DARLINGTON – Every golfer longs to shoot a hole-in-one. Every pitcher in baseball dreams of throwing a perfect game, and every batter wants to hit for the cycle.
In the sport of bowling, the ultimate goal is a 300 game. Twelve strikes in a row, 120 pins knocked down.
Hollandale’s Matt Anderson has had quite a history with the perfect game in his 27-year bowling career, and he recently added another one to his growing collection after rolling his 17th career 300 during Fraternal League play at Ranch House Lanes on Monday, Oct. 3.
Anderson, a 29-year old who dairy farms on his parent’s farm in Hollandale, got his first bowling ball from his grandmother at the age of two and ever since then he has enjoyed the sport.
He said he has been competing in men’s league since the age of 11 at area lanes in Hollandale, Dodgeville, Mineral Point and Darlington, and as far away as Montfort and Madison.
Similarly, his many 300s have also been spread around the state– most in sanctioned events– at eight or nine different locations from here in the area to Beloit and Middleton.
“They still feel as good as the first one,” said Anderson of his recent 300. “It does get easier (to deal with the pressure), but then again it doesn’t because it is a 300 and you have to be perfect.”
His 16th perfect game was his most memorable one since his mother was there to witness one for the first time. He noted his parents’ support over the years has allowed him to pursue his hobby, so for his mother to be there for a 300 made that one special.
Anderson bowls recreationally twice a week in the men’s Fraternal League at Ranch House Lanes on Monday nights and in the Mixers League at Midway Lanes on Thursday nights, but other than that he doesn’t get the chance to work on his game very much, which makes his number of 300 games even more impressive.
“I don’t come from a bowling-related work background (where) I’m in a bowling alley all day practicing,” Anderson said. “I show up after milking cows and bowl. If I get a couple of practice throws great. If not, it’s not a big deal.”
In league a week after rolling number 17, he took a perfect game into the second ball of the 10th frame before missing a strike; and a following week he also brought a perfect game into the 10th frame before narrowly missing another one.
“When I get to that ninth or 10th strike, then no one talks about it for fear of a jinx,” admitted Anderson.
According to search on WikiAnswers, the career record for 300 games is believed to be over 120 by several bowlers.
At 29, the married father of one should have plenty of years left in the sport to add to his collection of perfect games. And, who knows, with a bit of luck and a lot of strikes, he may someday challenge that mark.