Less than three weeks from his 71st birthday, John Buchanan III
of Evansville, Indiana, gave himself an early gift as he connected on 36 consecutive strikes to become the oldest bowler in United States Bowling Congress history to record a 900 series.
The right-hander fired three consecutive 300 games Wednesday during the Woodward Commercial Seniors league at Evansville’s Franklin Lanes to become the 30th bowler to achieve the feat, surpassing Dale Gerhard of Mill Hall, Pennsylvania, as the oldest to reach the score. Gerhard was 59 years old when he rolled his 900 series last January.
Buchanan became the second bowler from Indiana to accomplish the score, joining Bob Kammer Jr. of Crown Point, Indiana, who recorded his perfect set in January 2011.
Buchanan laced up on his favorite pair of lanes at the 20-lane facility Wednesday, but he did not find the ball reaction he was looking for early in practice.
“We were on 17 and 18, which is my favorite pair in the house,” Buchanan said. “The ball I usually use wasn’t reacting quite as well as I wanted it to, so I switched to a stronger ball and played a completely different line. I hardly had to change throughout the set – maybe a board through all three games – since I was alone playing where I was on (the fifth board).”
As the strikes continued to add up and Buchanan approached the final frame, his first goal was to reclaim the Greater Evansville USBC series record, which he previously held after rolling an 858 series during a tournament at Franklin Lanes in May 2003.
“Stepping up in the 10th, I was thinking about the city record,” Buchanan said. “I had held the record before at 858, but it has been broken four or five times since then, and I was hoping to get it back. After that, I just tried to stay as calm as possible and make good shots, which I was able to do.
“Holding the record is pretty special,” Buchanan said. “A 900 series is an achievement all bowlers strive for, but only a few are able to attain. I feel privileged to be in that group.”
Buchanan’s achievement is pending approval from USBC and would be the 31st USBC-approved 900. The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Nebraska.
For more information on USBC records, click here.
Houston’s Sean Osbourn rolls first 900 in the Lone Star State
Pennsylvania’s Dale Gerhard rolls the second 900 series this week
Two-handed lefty David Sewesky records a perfect 900 series in Michigan
Massachusetts’ Hakim Emmanuel rolls 900 series
Ohio bowler Earon Vollmar rolls 900 series
Colorado bowler Amos Gordon brings the number of 900 series to 25
Last-minute substitute Todd James rolls a 900 series in Delaware Mixed League
PBA Senior rookie Joe Scarborough rolls first 900 series in PBA history
Connecticut’s James Williams shoots 900 series
California teen Jimmy Schmitzer becomes 20th bowler to roll 900 series
New Yorker John Martorella Sr. becomes 19th bowler to roll 900 series
Bob Kammer Jr. becomes the first Indiana bowler to roll 900 series
Ohio’s Matt Latarski becomes 17th bowler to roll a USBC-approved 900 series
New Yorker William Howell III rolls the 17th USBC-approved 900 series
Illinois bowler Andrew Mank rolls 900 series
Chris Aker, Andrew Teall roll 900 series three days apart
Baltimore’s Rich Jerome Jr. rolls 900 series
P.J. Giesfeldt’s perfect series is third in Milwaukee area, 12th in nation
USBC approves Mark Wukoman’s 900 series
Cincinnati-area bowler Lonnie Billiter Jr. rolls 900 series
USBC approves Robert Mushtare’s two 900 series
USBC reviewing New York youth bowler Robert Mushtare’s two 900-series
United States Bowling Congress rejects 900 series by New York youth Robert Mushtare
Minnesota’s Darin Pomije fires seventh ABC-approved 900 series
Jeff Campbell II rolls sixth ABC approved 900 series
Oregon bowler James Hylton rolls 900 series
Robby Portalatin becomes second lefty to roll 900
Vince Wood rolls three perfect games for the third ever 900 series
Tony Roventini becomes the first left-handed bowler with a 900 series
Jeremy Sonnenfeld makes history; rolls first-ever sanctioned 900 series
USBC-approved 900 series (30)
Jeremy Sonnenfeld (R), Lincoln, Neb., Feb. 2, 1997
Tony Roventini (L), Greenfield, Wis., Nov. 9, 1998
Vince Wood (R), Moreno Valley, Calif., Sept, 29, 1999
Robby Portalatin (L), Jackson, Mich., Dec. 28, 2000
James Hylton (R), Salem, Ore., May 2, 2001
Jeff Campbell II (R), New Castle, Pa., June 12, 2004
Darin Pomije (R), New Prague, Minn., Dec. 9, 2004
Robert Mushtare (R), Fort Drum, N.Y., Dec. 5, 2005 and Feb. 19, 2006
Lonnie Billiter Jr. (R), Fairfield, Ohio, Feb. 13, 2006
Mark Wukoman (R), Greenfield, Wis., April 22, 2006
P.J. Giesfeldt (R), Milwaukee, Dec. 23, 2006
Rich Jerome Jr. (R), Baltimore, Dec. 22, 2008
Chris Aker (L), Winnemucca, Nev., Oct. 30, 2009
Andrew Teall (R), Medford, N.J., Nov. 2, 2009
Andrew Mank (R), Belleville, Ill., March 18, 2010
William Howell III (L), Middletown, N.Y., Oct. 21, 2010
Matt Latarski (R), Medina, Ohio, Nov. 28, 2010
Bob Kammer Jr. (R), Crown Point, Ind., Jan. 8, 2011
John Martorella Sr. (R), Greece, N.Y., April 12, 2012
Jimmy Schmitzer (R), Riverside, Calif., April 20, 2012
James Williams (R), Pawcatuck, Conn., (bowled in Wakefield, R.I.), April 16, 2013
Joe Scarborough (R), Charlotte, N.C., (bowled in The Villages, Fla.), April 21, 2013
Todd James (R), East New Market, Md., (bowled in Laurel, Del.), March 18, 2014
Amos Gordon (R), Colorado Springs, Colo., April 11, 2014
Earon Vollmar (R), Toledo, Ohio, Jan. 19, 2015
Hakim Emmanuel (R), Stoughton, Mass., Feb. 19, 2015
David Sewesky (L), Dearborn, Mich., Jan. 10, 2016
Dale Gerhard (R), Mill Hall, Pa., Jan. 12, 2016
Sean Osbourn (R), Houston, Nov. 21, 2016
John Buchanan III (R), Evansville, Ind., Jan. 11, 2017**
** Pending formal approval by the United States Bowling Congress.