With $5,000 on the line, Vernon fivepin bowler Bradley Rogers went to work in the TPC Invitational in Sherwood Park.
The 27-year-old salesman opened the total pins tournament – Edmonton’s elite cash event – against hometown favourite Freddie Tofflemire in a groove.
“I won the first four games and was up by 60 in the last game when I had a 310 and he eight-fingered me (eight straight strikes) for a 380 to win by 10,” laughed Rogers. “He went on to win the tournament.”
Rogers was knocked out of the single-elimination format which featured $1,000 on each game. Tofflemire defeated Dexter Wiseman of Sherwood Park in the championship final.
The Sudbury, Ont. product just moved to Vernon and didn’t take long to make a name for himself by rolling a 415 in Lincoln Lanes league play just before the Alberta cashspiel. He was one black mark away from a perfect game.
“I was actually struggling the first two games (190 and 207) and I made an adjustment. I moved a little to the left and I hit nine in a row and I had a chop off in 10 (spare and finished with a strike).”
Rogers has nailed two perfect 450s in free bowling, and his career-high triple is 1,080 and his best 10-game pinfall is 3,010. He bowls three nights a week, including Mondays at Capri Lanes in Kelowna.
“I’m a very competitive person so I love bowling. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly here and the staff is the same. It’s not clique like back East.”
Rogers, employed by Safety Evolution, moved here in September with his partner, Jordan, a CN worker.
Bradley took up bowling at age 10 and was hardly an Earl Anthony clone.
“I was awful right away,” said amiable Roger. “I was lucky to have a lot of good coaches and because I was home-schooled, I could get my schoolwork done and head to the bowling alley for lots of practice.”
Rogers bowled at Adventure Lanes in Espinola, about 45 minutes west of Sudbury. He would often join his older sister, Lindsay, for open bowling.
“I was 14 when I won my first zone round singles title and then I won gold at provincials. I was 19 in Masters and made the first all-star team in Saskatoon.”
Rogers gives props to Dave Secord for his bowling style.
“I’ve known him my whole life. He went from coaching me and helping me win multiple gold medals to being one of my best friends. He took me to a lot of cash tournaments and was the closest to a father I had.”
The 6-foot-3 Rogers throws “a fairly hard ball.”
He went to Cambrian College in Sudbury to be a support worker and took some pre-heath nursing courses before getting into inside sales.