Bowling with the Pros

Bowling IconIt was an interesting evening. Out of the blue I got a phone call from one of my best high school friends, Dennis. We talked about a variety of things, but the reason he called is that he met a famous bowler tonight at his local house: Parker Bohn III. I live in Las Vegas, which is a popular bowling destination. We have a lot of tournaments in the area throughout the year, so it’s not unusual to see professional bowlers around. But Dennis lives in Cumberland, Rhode Island, where he tells me, visits by pros are a rare occurrence. His chance encounter reminded me of the 2013 PBA Senior U.S. Open tournament held at Suncoast Bowling Center in early June 2013.

It wasn’t a chance occurrence. I signed up for a fun event, the 2013 PBA Senior Pro-Am. The way it works is this. You and some other bowlers are assigned a lane. A pro is also assigned to each lane. After the first game, the pros on that pair, move to the next pair, and a new set of pros bowl with you for the second game. After that game, the pros move again, so you bowl with a third pro. I should also mention that this is a 9-Pin No-Tap tournament.

Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Me

Walter Ray Williams Jr. (left) and me.

The pros I bowled with were Bryan Goebel, Robert Harvey and Eric Forkel. While all three were very nice and it was quite an experience bowling with all of them, I most enjoyed bowling with Robert Harvey the best. There’s a reason he’s won the Dick Weber Sportsmanship Award in 2010 and 2013. He is so nice, constantly encouraging every bowler n the pair. It was so refreshing to see a professional athlete get involved with the fans who came out to see him participate in the event with him and be so friendly and encouraging. Bryan Goebel was extremely nice as well and I enjoyed bowling with him as well. While I enjoyed bowling with Eric Forkel, He was a bit more reserved and didn’t interact with us as much as Robert Harvey and Bryan Goebel did.

I didn’t get to bowl with him as I was one pair too far away, but meeting and having my photo taken with PBA Legend Walter Ray Williams Jr. was one of the highlights of the day. Not the top highlight, but one of them. The top highlight was bowling a 9-Pin No-Tap 300 in the last game. It’s not the first no-tap 300 I’ve ever bowled. I’ve bowled several, but bowling one with a PBA50 touring professional makes it extra special. So does having a higher scratch total for the 3-game series than the 3 pros who I bowled with (776-730).

While I would have liked to bowl with Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Sammy Ventura, I had a great day and a lot of fun.

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