After nearly 20 tries, Palmetto's Wagner achieves elusive 292 game


    United States

    Republished courtesy of Sarasota Herald Tribune By Bill Herald - December 1, 2005

    By his own estimation, Kent Wagner Palmetto has rolled "around 50" perfect games in his stellar bowling career, which includes three Professional Bowlers Association titles. Until Monday night, however, he had failed to achieve one of his longtime goals: a difficult-to-achieve 292 game.

    For about 20 years, Wagner has often bypassed opportunities to roll a 300 game in a bid for 292, but he reached his unique goal in this week's session of the Firkins Automotive Scratch League at AMF Bradenton.

    Even on modern-day lane conditions, it's obviously not easy to start games with the first 11 strikes in a row, but it's far more difficult to throw a final-ball 2-count than it is to complete a 300 game with another strike.

    Wagner has tried for the elusive 12th-ball 2-count "around 20 times," but he finally succeeded Monday night. He picked up a 6-pound house ball and rolled a backup ball that somehow managed to clip the 6 and 10 pins off the full rack.

    "When I let the ball go, I actually thought it was going to go into the left gutter," he said. "But I rolled it very slow, and it got over to where I wanted it."

    What got Wagner started in quest of a 292?

    "About 20 years ago, (ex-wife) Lisa and I visited the Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis, and we noticed that, as of that time, no one had ever rolled a sanctioned 292 game, and I got the idea to attempt to be the first one to do so," Wagner said.

    Since then, several other bowlers have achieved the unique feat of rolling 292, but Wagner has to be the only bowler anywhere to have rolled at least one of every number from 290 to 300.