Juneau bowling hobbyist Keith Brundige recalls being in an almost trance-like state.
Routine distractions didn’t bother the Sunday Mixed League bowler one bit, nor did having to wait around a few minutes for his ball to get unstuck to finish off a potentially historic game.
“There was absolutely nothing that bothered me,” Brundige said Thursday by cellphone.
Brundige, 59, rolled 12 consecutive strikes to record a perfect game on Sunday, Taku Lanes’ first in over three years. It’s the Transportation Security Administration employee’s second career perfect game — his first coming in March 2014 — and first time throwing three straight “clean games” in a row. Outside of his 12 strikes in the second game, Brundige had no worse than a spare in the other two games.
All told, Brundige had 26 strikes and 14 spares for scores of 246, 300 and 214. Through the first eight weeks of the season, Brundige’s single-game season average is 194.
“Most of everybody stopped to watch which is what people typically do,” Brundige said of strike No. 12 in the second game. “That didn’t even bother me. When the ball came back, I picked it up, I rolled it, it went, and I was a happy camper.”
The avid bowler of approximately 35 years has had numerous near misses, bowling 11 strikes in a row before settling for a spare on the last frame. A player is awarded up to two extra balls if a strike is recorded on the 10th frame. Once he’s scored 299 and twice 298, jinxing himself on his final bowl.
But not this time.
“When you start out, it just feels right,” Brundige said. “When you get that many in a row, then of course you start wondering, ‘Am I actually going to do it?’ ‘Am I going to do something to mess it up?’ So it’s all mental because you pretty much know where you need to put the ball to get it to do what you want it to.”
“And just you keep hoping you can do it enough times.”
Just 4 Fun teammates Tim and Luann Powers finished 521 and 435 points, respectively.
“It was like he was robot out there,” Tim Powers said. “Every single ball was exactly the same, just a perfect ball right in the pocket.”
Powers said he’s witnessed about five or six other perfect games, but none as remarkable as Brundige’s.
“He had only one ball the whole night that there was actually a pin that didn’t just disappear immediately,” Powers said. “It was the five-pin and the (other) pin came flying off the wall and took it out in like a half-a-second. But other than that, that ball was almost still on the lane when all pins were in the back already.”
Brundige bowls three nights a week. In addition to playing in the Sunday Mixed League, he also plays in separate leagues on Tuesdays and Fridays.