By Jim Goodwin on Jul 29, 2019 4:15:18 PM
When it came to generating publicity for women's professional bowling, nobody did it better than Kim Adler. She and her husband Tommy were always coming up with innovative ways to promote not only her career, but the tour as well.
In 1999, she won the U.S. Women's Open. It was her third major title and the 12th of 15 titles before the tour ceased operation in 2003. In this BowlTV Vault video, we see one of the most intense performances ever on the women's tour. On the lanes, Adler was all business, and this video demonstrates what a tough competitor she always was.
"It was my most favorite win," recalled Adler. "I remember being focused the entire week in a way I was in no other tournament. It was nice being able to visit with friends and family that week because we were close to home, but I'll never forget that very last frame when I needed a strike to win a major on live TV . . . taking control and doing my job. I did not have much time to enjoy the feeling because we had to rush to the airport to make the last flight to Tennessee and I was on the lanes there the next morning."
Apparently the focus was still happening during the following week . . . Adler led the Tennessee event from wire-to-wire and won again . . . the week after that she finished second, one of her 11 second-place tour finishes in her career.
1999 was one of those years when the women's and men's U.S. Open were held together in the same city, same center, and with the same prize money. The finals for the '99 Open were staged in the Mohegan Sun Resort Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, not far from where Adler got her start in nearby Windsor Locks. Staged back-to-back, Adler and Bob Learn took home $35,000 each that day.
This vault video also gives us a glimpse of two of the most amazing amateurs turned pros in bowling history in the finals - Team USA star Lynda Barnes and Australia's Cara Honeychurch.
Former USA Bowling President Jerry Koenig told me around that time that Honeychurch was sensational, and he was right. She would go on to win her first pro title later in 1999 and seven more through 2003. When the tour stopped, she went back home and became the President of the Australian Bowling Federation.
Barnes married her husband Chris only a week before this '99 U.S. Women's Open, and he was there helping her during the show. She won three titles during her pro career, and two of them were majors. Lynda and Chris started their honeymoon that week in 1999, and it continues today. They recently celebrated their 20th anniversary.
Kim Adler attracted huge media attention in 2002 when she sold eight square inches of logo space to a swimming pool company in an eBay Auction. It didn't seem like a big deal at first, but it resulted in more than 70 radio and TV interviews including USA Today, Fox, CNN, ESPN, and many others.
Adler was ranked No. 7 in the world when the PWBA Tour stopped in 2003. Today, she applies her skills and amazing ability to focus on getting the job done as a very successful Nurse Practitioner.