, Muskogee, OK

May 20, 2013

Family pair share odd perfection

By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor

— Josh Bigelow of Muskogee and his grandfather Chip O’Dell of Fort Gibson, share more than just a family bond.

Five years apart, almost to the day and at the same bowling center, they registered their first and only 300 games.

Bigelow rolled his amid a 708 series in the Greater Ozarks Tournament at Enterprise Lanes in Springfield, Mo., on May 5. It was at that location on May 4, 2008, that O’Dell had his.

How Bigelow accomplished it might seem a little mind-boggling, unless you’ve followed the pro tour lately.

Josh is a two-handed bowler. He breaks at the free throw line and with his left hand on top and right hand underneath, flips it in a rotation that has every bit as wicked a curve as your best one-handed bowlers.

“I really began doing it out of boredom,” he said. “I bowled one-handed from 5- to 17 and averaged about 170-something. I started back two years ago and I wasn’t getting any better.”

At first, he was “terrible” if you count 150 terrible, but was showing some observers the style of, yes, a pro.

“The first few times I did it I’d get a few strikes here and there and somebody who was watching me said ‘you look like Jason Belmonte,’” Bigelow said. “I didn’t know who he was and when I got home I you-tubed him to check him out. He makes it look easy.”

Every ball up to the 12th strike, the final of three in the 10th frame, was 1-3 pocket, typical for right-handers. The last one may have, he just didn’t see it.

“I was so nervous I turned and the only way I knew I had a strike were when I heard people cheering and clapping,” he said.

His book average is 200. He and O’Dell bowl in a Tuesday men’s league at Green Country Lanes.

O’Dell, a traditional one-handed righty, watched him reach perfection.

“He’s really worked his way into a place where he’s very good with it,” O’Dell said.