16-year-old bowler rolls two 300s in a row
One night after making North Dakota bowling history, it was back to reality for Tyler Payne Monday. The 16-year-old from West Fargo was not visiting Red River Lanes to boast about his state record 858 series, nor was he there to bowl. Payne was c...
One night after making North Dakota bowling history, it was back to reality for Tyler Payne Monday.
The 16-year-old from West Fargo was not visiting Red River Lanes to boast about his state record 858 series, nor was he there to bowl.
Payne was cleaning tables, one night after bowling back-to-back 300 games at West Acres Bowl en route to his 858 three-game series, setting the junior state record.
"It's a whole family sport," Payne said. "Everyone in my family bowled at one time or another in a league."
Payne's uncle and aunt, Charley and Mary Jean Jones, are the proprietors of Red River Lanes in Fargo. He works there; he polishes his game there.
"This is my second home," Payne said. "If I'm not at my house, I'm here."
Payne bowls on a traveling team every Sunday, providing the backdrop for his run at perfection not once, but twice.
Payne entered Sunday's competition feeling no different than usual.
"I just got into a zone for the last three-game (series)," he said.
Ball after ball in his first game, Payne hit his spots. As his score grew, so did momentum and confidence.
He threw 12 consecutive strikes in the first game of the series, completing a perfect score for the second time in his career.
"The first game was just keeping him calm," said Jim Payne, Tyler's father and coach.
Tyler said his dad and his opponent were the only two people paying much attention to his first game. It didn't take long for word to spread across West Acres Bowl.
"The first (game) there wasn't much of a crowd," Tyler said. "The second one there was. It's not an average thing to see."
Tyler continued his onslaught of pins, drilling 12 straight strikes in his second game for another 300 score.
"It was just amazing," Jim Payne said.
Entering the third frame of the third game, Tyler had bowled 26 straight strikes. As Tyler released what he hoped would be No. 27 in a row, he knew his dance with perfection was over.
"I tugged it so I knew it wasn't going to be a good shot," Tyler said. "I was more mad at myself that I threw an errant shot."
Tyler barely faltered through the third game. He finished the series with an 858, throwing 33 strikes in 36 frames.
"I was at my mom and dad's when we got the call," Mary Jean Jones said. "(Jim) said, 'I'll call you and tell you what he bowls.' When he called and said 858, I thought 'Wow.'"
"I knew he was capable," Charley Jones said. "Tyler works hard every day at his bowling."
Tyler's family hopes that work ethic will land him a scholarship at a major college program. Tyler's dreams are even bigger -- the Professional Bowlers Association.
"That's where I would like to end up," Tyler said. "I want to go to a college that is big for bowling (and) gives scholarships."
"As of right now, if he continues to conduct himself, anything is possible," Jim Payne said. "He has the qualities that it takes to be a pro bowler. He has the head on his shoulders."
While the PBA may seem a long ways away for a 16-year-old working at a bowling alley in Fargo, Tyler will always have his one night to remember.
"It's quite an accomplishment," he said. "I still can't really grasp it yet."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5549