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PROFESSIONAL WOMEN BOWLERS from around the world were in Stockton recently to compete in the Stockton Open, part of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) national tour.

Pacific Avenue Bowl, a 65-year-old bowling alley run by the Nakashima family, hosted the Women’s Open Tournament May 4-6 — the first national professional bowling event ever in Stockton’s history.

73 top female bowlers from 10 countries including Canada, Finland, Singapore, England, Poland and Mexico were competing for the PWBA’s 100th title since the organization’s relaunch of the national tour in 2015, according to Robyn Graves, PWBA’s brand manager. The Women’s Open was previously held in California in Rohnert Park in August 2021.

Finland’s 19-year-old Peppi Konsteri shared that it had been her dream to bowl at PWBA and that was her sole purpose to be at the event in Stockton. “It opens up a lot of doors for me, and [bowling] is something I want to do for the rest of my life.” Konsteri said.

PWBA held the Qualifying Rounds 1 and 2 on May 5. By the end of Round 1, Cherie Tan of Singapore topped the board with a +324 score, followed by Lauren Pare of Missouri at +271 and Lindsay Boomershine of Utah at +241.

Tan would go on to win the event — her second title in as many seasons — by defeating Jordan Richard of Maumee, Ohio, in the Saturday night finale by a score of 237-202.

Audience members watch the second game of the first qualifying round Friday during the PWBA Stockton Open at Pacific Avenue Bowl. (Harika Maddala/Bay City News/Catchlight Local)

Roberta Vann of Downey, California, who stood at 28th place after Round 1, said she has been bowling for more than 30 years. “When I come out here, it gives me an opportunity to come out and just have fun,” Vann said. “I love bowling. I just hope that every time there is an opportunity in California, I hope that I can come out and support women’s bowling.”

The event was open to public and televised live on CBS Sports.

Harika Maddala is a photojournalist based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. They are a Report for America corps member and a CatchLight Local Fellow.