The world’s best bowlers compete in Wauwatosa

WAUWATOSA, Wisc. — For a week and a few more days, the center of the bowling universe has been in Wauwatosa. The best bowlers in the world have come to Tosa for the World Series of Bowling. It’s one of the biggest events of the year.

Along with three other tournaments there, Bowlero has hosted one of the major tournaments in professional bowling – the World Championships. It’s the equivalent of one of the big tournaments in golf like the US Open or tennis with the Australian Open. Kris Prather of Plainfield, Illinois won the world championship and took home a cash prize of $100,000.

Being a professional bowler is tough. Most cash prizes aren’t that big. Also, before they get sponsored or win tournaments, all of their expenses are paid out of pocket.

“Now my annual expenses are between $30,000 and $50,000. So the check I won last night for $100,000 is – half is already gone,” Prather said.

Being a professional bowler is kind of a hit or miss.

“You have to fully commit to every event and be prepared to lose all your money,” he said.

For Prather, things got a little easier now that he’s been on the PBA Tour for eight seasons. However, new tour members often lose money the first few seasons on tour.

“The first three years I was on tour, I didn’t make any money,” Prather said.

Some might even land a second job like Martin Larsen who is a Swedish professional bowler.

“An app company in Sweden called Lane Talk provides stats for touring, so I do a bit these days, but it’s been pretty much bowling for 20 years,” Larsen said.

These bowlers don’t get the same kind of perks or glory that professional soccer players get, but they put in just as much work to reach the top of their sport.

“We’re not all just guys who eat pizza and drink beer and, you know, the overweight and the stigma that we have,” Prather said.

Another interesting fact – bowlers don’t often steal. They drive. Partly because it’s expensive, but also because they can’t travel with 15 to 30 15-pound bowling balls.

There are two days left during which you can watch the tournament in person. Find all the information here.

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