Last week 29-year-old Kelly Kulick became the first woman to ever qualify for the entire season of the Professional Bowlers Association Tour (PBA) which begins this October. During the qualifier for the tour, Kulick placed sixth out of 140 bowlers, all but three were men. Only two women before Kulick have participated in the Tour but they only qualified for single events, unlike Kulick who qualifies for all 20 events.
The PBA is a traditionally male tournament, and has only allowed women to participate since 2004, when the Professional Women’s Bowlers Association (PWBA) was forced to fold because of monetary concerns. PWBA prizes were not nearly as large, with women earning $15,000-30,000 per Tour event, and participants in the PBA earning $40,000-100,000 per event.
“She likened her accomplishment to Billie Jean King’s victory over Bobby Riggs in tennis, but better, because that was a one-shot deal,” wrote the New York Times on Thursday.