Zavjalova leads after first day in Greater Detroit Open

Al Willman
Special to The Detroit News

Canton — Diana Zavjalova leads the pack of 32 bowlers who advanced to the second day of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Greater Detroit Open at Super Bowl in Canton.

Using 200 as par for each game, Zavjalova, originally from Riga, Latvia, but now residing in Austin, Texas, was plus 300 in Friday’s 12 games, averaging 225 a game.

“I feel really good,” she said. “I didn’t bowl all that great the first six games, and then I had a whole new game plan for the second block and I bowled really, really well in the second block.

“I’ve actually never bowled good here. The last two years have been a little bit heartbreaking for me. But it’s nice to finally bowl really well here.”

But today starts early for Zavjalova and the other 31 bowlers. The third of five rounds begins at 8 a.m.

“I’m not a morning person,” she said. “I love to sleep. For me, it’s a long day.

“It’s not just (long) physically, but mentally. I always say the mental game is more important than the physical game. If you have a bad game, you have to learn to forget about it.”

Last year’s winner, Rocio Restrepo, from Columbia, by way of Louisville, Ohio — 7.8 miles northeast of Canton, Ohio — had a rough first day, but made the cut by two spots, shooting a plus-60, averaging a 205.

“I feel refreshed, but I know I have to work really hard tomorrow,” said Restrepo, who was on the bubble for much of the evening.

“I have to come and give my all. I have a few ideas, but I definitely need to do something a little different.”

Local makes the cut

Brandie Reamy, an amateur bowler from Livonia, shot a plus-89, finishing 23rd and averaging a 207.42 per game, making the cut in her first PWBA tournament.

“Today was very eventful,” Reamy said. “I had a lot of people cheering me on. I made a couple good moves to put me in a good spot. (I made) a lot of adjustments.

“As the day went on, I went further left, and left and left.”

She said she was confident in her position for day two.

“I just love the tournament atmosphere,” Reamy said. “It couldn’t be better right now.”

Hall of Famer advances

West Bloomfield native Cheryl Daniels, a PWBA Hall of Famer made the cut with a plus-62, finishing 29th.

“I had some good games,” she said.

“I struggled with some splits. I didn’t strike as much. I had a pretty good shot. Just pair to pair is tricky.”

Daniels, who has bowled professionally for 23 years, but was technically categorized as an amateur for the purposes of the tournament, said the future of the tour — in its third year back — is bright.

“That looks really good,” Daniels said. “There’s a lot of talent out there. It looks very promising.”

One rising star, she said, is Verity Crawley, from England, who closed out the first day in eighth, with a plus-209.

“There’s a lot of them,” Daniels said.

“There’s several that I’ve seen off and on for the last few years that are really starting to come on strong.”

Al Willman is a freelance writer.