Featured Bowler – February

Ross Lewis

What are you studying at university? Chemical Engineering

High Game: 228

High Series: 601

How long have you been bowling? Since 29 September 2014.

How did you start bowling?

I was enticed by the committee to go down to one of the taster sessions and have never stopped bowling since!

You are the club captain of the University of Birmingham Tenpin Bowling society this year. What made you want to take up the role and what are you hoping to achieve this year?

I became passionate about bowling and wanted to be a bigger part of the club. I also wanted to try my best to attract new people to the sport as on the whole, numbers for bowling are declining.

Is there anyone who has been influential on you as a bowler?

Kian Mistry – he first let me borrow his reactive ball which I now use permanently. He has been a big help to me, especially when moving to two-handed bowling (which I am now better than him at!)

What has been your most memorable moment on the lanes to date?

Picking up the 2-4-7 in the last frame of baker fives last year to beat our rivals to victory! The 2-4-7 is the worst as I struggle to keep the ball out wide.

Congratulations on winning the 2016/17 Student Handicap Championships. Tell us about that event?

Firstly, I was really surprised to make the handicap finals because I had never done that before so that was exciting. When I realised the others who had also qualified were all from Nottingham, it felt pretty impossible but I was happy to have made it so thought I would just try my best!

The format was lowest score gets knocked out until the last man (or woman) standing. My tactic was to just take my time and be quite slow so that others had to wait (seems like a sly move, I know, but I wanted to win!). Also to let everyone take their turns first so I knew what I had to score. The only thing going for me was the experience of tournaments and bowling under pressure as I hadn’t seen any of the other competitors before, so was trying to psych them out a bit. I was starting like 30 pins behind everyone else, so had to do what I could.

In the first game, I just made it through with 151 (246 hcp) vs. 126 (238 hcp). At this point, I would like to note that James Thacker had an absolute beast of a game, bowling his first 200+ game and with 6 strikes in a row, with 204 (318 hcp). So congratulations to him on that, it was impressive.

In the second game, I felt more confident. I knew that the longer I spent on the lane, I would eventually find a line and ultimately bowl better. This was the case as in the second round, I made it through first with a 185 game (280 hcp). I was pretty happy with that, given all the pressure.

The final game was between me and James. At this point, I was pretty pumped and knew that I could bowl a decent game and was not worried about catching up. I started off well with 4 spares to catch up. At this point, I felt my experience would get me through it. James, on the other hand, definitely felt the nerves as he couldn’t watch me bowl. I continued to take my time and let him go first. In the end, it came down to the last frame. On a spare, I bowled 5, then a 4 to win by 2 pins! (236 vs 234 hcp).

After that, I was buzzing! Can I say that I am a national champion now? If not, I’m still going to!

Finally, I would like to say thanks to the other bowlers in the finals because that was the tensest and pressured I have ever felt and loved it! Also, congratulations to all the other winners at champs!

What are your targets/ambitions for this season?

Mainly to be the best I can be. I would like to have a 250+ game or a 700 series (but I think that’s pushing it!) Also, to make sure we still have a bowling club for next year as our bowling alley, PSL Bowling, is to be demolished soon.

What kit is in your bag at the moment?

I only have the one ball, RotoGrip Disturbed – which Kian gave to me.

What one piece of advice would you give to our new tour members?

My one piece of advice would be to try to concentrate. I always bowl better if I treat every frame as a crucial shot! (Oh, and always have fun!)