Bowler with Pocatello roots takes third in prestigious tourney

March 7, 2017 GMT

Nearly 400 professional and amateur bowlers competed in the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Masters tourney that recently took place in Las Vegas. Alex Hoskins was able to defeat many of them.

The amateur bowler, who grew up in Pocatello, qualified for the live TV final on ESPN and finished in third place. He won $15,000.

This was only the second professional event Hoskins has competed in and it was his first Masters event.

“I’m extremely proud about what I accomplished. Most bowlers will never experience something like that,” Hoskins said. “It was an unbelievable feeling to throw the ball on ESPN and bowl (against) some of the great players that I used to watch as a little kid on Sunday mornings.”

During the Las Vegas event, Hoskins said all 396 players bowled 15 games. After that, the field was narrowed to 64 players, who were placed into brackets of two based on their total scores. From there, they bowled matches of three games and only the winner proceeded to the next round until five were left for the TV final.


Hoskins said he was able to go up against some great players, including Chris Barnes, EJ Tackett, Pete Weber and Martin Larsen, and he was fortunate enough to win those games.

“I bowled extremely well even in the high-pressure situations that I was presented with. I stayed cool, calm and collected and made good things happen all week,” he said. “I even had a 298 game in qualifying. Very close to 300, just missing two pins on the last ball.”

Hoskins was in second when he qualified for the TV final, he said, but then he lost his match and ended up in third.

He hopes to continue improving his game in the future, and to one day bowl on TV again.

Hoskins currently works for the bowling ball manufacturer Storm Products Inc. in Brigham City, Utah. And he bowls two nights a week in league games and travels to Northwest Region tournaments on the weekends.

He said he enjoys everything about the sport, particularly the challenge of it. He noted that there can be many different oil patterns on the lane, and players have to conquer that invisible pattern in order to get their ball to strike.

“People don’t give it as much credit as it deserves. It’s a game of inches,” he said. “You’ve really got to focus and make the best shots possible to compete at a high level.”

Hoskins said he has been hooked on the sport ever since his parents took him bowling when he was about 5. As he grew older, he started bowling in leagues in Pocatello. He even took a job working at the local Pine Bowling Center when he was in his teens.

“I would stay after work into the late hours of the night working on getting better,” he said. “I would never be where I am today if it wasn’t for my parents and the family at Pine Bowling Center.”

Hoskins said he appreciates everyone who has supported him over the years and those who sent him messages after the show.

“It was a great experience and I’m glad everyone got to be a part of it with me,” he said.