One thing about Theo Sojourn: When he makes bowling adjustments, it’s certainly not the orthodox variety.
The Santa Clarita Valley resident became a local celebrity last year after unselfishly and successfully converting to a left-handed bowler amid a snowboarding accident in which he broke two bones in his right forearm.
Sojourn started his first week as a lefty in April by averaging a lowly 89, but he steadily built up his left-handed average through the weeks. His upward trajectory carried him to a stunning 240 game – just six weeks after incurring his injury. It was his career best, righty or lefty, eclipsing his right-handed high by two pins.
Now Sojourn is at it again.
He bowled on Monday his high series since he returned as a right-handed bowler. His 211-243-159 added up to a 613 series and his 243 marked a new career high. Sojourn averaged 204.3 for the three games at Brunswick Matador Bowl in Northridge.
And how did he do it? Sojourn made two adjustments not typically mentioned by bowlers who show improvement in their scores.
First, the 51-year-old Sojourn donned glasses for the first time. “When I turned 50, my eyesight started turning a little blurry,” recalled Sojourn, whose eyesight then progressively got worse.
Stubborn, Sojourn avoided glasses until last week when he gave in and found glasses at Walmart that he thought were “kind of cool-looking” and which “I didn’t think I looked too old.”
“I put my glasses on Monday and I bowled a 211 and thought, ‘Holy cow, I guess I found the secret weapon.’ It felt really good to see the pins 20-20.”
The other adjustment Sojourn made came after he suffered a minor motorbike accident two weeks earlier in Saugus. Feeling pain in his wrist, Sojourn went to his 13-pound plastic bowling ball, a relic from the past, instead of his customary 15-pounder.
“With my 50-dollar 13-pound ball and glasses, it was a good combination,” Sojourn said.
Sojourn’s first game was a clean one without an open in any frame. And in his second game, Sojourn roared back from opens in his first two frames to forge his best-ever game.
“The third game, I don’t know what happened,” Sojourn said. “I had four opens. Still, it was not too, too shabby. It felt really good to see the pins 20-20.
“Averaging 200 scratch always has been my goal since I learned how to hook my ball. If I consistently throw 200 games, then I’d reach my goal.”