BY JAMES COOK
TRAVERSE CITY — If bowlers at Lucky Jack's on Saturday knew what was going on over at lane 17, they might have given David Knowles Jr. a hand.
The two-handed bowler rolled an 867 series to break the Traverse City record.
The Fife Lake resident shot games of 268, 300 and 299 — at one point rolling 23 straight strikes.
"After I shot a 268 the first game, I was actually kind of disappointed because I lost high game to a gentleman who shot 279 a couple lanes down," Knowles said. "So basically I just wanted to bowl good the next game to get high game."
Lucky Jack's desk clerk Victor Vreeland witnessed the feat, and said it bested the previous series record of 857 set by Jim Vezina on Sept. 5, 2004.
Knowles, 26, averaged 225 a game in league play last year, and had a 223 average coming into Saturday's Autumn Glow tournament, which he obviously won, along with partner Dee Kramer.
It's the second Traverse City record in as many years for Knowles.
He and his 21-year-old brother Justin set the Traverse City doubles mark with a 1,503 in a fall tournament last year.
But on Saturday, it was David who was on fire.
He rolled 36 times and had 33 strikes. All three non-strikes were nines.
He threw 12 straight strikes in the 300 game as part of a streak of 23 consecutive strikes.
"I couldn't do any wrong after that," Knowles said. "It wasn't until about the ninth frame that my brother mentioned that I could get the city record. I just tried to throw the ball like I had been all day and I got the next two strikes and left the 10 pin for a 299."
The Kalkaska High School and Northwestern Michigan College grad plays weekly in two leagues — one on Mondays in Traverse City and on Tuesdays in Mancelona.
His brother Justin is also a two-handed bowler, however he favors the left, whereas David rolls from the right. Justin carries a 230 average, and each has notched a 300 game in league play this year.
"We're the only two two-handed bowlers up here that I know of," Knowles said. "A lot of people think it's really easy, so they make fun of it. But when they try to do it, they can't."