The greatest showman in bowling put on another great performance in front of the excited Portland, Maine crowd at Bayside Bowl. The Portland Lumberjack’s twelfth and final strike sent the crowd into a frenzy.
“These are the moments that we bowl for and live for,” Troup said. “To throw a strike there at the end and just yell at the crowd, I’ve got goosebumps thinking about it.”
Six players who threw the most strikes in their respective divisions during the qualifying rounds advanced to the Strike Derby. Ogle led the Carter Division with 49 strikes, while Packy Hanrahan paced the Anthony Division with 45.
In the first round, Troup beat Wes Malott. This was done by playing a tiebreaker. In the next two rounds, he beat Mitch Hupé and Packy Hanrahan.
With Troup’s third appearance in the Strike Derby, he remarked that he’d gained important knowledge that aided him in winning the bouts. He alternated through four balls per lane, whereas others had less options. Matt Russo and Darren Tang, who used their thumb to strike their pins, were restricted to three balls each.
Andrew Anderson, the defending champion, attempted to reclaim his title. He beat High Roller teammate François Lavoie in the first round and Dallas’ Santtu Tahvanainen in the second.
In the Carter Division final, his two-minute binge against Ogle was plagued by terrible pin carry. According to Anderson, there isn’t enough time to look at pin action in this style of competition; nevertheless, he could tell from the crowd’s reactions that his hits weren’t pretty.
He realized that his eight-strike effort had no chance, especially after Ogle delivered two consecutive messengers on his first two strokes.
Following a first-round bye, Ogle cruised past Las Vegas’s Russo before disposing of Anderson to reach the final.
In the championship round, top-seeded Ogle elected to bowl second. After an early six-bagger helped Troup to 12 strikes, he faced a big challenge, but his confidence never wavered. “I knew he’d have at least 10 or 11 strikes — 12 was too much for him,” said Ogle. “I knew I’d get more balls than him. He takes a little longer on the approach; I plant and slide. I can get off and go back to my stance.”
With 20 seconds left, Oggle rallied to 11 strikes, but a miss right and tenacious 10-pin thwarted his furious comeback bid. Despite tying Troup with the twelfth strike on his final ball, he couldn’t match Troup’s longest string and fell by tiebreaker.
Alex Trevorrow, who beat Chris Troup in the second round of the 2020 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, said it provided payback for his three-strike, second-round elimination a year ago. He strutted around with the cup as the crowd at Portland put an eponymous spin on Tag Team’s iconic track “Whoomp! (There It Is).”
“I enjoy this atmosphere,” Troup said. “It’s where I’m at my best. When the fans in Bayside scream for the first time, it’s time to perform and get the victory for Portland.”
Results of the Pabst Blue Ribbon Strike Derby
Darren Tang def. Martin Larsen, 10-7
Kyle Troup def. Wes Malott, 9-9 (5-3)
Matt Russo def. Tommy Jones, 8-7
Andrew Anderson def. François Lavoie, 10-10 (6-5)
Packy Hanrahan def. Darren Tang, 9-7
Kyle Troup def. Mitch Hupé, 8-6
Matt Ogle def. Matt Russo, 8-5
Andrew Anderson def. Santtu Tahvanainen, 9-5
Round 3 — Division Finals
Kyle Troup def. Packy Hanrahan, 9-5
Matt Ogle def. Andrew Anderson, 10-8
Round 4 — Championship
Kyle Troup def. Matt Ogle, 12-12 (6-5)
Prize Winnings of the Strike Derby
- Kyle Troup, $25,000
- Matt Ogle, $14,000
- Andrew Anderson, $10,000
- Packy Hanrahan, $10,000
- Santtu Tahvanainen, $4,000
- Mitch Hupé, $4,000
- Matt Russo, $4,000
- Darren Tang, $4,000
- Martin Larsen, $3,000
- François Lavoie, $3,000
- Wes Malott, $3,000
- Tommy Jones $3,000