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Kelly Kulick bowls second-best BTC target score for women

Kelly Kulick bowled 13 consecutive strikes over two games. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

Kelly Kulick bowled 13 consecutive strikes over two games. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Kelly Kulick rolled a string of 13 strikes and set the second highest target score for women in the history-making 52nd annual Beat the Champions.

‘‘By far, it was my best showcase ever, but I feel sorry for the ladies who have to beat my score,’’ Kulick said.

She rolled a 743 for the women, and Pete Weber rolled a 626 for the men at Lakewood Bowl in Richton Park.

‘‘I bowled really good today,’’ said Weber, who had games of 210, 215 and 201. ‘‘It wasn’t like I bowled bad to shoot 626. I bowled really good to shoot 626. Sometimes that just happens.’’

Kulick (2004, ’06, ’10, ’12) tied Dotty Fothergill (’68, ’69, ’72, ’73) for the most appearances by a woman setting the target scores. Weber became the only man to set the targets four times.

Kulick filled all 30 frames and had a shot at the women’s record, 758 by Tennelle Grijalva in 2000.

‘‘Better I didn’t know,’’ Kulick said.

But the 10 pin didn’t fall in the ninth frame of the final game on Lane 13. She closed with a 246 to go with games of 228 and 269.

The 10 pin on 13 was the story of this BTC.

‘‘It was a little bit pushier down the lane, a little bit tighter, and the ball would go an extra foot longer, leaving the 10 pin,’’ Kulick said. ‘‘So I tightened up my line and was able to carry most of the time.’’

‘‘It kind of looked like the rack was a little bit closed, so it was very easy to flat 10 or ring 10,’’ said Weber, who left eight 10 pins on 13. ‘‘But my dad [the late legend Dick] always said, ‘Keep it in the pocket. Eventually, it will go down.’ Well, I just proved that theory wrong.’’

There never has been a 300 rolled in the target scores for BTC. But Kulick rolled an Andy Varipapa 300 (string of 12 strikes over two games) plus one when she rolled 13 straight beginning in the fourth frame of the second game.

‘‘I told myself internally to let my hair down, and if I enjoyed it, then maybe the scores would come, and they did,’’ Kulick said.

The big number in BTC remains the one for charity. In the first 51 years the Sun-Times and the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association have co-sponsored BTC, 5,657,412 entries have raised $2,783,374.87 for charity.



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