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Grandma-grandson team two pins shy of perfect game

Oxford residents Brian and Pauline Waltz are lean, mean bowling machines. (click for larger version)
December 15, 2010 - The bowling gene must run in the Waltz family.

Brian Waltz, 35, of Oxford, and his grandmother Pauline Waltz, 81, of Oxford, have been bowling on leagues and for recreation for a combined 80 years. Brian has been bowling since he was 5 years old, while Pauline has been rolling strikes for the past 50 years.

It came as no surprise to either one of them that the grandmother/grandson team was able to post the highest score at Collier Lanes Nine Pin No Tap tournament on Sunday, Dec. 5.

Their highest total was a 298, two pins shy of a perfect bowling game of 300.

"We threw (strikes) the first 11 (balls), and grandma got an eight count and we finished with a 298," Brian said.

When she rolled the last ball of the game, she didn't even realize they had a chance to get a perfect score. "They didn't say anything to me," she said.

"I knew it as soon as I hit the 11th one, and then everyone stopped and watched grandma try to throw the 12th one," Brian said.

Bowling perfection was stopped by a baby split with the three 10 split.

In a game of nine pin no tap, bowlers get a strike when they knock down nine pins on the first ball they throw of any frame.

Pauline currently bowls twice a week at Collier Lanes and is on two leagues, while Brian bowls on three leagues and is a substitute for two others.

Scoring a perfect game is nothing new to Brian, who has bowled 13 of them in his lifetime. A modest person, he said it takes "12 lucky strikes" to accomplish the feat.

"It is easier to bowl a perfect game than to bowl an 800 series," he said. "I know guys who average 150 and bowl 300 games."

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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