Spearfish bowler reflects on perfect game

Tory Walz, left, bowled a 300 game at Lucky Strike Lanes and received a certificate from alley owner Levi Brownell. Courtesy photo

SPEARFISH — “Every time you start getting strikes, all you can think about is, ‘Oh, I have a chance.”

Tory Walz described what every bowler thinks on their way to what they hope is 12 consecutive strikes for a 300 game. 

The Spearfish resident’s became a reality Oct. 17 at Spearfish’s Lucky Strike Lanes, when Walz achieved the 300 during the second game of a three-game series. Scores of 201 and 211 helped him finish with a personal series high of 712.

He belongs to three leagues, but bowled his perfect game during LS Trios competition. A 267 was his previous one-game high.

What was working especially well for Walz during the second game?

“Just being able to be consistent and hit my mark,” Walz said. “That was mainly the only goal that I had.”

He had nine consecutive strikes to put his score at 270. 

That set the stage for the 10th frame, where he had three shots.

“I just kind of focused on my main thing, which was to focus on hitting where I had been throwing the ball,” Walz said in describing that 10th frame. Walz recalled he was beginning to shake. 

The first two shots were very clean, and his score was up to 290.

“I threw the ball about two inches inside of where I had been throwing it,” Walz said of the final shot. “It still struck pretty decent, but I didn’t have a pin slide across the lane that I thought might stand up.”

Walz said the number four pin teetered for about one-half second before sliding and tipping over. 

“The biggest thing on my mind was just, ‘Holy crap, I did it,’” Walz said with a laugh. “I’m not going to lie.”

Walz received a plaque from Lucky Strike Lanes and will get a specialized ring.

Walz, 24, started bowling five years ago when he befriended Lucky Strike Lanes owner Levi Brownell. Competing in leagues and practicing on his throws followed. 

The sport’s frustration appeals to Walz the most. “It’s never the same,” he said. “Scores can vary from night to night so much. It’s amazing.” 

Lane conditions and oil conditions on the wood lanes constantly change. Walz agreed that poses the biggest challenge for him.

Now that the perfect game is in his pocket, Walz has other goals in mind. They include a 750 series, then 800.

“There are only about six people in our area that have bowled an 800 (series),” Walz said. “It would be kind of cool to join them.

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