PBA World Series of Bowling experience just the start for Lockport’s Kevin Kullman
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org November 17, 2013 4:56PM
Kevin Kullman | Supplied photo
Updated: December 19, 2013 6:16AM
For most people who visit Las Vegas, it happens in the casinos.
For Kevin Kullman, one of the Southland’s most successful bowlers, it happened on the lanes at the South Point Hotel’s bowling center during the 2013 PBA World Series of Bowling.
In his words?
“I got my butt kicked. I wasn’t ready for it,” Kullman said. “The World Series of Bowling is an event like no other. There were bowlers from 13 different countries. The global talent is so eye-opening next to your average men’s league during the week.”
There will be other days.
Most of Kullman’s, when it comes to bowling, end with a much different result.
The 26-year-old T.F. South graduate and Lockport resident has built an eye-opening resume that includes 40 career 300 games, 18 career 800 series and multiple tournament titles, including back-to-back Chicagoland Bowling Association scratch city titles.
Kullman was selected Chicagoland Bowling Association Bowler of the Year in 2010.
“It really didn’t set in until I stood in front of everyone accepting my award,” Kullman said. “The Bowler of the Year award opened so many doors for me. It got me my first staffing contract with a ball company.”
Kullman has worked for several years in bowling centers contributing to growing youth programs and competitive leagues. He also served as the vice president of operations for the iGrind bowling organization.
Among his bowling successes in 2013 was a second-place finish in the PBA Mike Jankovsky Allstate Agent Midwest Open in Peoria. Locally, he set a house series record at Orland Bowl with an 876, and on Feb. 16 shot back-to-back 300 games en route to a Beat the Champs 856 series.
Kullman is a regular on the PBA regional tour, where he averages 207. He bowls locally in the Thursday Miller Men’s league at Centennial Lanes, where he shot an 818 series Oct. 17. He carries a 240 average.
Kullman qualified for the World Series of Bowling through points earned during Midwest regionals.
More than 240 bowlers, including regular PBA Tour members, took part in the event. At one point he was 24th, which included a three-game stretch of 237, 236 and 238.
It would be his only highlight, as it turned out.
“The adjustments I was used to making on those patterns weren’t the same,” Kullman said. “I overadjusted and underadjusted. I never got ahead of the curve.
“The experience, though, was second to none. When you’re watching (the pros) on TV trying to figure out how they’re doing, to watch it in person is really eye-opening. I was able to really get in-depth in detail with what they were doing. I had a nice 36-hour drive home to think about everything I’d seen, and the adjustments I did and didn’t make.”
The journey continues.
“I have the same goal as an aspiring pro,” Kullman said. “That is to be the best in the world. As a kid, I grew up wanting to be like Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr. My goal is to have kids saying they want to bowl just like or win just like Kevin Kullman.”