COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in the history of any U.S. Open competition, a "Battle of the Sexes" champion has been crowned. In a day of championship competitions at the 2013 Lipton Bowling's U.S. Open, Liz Johnson, who took home the women's title, is also the inaugural winner of the "Battle of the Sexes" special final match. Johnson defeated men's champion Wes Malott by a score of 194-188 to lay claim to the ultimate bragging rights.
Following a week of bowling that included more than 50 games apiece culminating in two riveting finals matches in the men's and women's tournaments, Johnson and Malott fought past fatigue in the "Battle of the Sexes," broadcast live on ESPN and played at Columbus Western Bowl and presented by the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA).
The win marked the third U.S. Women's Open title for Johnson and first major victory for Malott, who now owns eight Professional Bowlers Association Tour titles. Johnson and Malott each earned $50,000 for winning their respective events, and Johnson earned an additional $10,000 for winning the "Battle of the Sexes."
"It's still going to take some time to process all of this," Johnson said. "Coming into the week, I felt really strong physically and mentally prepared for sure, and it's nice to have so much support from my family and friends."
Johnson opened the U.S. Women's Open championship match with six consecutive strikes on the way to a 257-195 win over defending champion and top seed Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J.
"I am so fortunate to be part of such an elite group now," said Johnson, who also won the U.S. Women's Open in 1996 and 2007. "I am so proud of this week, and I can't believe this is my third title here. To win this week, after such a grind in three different centers, is amazing."
Malott, who lost to Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte in the championship match of the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Masters, got redemption and the coveted U.S. Open green jacket by defeating Belmonte, 214-156, on Saturday.
"The biggest thing I wanted to put on my resume was a major title," said Malott, who struck on 22 of 34 shots in three matches. "This is the most prestigious tournament in our sport, I think, because of the demanding lane conditions and all of the pressure, and I don't even know that it's all sunk in yet."
The 2013 Lipton Bowling's U.S. Open included the best men and women bowlers in the world competing side by side (in separate events) at three Columbus-area bowling centers – Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl, Columbus Western Bowl and Holiday Lanes. The combined U.S. Open events featured a prize fund of more than $400,000.
"Liz and Wes both made the sport of bowling proud this week. The grit, perseverance and tenacity that both demonstrated is a great credit to our sport. Simply put, Liz and Wes both personify what it means to be a champion," said Steve Johnson, executive director of the BPAA.
Added Johnson, "Today was also a special moment in the history of the U.S. Open. By winning the first-ever 'Battle of the Sexes,' Liz has carved her own place in sports history, a great milestone for bowling and professional sports."
The 2013 Bowling's U.S. Open was supported by title sponsor 100% Natural Lipton Iced Tea, and presenting sponsors The Brands of Ebonite & Columbia 300, Brunswick Bowling & Billiards, Jani-King, Storm Bowling Products and Roto Grip.
For more information about the Bowling's U.S. Open, including a full list of the winners and their respective matches, fans can log on to www.BowlingsUSOpen.com.
About Bowling Proprietors' Association of America
Founded in 1932, the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) is headquartered in Arlington, Texas at the International Bowling Campus. The BPAA provides its more than 4,000 member centers with group purchasing programs, business and educational seminars, legislative representation and proactively promotes the association and bowling industry. The mission of the BPAA is to enhance the profitability of all of its members and raise the profile of bowling, America's top-ranked participatory sport. For additional information please visit www.bpaa.com or call 1-800-343-1329.
SOURCE Bowling Proprietors' Association of America