PWBA Standouts to Watch This Year

By Michael Cousins

With the PWBA going at full speed, I thought we’d take a look at some of the standouts that — in my opinion — are the most likely to make a run at the Player of the Year award. This list will include several big names, and a few lesser known names that are going to be right there at the end of the season. So, let us begin!

Liz Johnson: Duh. This isn’t going out on a very big limb, obviously. But, lets face it, she’s the best — maybe ever. She is in contention in everything she bowls, be it amateur or professional, men’s or women’s; she is that good. And this year will be no different.

Shannon O’Keefe: One of the most fit women on tour. Very few take care of their body the way she does, and it shows. She’s one of the most athletic bowlers on the PWBA, and she uses this athleticism to her advantage. In addition to her physical strength, O’Keefe is as mentally tough and competitive as anyone. She’s had success each season she’s been out there, but I have a feeling this might be her year.

Danielle McEwan: The best young player in the world today, and one of the best period. Her physical game is as simple and as repeatable as anyone’s and she — like O’Keefe — uses her athleticism remarkably well when she bowls. She generates as much effortless power as any female in recent memory, and can do it all on the lanes. She’s going to win Player of the Year eventually. Why not this year?

Shayna Ng: You may or may not know her name. She’s made a few finals and has 1 title to her credit, but some casual fans may not yet know her name. Get used to it. Ng is an extremely talented player with a tremendous physical game. Like all of the women from Singapore bowling on tour right now, Ng can play at a very, very high level. And she is going to break out sooner than later. That could easily be this season. I believe Ng is primed to make deep runs in the Majors this year.

Verity Crawley: She hasn’t won a title yet, and she’s one of the younger players on tour, but this young lady is as good as anyone physically. It takes time to learn how to win on tour, but if she figures it out — and she will very, very soon — she is going to break out in a big, big way. The talent level here is just too high. I know saying someone that has yet to win a tour title is in the running for Player of the Year is a bit of a reach, but that is how highly I think of her as a player. You just never know when it is going to happen. But, when it does, watch out.

Rocio Restrepo: 3 titles in two seasons on tour. Enough said, really. Isn’t it? She wins. Period. She’s very talented and, despite her slight frame, creates immense power. Another super-athlete and, like O’Keefe, she’s as intense and mentally strong as anyone.

Honorable mentions and players to watch: Kelly Kulick, Jazreel Tan, and Diana Zavjalova

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