LAS VEGAS – Team USA’s Danielle McEwan has enjoyed many memorable moments at the South Point Bowling Plaza, and she earned the opportunity to add another by advancing to the Masters semifinals at the 2019 World Bowling Women’s Championships.
The 27-year-old right-hander was consistent and quietly successful this week on her way to the televised medal rounds in singles, team and the tournament-ending Masters, which included the top 24 finishers in the all-events standings.
McEwan, who finished seventh in all-events this week, made her way into the final four with a 2-1 victory over her Team USA teammate Missy Parkin, the No. 6 seed for the Masters bracket.
The Masters semifinals and final will be the last of five live TV shows from the World Women’s Championships. The medal rounds for singles, doubles and trios will be held Thursday, and team and Masters will be held Friday. Competition will begin each day at 3 p.m. Eastern.
McEwan will take on Singapore’s Cherie Tan in the first Masters match, and all-events gold medalist Maria José Rodriguez of Colombia will meet Finland’s Sanna Pasanen in the other. The two winners then will bowl for the gold medal, while the losers each earn bronze medals.
“It definitely stinks having to bowl against your own teammate, and it would’ve been much better if she’d gotten to bowl a different opponent, so we both could be on the show, but the way it worked out also meant we were guaranteed a spot, which is the goal,” said McEwan, a four-time titlist at the adult World Championships. “I’m very excited to be bowling for another medal for Team USA, and I’m going to do my best to hopefully make it a gold one.”
McEwan’s Step 3 match against Parkin went the maximum three games, with Parkin winning the opener, 214-189, and McEwan firing back with wins of 246-201 and 249-181. Three consecutive open frames from Parkin early in the deciding game gave McEwan a clear path to the medal round.
Finishing among the top eight in the all-events standings earned each player a first-round bye, while those seeded No.9 through No.24 jumped right into the best-of-three single-elimination bracket.
To earn the meeting with Parkin, McEwan defeated Malaysia’s Sin Li Jane, 2-1 (226-235, 246-183, 224-193). Parkin dispatched longtime Team USA member Stefanie Johnson in another three-game match (247-213, 237-255, 211-205).
Team USA’s Shannon O’Keefe, the all-events bronze medalist this week, also qualified for match play, but she was defeated by Pasanen, 2-1 (182-185, 214-205, 220-215), in the second round of the day.
Over 24 games this week at the South Point Bowling Plaza, McEwan averaged nearly 221 and was third among Team USA’s six players in the all-events standings. Being deliberate and steady clearly paid off, however.
“The whole week has been really good, and even though I had a couple days that were great and a couple that weren’t as good, it all was part of the process and trying to figure out the lanes,” McEwan said. “I feel like right now I have a really good picture of what’s going on out there, and I’m ready for whatever situation is thrown at me.”
An eight-time Team USA member, McEwan entered the 2019 World Women’s Championships as a defending champion in trios and all-events. Those wins came at the 2017 Combined World Championships, also at South Point, and her previous victories – doubles and team – came in 2015.
Though she won’t repeat in trios or all-events, she potentially could leave Las Vegas as the owner of a gold medal in each of the six disciplines at the World Championships.
In addition to her two gold medals at South Point in 2017, the Bowling Plaza has yielded McEwan a Professional Bowlers Association regional title, a victory at the 2015 PBA Team Challenge and a pair of top-10 finishes at the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships.
While she does feel incredibly comfortable on the venue’s 60 tournament lanes, it also was important for her and her teammates to establish a routine and mindset for this week similar to what they’d experience at a remote event, despite having visited and competed at South Point dozens of times.
“I am very comfortable here, and I feel like I know the facility and lanes well, but we also tried to treat this like we would if it were somewhere else,” McEwan said. “Earlier this week we did a walk through of the building and how we were going to walk in each day, and we’ve stuck to that routine. We’ve all walked in here many times on our own, but it’s a whole different mindset doing it as a team. There’s nothing like being part of this team and experience.”
The 2019 World Women’s Championships started with 176 competitors from 34 countries, who competed for medals in singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters competition.
The 34 countries that participated this year were: Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States, Ukraine and Venezuela.
Las Vegas and South Point also hosted the World Championships in 2017. That was a combined event featuring men and women – something that happens every four years.
For more information on the 2019 World Women’s Championships, visit WorldBowling.org.