Kulick leads after two days at 2019 QubicaAMF World Cup

PALEMBANG, Indonesia - Though it may not have been evident on the scoreboard, Team USA's Kelly Kulick said she did not feel like she was performing her best physically Tuesday as she cruised into the lead after two rounds of qualifying at the 2019 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup.

The 42-year-old right-hander improved on her opening-round performance, and her 1,317 six-game block at the Jakabaring Sport City Bowling Center gave her a two-day total of 2,610, a 217.5 average.

She leads first-round leader Natasha Roslan of Malaysia by 67 pins (2,543), and they are followed by two-time QubicaAMF World Cup champion Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republic (2,493), Korea's Jeon Eunhee (2,482) and Maria Koshel of Russia (2,465).

"If you have the right ball in your hand, and you're in the right part of the lane, that usually gives you some room for error," said Kulick, a United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer and 15-time member of Team USA. "By doing so today, that gave me some misses to the right and some misses in front of me."

Despite some uncertainty, Kulick was clean in 56 of the 60 frames she bowled Tuesday, and she was happy with the performance overall.

Before returning to the lanes for Wednesday's third round, she'll speak with her mental game coach at home and meet with Team USA head coach Rod Ross, who is with her and fellow USBC Hall of Famer John Janawicz this week in Indonesia.

She'll focus on keeping a consistent routine and maintaining her momentum as she waits for all of the pieces to fall into place this week.

"Mechanically, I've been practicing a lot with my timing, and it seems like I'm always focusing on it, but I just want to feel comfortable," Kulick said. "Here, I'm really just trying to focus on the process, keeping my head on my target and swinging through the target itself. As far as the lanes and the oil pattern, I'm going to wait until we get to each round to see what I need to do or change. Each day has been a little different."

Janawicz saw some differences on the lanes as well, and he also saw a sizable improvement in his score.

The 47-year-old right-hander bowled 115 pins better Tuesday and climbed from 36th place into 24th place. A 219 finish got him above the cutline for the first time. His two-round total is 2,387, a 198.92 average. He rolled sets of 1,136 and 1,251 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

"Physically, I threw the ball a lot better today and was able to repeat shots," Janawicz said. "Coach (Ross) gave me some things to think about, and I finally was able to get myself into a place where my swing was in line and the ball was going where I wanted it to. It took a little while to get the confidence going, and once that happens, you can just bowl."

South Africa's Francois Louw, the 2015 World Cup runner-up, pulled farther away from the 73-player men's field Tuesday, averaging more than 243 for his six games. He struck 28 times during the first three games and finished the day with a 12-game total of 2,806.

Finland's Niko Oksanen is a distant second with 2,606 and followed by Jasem Alsaqer of Kuwait (2,578), Oliver Morig of Germany (2,566) and Lee Wanhee of South Korea (2,556).

Competition at the 2019 World Cup, the 55th edition of the storied event, will resume Wednesday morning, with the men hitting the lanes at 9 a.m. local time (Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern). The women will begin their third day of qualifying at 3 p.m. local time (Tuesday at 3 a.m. Eastern). The order will change for each of the four days of qualifying.

All competitors will bowl 24 games of qualifying (six games each day), before the field is cut to the top 24 for eight additional games. Total pinfall after 32 games will determine the eight men and eight women who will advance to round-robin match play.

The top four in each division then will move on to the knockout-style semifinals based on their 40-game totals, including bonus pins for each win in match play.

The defending champions at the World Cup are the United States (Shannon O'Keefe) on the women's side and Australia for the men.

Australia's Sam Cooley is at the 2019 event to defend his title. After two days, he is in 15th place with a 2,432 total.

Additional past winner, Krizziah Lyn Tabora of the Philippines (2017), also is competing this week.

The World Cup first was contested in 1965, and the tournament now is considered one of the sport's most prestigious singles titles. It also is recognized as the largest event in the sport in terms of number of countries competing.

The last time the event was held in Indonesia was in 1980, when it visited Jakarta.

To see the complete schedule for the 2019 World Cup, visit QubicaAMF.com.