Liz Johnson Greatest Female Bowler of all Time?

By Michael Cousins

Another PWBA Major has come and gone, and, once again, Liz Johnson finds herself on top.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a group of people about who the best female bowler of all-time was, and I was shocked at their responses. Got a few Lisa Wagner’s, a Pat Costello, a couple of Kelly Kulick’s, but not a single mention of one, Liz Johnson.

To my amazement, I said “seriously?” They all said “what?” I gave them my opinion, which was Liz Johnson by a large margin, and the responses I got back were blasphemous, at best.

“Oh, Liz can’t hook it”

“You can shut her out if the gutter isn’t in play”

“She is great, but she doesn’t have the versatility of Kelly and some of the others”

My responses:

“Why does she have to hook it? A strike is a strike.”

“Oh, you can shut her out, huh? What proof do you have of that? Why haven’t they done it yet? Still waiting.”

I don’t care if she can or can’t get into 4th or 5th arrow (she can, if she has to), she still strikes more often, on more patterns than any of these so-called ‘more versatile’ players.

I don’t know what more she has to do, honestly. She is clearly the most dominant female bowler on the planet today. And has been for the better part of a decade. This is a woman who bowled the prime of her career without a lady’s tour. And you know what? She didn’t care. She bowled against the men.

And, not surprisingly, she found success there, as well, becoming the first woman to ever make a PBA telecast.

On the women’s tour, she now has 19 PWBA Titles – again, please remember that there was no PWBA tour during what some would consider the prime of her career – 10 Major Championship titles, 3 Women’s Series Titles, and she’s been on Team USA 11 times throughout her career.
Since its reemergence, Liz has dominated the PWBA, capturing back-to-back PWBA Player of the Year awards, and is the likely frontrunner for the award in 2017, as well (where she has won two major titles and two standard tour titles).

Later this week, I will be compiling a list of the greatest Professional Women’s Bowlers of all-time. And spoiler alert Liz Johnson will be at the top of that list.

That isn’t a knock on any of the other great female players, either. There are MANY extraordinary female players that will make the list. And every single one of them deserve a spot on the list. Just not at the top. That honor belongs solely to Liz.

And I am not the only person that believes Liz is the Greatest of All-Time (GOAT). In fact, after she won her 10th PWBA Major Championship yesterday, my Facebook was exploding with goat emojis in honor of Liz and her career.

In fact, fellow PWBA superstars, such as Josie (Earnest) Barnes, Diana Zavjalova, and others, took to Facebook, themselves, to congratulate Liz on her Title and her status as the GOAT.

That, in my opinion, is the greatest proof of her GOAT status. Once her competitors are acknowledging her ranking as the best to ever do it, then its time we all do, as well.

Congrats, Liz. Once again, you have proven to the bowling world that you are the greatest female bowler on the planet, as well as one of the fiercest competitors that our sport – man or woman – has ever seen.

5 thoughts on “Liz Johnson Greatest Female Bowler of all Time?

  1. Tippy6 says:

    I agree with you completely, Mr. Michael, and you are so spot on with your opinion and assessment. Liz Johnson has been kicking around the bowling world for a long, long time and she has put in the time, hard work, paid her dues and deserves every bit of success that she has garnered. I don’t mean to demean any other of the great women bowlers out there but Liz has the incredible ability to stay focused and her dogged determination when things aren’t going well is exemplary. She bowls her game to her abilities and skill set and she does it extremely well. I have no idea why this woman doesn’t get the respect that she merits.

  2. Bradford Franciosi says:

    My choice would be Leanne Barrette/Hulsenburg. She was still in her prime when the tour folded and I believe she would have passed both Lisa Wagner and Aleta Sill in titles. That said, Liz would have more titles as well so it would be hard to argue that Liz is the overall #1. There is no question about the last 3 years.

  3. Paul Lanyi says:

    I agree with you. Having been around long enough to watch the best of the men and women of the last four decades, Liz is the ‘class horse’ among the women bowlers I have seen. Still tough though many of her prime era have come and gone.

  4. John Wong says:

    This article is a couple of years old and since then Liz has gone on the win half a dozen more titles. With regards to the remark that Liz doesn’t throw as much hook as Kelly Kulick I remind you that the great Don Carter did not throw as much hook as many of his peers. Don threw just enough ball to get the job done. Yes, lane conditions sometimes require bowlers to move left which might put Liz at a disadvantage with her relatively straight ball however Liz has the ability to up her ball speed to overcome dry conditions.

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