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No, cannot have! Bowler misses perfect 900 series on final frame

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]

  1. shirtees - Jan 21, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    Mike said: “…maybe michelle can get barrack to pardon that last pin!”
    Now there is a good use of presidential powers. How about bringing the troops home, reviving the economy, stopping the flow at the borders, banning GMO foods, and so on?

  2. Birdzilla - Jan 21, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    An 899? You got Munsoned!

  3. CriaG Cooper - Jan 21, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    What a joke…sanctioned bowling has been around for over 100+ years. Yet only in the last 20 have scores increased the way they have. As a former member of the PBA I can tell you that Yes lane conditions have improved to make them more scorable and also the equipment has also improved so that now a 15 pound bowling ball hits the pins with the same (if not more) power than the 16 pounds balls that were the standard for guys for along time. My last season of bowling I averaged over 225 and NEVER practiced once in that time. I had the 3rd highest average in that league. The simple analogy that I use to compare bowl to today is a golf course. Would it not be great to have every single fairway with huge sloop towards the middle of each one, and also have the green shaped like a big funnel. Hit the fairway and hit the green and your now a sub par or better golfer. Bowling has become just that. When I was young you use to have to hit a target(board or arrow) in order to hit the pocket. Not anymore. Heck I could miss my target by 3 or 4 boards each side of the one I was looking at and still hit the pocket. True carry is still the name of the game but the skill level of it has been taken away. Watch the PBA sometimes and etry to figure out why the best bowlers in the world are only shooting 190′s on TV…and then the next week they are shooting 250+….it all comes down to lane conditions

    • dicemandan - Jul 15, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      @CriaG Cooper… Yes, bowling has become such a joke anymore that it basically become nothing more than an exhibition rather than a sport it once was, an exhibition of who can carry the most. What was once thought impossible or nearly impossible has become commomplace: The 900 series, the 800 series, the 300 game; even the 700 series was something once revered! Yes, the skill level has long been taken away; I cannot compete with the crankers who can swing it out to the gutter and have it come all the way back and slam all ten into the pit! To me, if you throw the ball towards the gutter, it should to into the gutter! Glenn Allison’s 900 series in 1982 carries far more legitimacy than any that has been scored since! Allison was a real bowler; today’s “bowlers” are nothing more than “exhibitionists”! As Cooper states, when I was young, yes we had to hit a target, not an “area” to hit the pocket! I’m still waiting for USBC to “grow a set” and insist on proper and legitimate lane conditions so that maybe a 190 game once again becomes a good score. It used to be that you had to practice extensively to be successful in bowling but since the late 1980s you could and can buy your way to higher scores without practicing! No thanks, USBC! Clean it up, as I asked you to do in an email feedback I sent six years ago! I have not purchased a sanction since 1983, one year after Glenn Allison wrongfully had his 900 rejected by Bob Ramirez, Orange County (CA) Bowling Association secretary. (This same clown, Ramirez, refused in 1985 to take action against a sanctioned league bowler who knocked me off the scorer’s chair during a league session, even though the bowler had no reason or provocation to use violence against me; whenever a sanctioned bowler uses violence in a sanctioned event, he is supposed to get his card pulled.)

  4. Say What - Jan 21, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    I guess I’ll go back and bowl there. That place is a 24 hour bowling alley.

  5. Rick Chandler - Jan 21, 2010 at 8:12 PM


  6. bill fong - Jan 25, 2010 at 12:23 AM

    it was a tenpin

  7. BILL FONG - Jul 25, 2010 at 6:12 AM

    Just want everyone to know what Dallas Morning News wrote was not totally accurate word for word.My average was 230 that night.Like to thank all the kind positive words.And for the negative comments ,come out and find out if our bowling center is that easy.I change balls twice that night.

  8. Whitney Young Alum - Oct 15, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    Bill Fong. I went to high school at Whitney Young too, (Michelle Obama was not only a classmate but my neighbor as well.)
    Bill Fong was a bully with a huge two hundred pound frame and hands like canned hams. He was a generally mean guy who terrorized people. I’m glad he lost. Personality wise he was a loser then (How he EVER got into Whitney Young, even then one of the best schools in the country is still a mystery to me. I think it was because his brother, a really cool guy, went there before him.) who got his jollies hurting others so it’s only fitting he lost now.