competitor in the field.[3] She also locked up a PBA Women's Series exemption and the first spot in the PBA Women's Series Showdown, an April, 2010 event that will include all the winners from the 2009-10 Women's Series tournaments.



Kelly Kulick
Mika Koivuniemi
Chris Barnes

Kelly Kulick Becomes First Woman to Win PBA Title

Kelly Kulick became the first woman to win a Professional Bowlers Association title Sunday at the Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas. It's a historic win for woman in bowling and in athletics.

Kulick won in commanding fashion, besting 2007-08 PBA Player of the Year Chris Barnes by 70 pins, 265-195. She earned a spot in the final by holding on to a 227-223 win against Mika Koivuniemi.

Owner of two PBA Women Series titles, Kulic became the first woman to earn a PBA Tour exemption in 2006. This win earned her a two-year tour exemption.

Kulick gained her spot in the tournament by winning the PBA Women's World Championship back in September.

*    *    * | Contact Us
©1996-2023 by Gordon Clay