In the month of February, Kamron Doyle, aged 14, has attended classes at Brentwood (Tenn.) Middle School, "liked" Justin Bieber on Facebook, seen his college scholarship fund rise to $22,000 and been profiled by the New York Times. The third and fourth events in that sequence came via one of the more remarkable accomplishments anyone Doyle's age could achieve: He placed in the money at a national Professional Bowling Association national event.
As reported by the Nashville Tennessean, then followed upon by the Times, Doyle became the youngest bowler in history to finish in the money at a national PBA event, doing so at one of -- if not the -- hardest event to do so; the 2012 U.S. Open in New Brunswick, N.J.
Doyle finished the event's qualifying round 54th of 394 bowlers. The 105-pound eighth-grader eventually finished 61st overall on Friday, a final standing good for a $1,340 cash haul, but not quite strong enough to earn a spot in the televised match play rounds. Still, the Times reported that Doyle's pin total exceeded that of four PBA Hall of Famers who were also competing at the event.
If there was any question about Doyle's natural talent for the sport -- his father, Sean Doyle, is an orthodontist who is not traditionally a bowler -- they were quickly dispelled by both a PBA Hall of Famer who competed next to Doyle on Thursday and one of the PBA's own spokesmen.
"I think [Doyle] is going to be terrific," PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia told the Tennessean. "I remember bowling with [35-time PBA Tour titlist] Pete Weber in a pro-am when he was 15, and I see the same kind of swing, the same fiery attitude, Pete had when he was a teenager."
Added PBA Spokesman Bill Vint, to the New York Times' Mary Pilon: "It's very unusual. This is the toughest bowling tournament around, and to have him advance to the cash level is quite remarkable."
All of the money Doyle won got added to his United States Bowling Congress scholarship account, which Doyle's father, Sean Doyle, told PBA officials is now worth some $22,000. Still four years removed from needing to use any of that money to pay college tuition, that's some haul.
At the rate Doyle is going, he may want to bypass college to bowl professionally full time four years down the road. The 14-year-old is able to bowl at professional events without being a full PBA member, but further success might lead him to take his pro bowling act full time.
Of course, that won't happen until the younger Doyle is done with high school at the earliest. The Tennessean reported that the middle schooler is an honor roll student at his hometown public middle school, and while he idolizes the professionals he has watched on TV throughout his youth, Doyle knows he still has a long way to go.
"I did the best I could do," Doyle told the Times before heading back to the Nashville area to attend classes on Monday. "I'm going to rest up and get back to practice in a day or two to prepare for next year. I've got a long time to practice."