First Woman Bowls Pro

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HAMMOND, Ind. -- Kelly Kulick finished sixth in the PBA Tour Trials on Sunday, becoming the first woman to earn a full exemption on the professional bowling tour.

Kulick, 29, of Union, N.J., averaged 224.04 in 45 games over five days, earning one of 10 exemptions for the 2006-07 season.

"To be the first woman is huge ... words can't even describe the feeling," Kulick was quoted as saying in a PBA Tour news release. "I feel confident I can be a good enough competitor to stay out on Tour. My next goal is to make a television show and become the first woman to win a PBA Tour title."

The PBA opened its membership to women in April 2004 after the Professional Women's Bowlers Association folded. Kulick was the 2001 PWBA rookie of the year and won the 2003 Women's U.S. Open.

The PBA Tour switched to an all-exempt field in 2004-05, with 58 bowlers earning full-time exemptions for each season. Two women -- Liz Johnson and Cathy Dorin-Lizzi -- have gained entry to PBA Tour events through weekly qualifying.

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