It was just a year ago that Joe Scarborough of Charlotte, N.C., made bowling history by rolling the first and only 900 series in PBA history at the PBA50 Sun Bowl In The Villages at Spanish Springs Lanes.
Scarborough, a PBA50 Tour rookie bowling in only his second tournament, stunned a sold-out Spanish Springs Lanes crowd by rolling three consecutive 300 games to start his first qualifying round. The 51-year-old self-employed electrical contractor threw another strike to start his fourth game, but his streak ended at 37 in a row when he left a split on his 38th shot.
Scarborough used the Storm IQ Tour Pearl for the 900.
Scarborough signed with Storm Products recently as an Advisory Staffer.
Scarborough will return to the scene of bowling history when the PBA50 UnitedHealthcare Open presented by Radical gets underway April 19. The second stop of the 2014 season concludes on April 22.
“The fans at The Villages are the best there is and I give them a lot of credit for helping me bowl the 900,” said Scarborough, who eventually finished 49th in the tournament. “I was really feeding off the fans. I was talking with them in between shots which helped distract me from the pressure of the moment. The only time I had to block out the crowd was when I was up on the approach so I could focus on executing every shot.”
After returning home following the historic feat, Scarborough achieved what he called ‘celebrity’ status and was also able to turn his accomplishment into a marketing coup for his business.
“The reaction back home was unbelievable,” Scarborough said. “The emails, texts, media attention was great, and it seemed like it went on for months and months. People still walk up to me and want to talk about it.”
Scarborough changed the name of his business to ‘Mr. 900 Electric’ after he was ironically pressed into service to help fix an electrical problem at the PBA50 Tour tournament at George Pappas Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C., two weeks later. The power went off during qualifying when three-time PBA50 Tour winner Bob Learn Jr. had the first five strikes in a row. After a two-hour delay to get it fixed, Learn went on to throw the next seven strikes to complete his 300 game.
“When people see that name it makes them curious so they call and want to know what Mr. 900 means,” Scarborough said. “It not only promotes my business but it also gives me an opportunity to talk bowling with people and promote the sport. It’s a win-win.”
As a unique promotional touch Scarborough provides his customers with a signed Mr. 900 bowling pin as a calling card of sorts after he completes a job.
“They really love it,” Scarborough said of his customers. “It’s just another opportunity for me to talk bowling while promoting the business.”
Scarborough’s 900 set PBA50 Tour records for consecutive 300 games (the previous record was two by Norb Wetzel of Fond du Lac, Wis. (Albany, N.Y., 1998) and Rohn Morton of Portland, Ore. (Tucson, Ariz., 2005), and highest three-game series. He also tied the record for most 300s by an individual in a PBA50 Tour tournament, shared by Ron Mohr of Eagle River, Alaska (Columbus, Ohio, 2010) and Bob Kelly of Dayton, Ohio (Mooresville, N.C., 2010).
The PBA surprised Scarborough when PBA Commissioner Tom Clark presented him with a custom-designed, framed 900 series jersey during the GEICO PBA Summer Swing in Milwaukee.
“It’s unbelievable, especially to be the first in the PBA to do it,” said Scarborough, whose previous high series was 834. “When you think of all the games that have been bowled in the history of the sport, to accomplish something like bowling 900 is just mind-boggling.”
PBA50 UnitedHealthcare Sun Bowl In The Villages presented by Radical Schedule
Spanish Springs Lanes, The Villages, Fla.
(All times Eastern)
For admission and pro-am entry information contact Spanish Spring Lanes at (352) 750-9440
Saturday, April 19
9 a.m. - noon – Practice session
2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., – Pro-am squads
Sunday, April 20
9 a.m. - A Squad qualifying (8 games)
3 p.m. - B Squad qualifying (8 games)
Monday, April 21
9 a.m. - B Squad qualifying (8 games)
3 p.m. - A Squad qualifying (8 games)
Cut to top 32
Tuesday, April 22
11 a.m. – Match play
7 p.m. – Championship rounds