As a longtime member of bowling’s Team USA, Double Oak’s Lynda Barnes has competed in venues around the world but perhaps nothing as unique as the one in her own backyard June 30.
The former Flower Mound resident was part of the first bowling event in a football stadium when the stepladder finals of the 2011 Bowling’s U.S. Women’s Open took place on specially-installed lanes around the famous midfield Dallas Cowboys star at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. While she wasn’t able to stop Leanne Hulsenburg of Roseville, Calif., from winning the title, she was in awe of the surroundings.
“It was cool because I could hear my kids’ baseball team, the Bulldogs, yelling ‘Lynda,’ ” said Barnes, who earned $15,000 for finishing third after losing to Hulsenburg 247-246 in the semifinal.”That was pretty cool.”
Hulsenburg followed her narrow victory over Barnes with a 208-183 win over defending champion Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., to capture the title. She earned $50,000, two American Airlines tickets and a $5,000 Tiffany gift certificate.
“It was crazy,” Barnes said. “To be bowling on a set around the star couldn’t be any better. I had family and friends here. It was really fun. I just wanted to bowl good so that my family and friends could be proud of me and I think I accomplished that.”
Bowling in Cowboys Stadium ended one of the busiest and most personal months in Barnes’ life. Just 26 days earlier, the second-annual Strike Out Diabetes event she organized with her pro bowler husband Chris took place at AMF Lewisville Lanes.
While the inaugural Strike Out Diabetes raised more than $40,000, this year increased to $55,000.
“We’re ecstatic,” Barnes said. “We’re already working on plans for next year.”
This year’s event again benefited the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. One of the Barnes’ twin sons, Troy, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008.
“The best part of the day was what we did for a great cause but what also was great was all the bowling people who came together to help,” she said. “The local business community stepped up and helped a lot. I hope that continues.”
In addition to planning for Strike Out Diabetes and preparing for and competing in the U.S. Women’s Open, Barnes had to complete her duties as a member of the United States Bowling Congress Board of Directors. That duty concluded July 1 with the USBC Annual Meeting at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine.
After serving for three years as an athlete representative, Barnes decided not to leave the USBC Board of Directors to spend more time with her sons.
“It takes a lot of time and commitment,” she said. “I want to enjoy the boys and do things with them while they still like me.”
Barnes was just happy for the start of July so she, Chris, Troy and Ryan could try to get back to some normalcy.
“The month has been crazy and fun,” she said. “I was glad we had the few days around the 4th of July to relax by the pool and some time to get ready for next year.”
Her on-lanes status for the rest of 2011 and next year depends on a wrist she re-injured at Cowboys Stadium. Even if it is fine, she wasn’t planning on bowling much the rest of the year. Most of her time will center on JDRF and her family which suits Lynda Barnes just fine.
NOTE: This originally was written for the Flower Mound News Connection.