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Bowler finding consistency at Strike Zone

February 20, 2018 GMT

Proper equipment, good form and excellent carry. And a dash of religion. That pretty much covers how left-hander Kyle Arthur is averaging 242 in one league and 240 in another at Strike Zone Bowling Center this late in the 2017-18 season.

Arthur’s latest accomplishment was February 5 when he recorded another 800 series and perfect game in the Storm Eastern Heights Men’s League. He reeled off games of 268-279-300 for a career-high 847. The 800 was his third of the season and seventh all-time. As for 300s, he’s now had two this season to bring his sanctioned total to 13 and career total to 20.

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As for equipment, Arthur works with Sam Hobbs, who lives in Proctorville, Ohio, and excels on the lanes as well. Between them they come up with the right ball for conditions bowlers encounter. “It’s big,” Arthur said. “He drills it (ball) and I roll it.” Arthur has racked up at least one honor score with each ball Hobbs has drilled for him.

As for form, Arthur knows how to stay sharp and what to do when something is out of kilter. “Consistency. It’s being able to repeat shots,” he said.

As for carry, Arthur said all 10 pins seem to find the pit now when his powerful shot reaches the pocket. “It’s been real good,” he said. “I hit or am around the pocket and the pins fall.”

Before this season, Arthur’s best season average was 232. “I don’t understand it,” he said of this surge.

Despite the good mental and physical vibes, Arthur said a higher power is at work in his left hand. Arthur, who is 26 and works for Marshall University, daily posts passages from the Bible on his Facebook page.

“Very humble and very blessed,” Arthur said. “Jesus is so good. If not for Him, I’m not here, not blessed with this ability and I don’t shoot the scores I do.”

Believe or not, there are nights when Arthur signs for a 630-640. He’s OK with that. “Each week’s a whole new night,” he said. “This game can humble you in a heartbeat.”

STRIKE ZONE TOURNAMENT: Sunday Funday singles tournament at Strike Zone Bowling Center. Start time Sunday is 6:30 p.m. Entry fee $10 for Strike Zone bowlers and $20 for non-Strike Zone bowlers. Oil pattern is 47-foot Statue of Liberty. Format is three-game qualifier, cut to top 10 for match play and then top five go to stepladder finals. Tournament participants will get a ticket to sign and after qualifying there will a drawing to win a Storm Drive ball.

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SWEETHEART DOUBLES: The second Sweetheart Scotch Doubles tournament is Sunday at Dixie Lanes in Grayson, Ky. Start time is 2 p.m. Entry fee $30 a team and team must have one male and one female member.

WAY TO GO: Casey Lusk shot 223 in his final game for a 602 series in junior action at Strike Zone Bowling Center.

WHAT A RUN: Matt O’Grady survived a pre-tournament qualifier just to make the main event, then started as No. 5 seed in the stepladder finals in the PBA Tour’s 53rd Tournament of Champions last Sunday and won four matches, taking down two tour giants along the way, to take home the title at AMF Fairlawn Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio.

O’Grady, along with Andrew Anderson and B.J. Moore, made it into the starting field of 80 through the Pro Tour Qualifier held Tuesday. Anderson was No. 2 seed and Moore No. 5 for the ESPN TV show. Tour giants Jason Belmonte and Jesper Svennson came in at No. 3 and No. 1 respectively. The PTQ was for non-tour winners who owned a title in one of PBA’s other divisions.

O’Grady was fortunate to be on TV at all. He entered the final game of match play at No. 3, then shot 154 in a loss to Belmonte. O’Grady survived it because Matthew Sanders opened in the 10th frame and shot 179 in a loss to Moore. Sanders finished sixth, 10 pins short of making the show.

O’Grady, 31, defeated Svensson, 207-193, in the championship match, taking his first career win a major. Before Sunday, O’Grady had one PBA regional title to his credit. Svensson, two-handed lefty from Sweden, dominated the field in match play to secure top seed.

O’Grady beat Moore, his doubles partner, in the first match, 219-174, to get a shot at tournament favorite Belmonte. The right-handed two-handed power from Australia was seeking his 10th career major. O’Grady prevailed, 229-225. Belmonte needed a double and 5-count in the 10th to win, but he left a 10-pin on his second shot and dropped to a knee in disbelief.

In the semifinal match, O’Grady topped Anderson, 194-185. O’Grady became the first player since Dave D’Entremont in the 1996 Tournament of Champions to win four stepladder matches for the title.

David Walsh writes about bowling for The Herald-Dispatch. His email address is bigdogdown@gmail.com.

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