Jan 21, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT
Meet Bill Fong, who we could call the Nate Kaeding of bowling, except that he only missed once. But that one was so, so painful … one single pin, during his last frame, that stood between him and amateur bowling immortality. The 46-year-old barbershop owner from Plano, Texas, had just bowled two straight perfect games — that’s a 300 score in each — and was working on his third when he faced the final frame. Lick the ball, Bill, you magnificent bastard. One more strike and you’ll have a perfect 900 series, placing you among the bowling gods, and earning all kinds of sweet bowling alley road beef, without a doubt.
So Fong rolls his final ball and … leaves one pin standing. D’oh!
From Lewp’s Weblog, your finest source for tragic amateur bowling near-misses:
Fong got up to make his last shot after rolling 35 perfect strikes and left 1 pin to finish with a 899 series. Wow.
“Everybody is happy,” said Fong, “but I am not. I didn’t achieve what I wanted. I wanted 900.”
His score, achieved at the Plano Super Bowl on Monday, was still good enough to earn Fong the state record for a three-game series. Fong carries a 242 average, according to the Dallas Morning News, and has rolled 19 previous 300 games, with a previous three-game series high of 814. Fun fact: Fong, a Chicago native, was a high school classmate of Michelle Obama.
As of this past November, the United States Bowling Congress has recognized only 15 sanctioned series of 900 in the history of the sport. The last person to do it was Andrew Teall on Nov. 2. It’s unclear, however, if Fong’s was a sanctioned USBC score; but being that it was a state record, I’d guess it was.
More info on people who have rolled 900 series here.
The pressure pretty much floored Fong later that night.
Late Monday, Fong suffered severe dizziness and nausea, symptoms of vertigo, an affliction he has never had. He believes it was caused by adrenaline.
“How could one of the best things happen to me, and all of the sudden I am in the bathroom thinking I am going to die?” Fong said, his eyes squinting as if a spotlight was being shined in his face. “I thought I was having a mini-stroke.”
His symptoms eventually subsided.
Awesome comment from reader Chris: “The Fong abides… “
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times [Lewp's Weblog]
Plano bowler falls one pin short of perfect 900 series [Dallas Morning News]
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