July 20, 2007
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HALL OF FAMER ROBIN ROMEO MAKES HISTORY AT USBC SENIOR MASTERS
RENO, Nev. - Standing out from a field of nearly 300 competitors, three women made their debut appearances at the United States Bowling Congress Senior Masters this week hoping to make history by winning the prestigious event at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
USBC and Professional Women's Bowling Association Hall of Famer Robin Romeo of Newhall, Calif., who turned 50 in June and is one of the youngest members in the field, already found her way into the record books as the first woman in the tournament's 15-year history to make the cut to match play, qualifying in a tie for 57th place with a 2,958 total for 15 games.
Romeo only recently has returned to competitive bowling after her successful, 20-year professional career came to an end when the PWBA ceased operations in 2003. Now, she is preparing for the return of the U.S. Women's Open, which will be held for the first time since 2003. The event, which Romeo won in 1989, is slated for August 13-18, also at the Stadium.
"This is first big tournament I've geared myself up to bowl in before the U.S. Women's Open in August," said Romeo, who was honored as the Bowling Writers Association of America Woman Bowler of the Year in 1989 and recently was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. "I had mixed expectations because I knew I was capable of making the cut, but I haven't seen any challenging lane conditions in a while. But no matter what, it's exciting to be here, and competing here has really gotten my competitive fire burning again."
The downtime over the past few years has put Romeo in a position to get a fresh start as a competitive senior bowler, and her new, more relaxed outlook may be just what it takes to find success again.
"When I retired from the ladies tour, I took a break, but I never lost my competitiveness," said Romeo, who has accumulated 17 professional wins and three USBC Women's Championships titles in her career. "I did lose some of the desire to be out on the lanes because the way things ended for the women was very disappointing, but as a result of that experience, I gained a new perspective on bowling that's much more fun since I'm not living and dying with every shot."
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