12-year-old winning bowler enjoys fame

Updated: May 12, 2010, 1:13 PM ET
By Bob McClellan | Special to Page 2

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- Kamron Doyle, 12, will not be turning pro early, despite becoming the youngest person ever to cash in at a Professional Bowlers Association event.

"Unfortunately the money just is not like it is in other sports," said Sean Doyle, Kamron's father and an orthodontist in this Nashville suburb where the family also lives. "The future of the PBA seems like it's always in jeopardy. They're using this for as much free publicity as they can. The PBA is really excited. My son is like, 'I finished 30th. I made the cut, but I didn't win. What's the big deal?'"

Kamron's finish at the PBA Canton (Ga.) Open Regional tournament Sunday netted the youth $400, which is nice walking-around money for a sixth-grader but hardly junk-school-for-a-pro-career dough. He and his parents opted not to take the cash by signing a waiver in advance of the tournament. In order to maintain his amateur status, the money has been deposited into a scholarship account.

Kamron said he wouldn't have spent it anyway.

"I would have saved it," the Brentwood Middle School student said. "I've pretty much got all of the video games I need."

Kamron averaged 215 in Canton against a 94-player field that included some of the PBA Tour's top pros. The event was won by 2009-10 PBA Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr.

This isn't Kamron's first brush with bowling fame (is that an oxymoron?). He is the youngest bowler ever to roll a sanctioned 800 series. He did that when he was 11. He is the third-youngest ever to roll a perfect game, and the youngest in Tennessee. He did that when he was 10.

"He's quite a remarkable kid," PBA spokesman Jerry Schneider said, "and a very accomplished bowler."

But going up against the big boys on the PBA Lumber Liquidators Tour is a different ballgame. The amount of oil and the oil patterns on the lanes make the sport much more difficult than it is at the local lanes.

"It's probably not the smartest thing for someone his size [5-foot-1, 78 pounds]," Sean Doyle said. "He'd get overpowered by the men there. He's good, he's accurate, but he's not big enough. Unless he really … I'm getting way ahead of myself."

Go ahead, Dad. Dream.

"Unless he can find a silly bowling endorsement deal. Then he would sign pro before it's time."

Maybe if the folks at Nintendo are reading. Kamron's favorite game is Wii bowling.

"I'd rather bowl for real, but I'm better on the Wii," Kamron said. "I've bowled like a thousand 300s on the Wii. I've bowled five in real life."

It's fine with father and son if no bowling riches await. In the meantime, it seems as if his dad is having more fun with all the attention than Kamron is. The family has fielded interview requests from CBS' "The Early Show" and "ESPN First Take," as well as nearly every Nashville-area media outlet.

"'The Early Show' asked if the 'Today' show had called," Sean Doyle said. "I was thinking, 'No, but if they do we'll probably go see Matt Lauer first instead of Harry … I don't even know what his name is. My son could care less.

"I'm hoping Letterman will call. He would set up a bowling lane in the street. They could bowl out there. That would be something to see, and I'd get a trip to New York. I'm not sure he [Kamron] knows who Letterman is, but he'd think it was fun to bowl in the street."

Kamron doesn't know Dave. He's normally asleep by 10.

Bob McClellan is a freelance writer for Sports Media Exchange, a national freelance writing network.