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Eric Forkel averages 272 to claim bowling title

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Eric Forkel said he didn’t know whether it was his greatest series ever, but it had to rank right up there.

Forkel blistered a 1,361 series for a five-game set to win the Southern Nevada Bowling Tour season-opening event Saturday night at South Point Lanes in Las Vegas, Nev.

Forkel rolled games of 300, 258, 247, 299 and 257 to win the 32-player tournament by a whopping 129 pins over second-place Michael Caverly of Las Vegas.

That comes out to an average of 272.2 per game for Forkel, a Henderson, Nev., resident who was a longtime San Fernando Valley resident and Van Nuys High graduate.

It was the second-highest five-game total in SNBT history – just eight pins behind Zack Hattori’s 1,369. Forkel earned $442 for the victory.

Forkel on Sunday could cite only his record-setting series in the American Bowling Congress Masters tournament in 1997 that was comparable to his scorching performance at South Point Lanes. The ABC was the forerunner of the United States Bowling Congress.

In that ABC event, Forkel posted a score in the 870s for the three-game set, which he also kicked off with a perfect game and was just a couple of strikes away from a 900 series.

The 53-year-old Forkel said South Point used a modified long house shot as the oil pattern, which usually results in higher scores.

“I bowl really well on this pattern,” Forkel said, “and I was carrying last night for whatever reason. I’ve had experience on this pattern.”

Forkel, who co-hosts Bowling Evolved podcasts with Dustin Markowitz, said his score on Saturday night could have been even higher.

“The funny part is that if I hadn’t missed a spare in the last game I would have set the [SNBT] record,” Forkel said. “I missed the seven pin, which I rarely miss.”

Forkel, a left-hander, left the seven pin in the eighth frame of the final game – a shot that he said went wide right and didn’t miss by much. He struck out the rest of the way.

On his 299 game, Forkel left the six pin on his final shot.

Forkel moves ahead of Matt Jones (1,343) and into second place in the SNBT record book for the highest five-game total. Forkel also ranks second in the SNBT for highest six-game series with a 1,594 (265.7 average), 14 pins behind Dave Wodka.

Forkel is one of three bowlers to win three SNBT tournaments in a row, having accomplished the feat in 2011.

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