KEY POINTS

  • Anthony Neuer converts a nearly impossible bowling shot on national TV
  • Neuer becomes only the fourth player to convert a 7-10 split
  • Neuer's feat comes 19 years after Jess Stayrook accomplished the feat

In bowling, one of the hardest shots to make is to convert a 7-10 spare.

Practically impossible even for seasoned bowlers, only four keglers have been able to achieve the trick, the last of which was Jess Stayrook who did it on July 13, 1991, at the Tucson Open shown on ESPN.

Roughly 19 years later, Anthony Neuer joins the elite club when he converted the 7-10 split, becoming only the fourth player to do so.

He did the trick during the US Open Championships that made him only the fourth player to convert it on national television.

Other than Neuer and Stayrook, other bowlers who were able to convert the 7-10 spare include Mark Roth [Jan. 5, 1980 – ARC Alameda Open (ABC)] and John Mazza [Feb. 16, 1991 – Bud Light Classic (ABC)] as pointed out by some bowling enthusiasts on social media.

A video of Neuer’s shot can be seen below.

Neuer was left with the 7-10 split in the seventh frame and was trailing Jakob Butturff at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada.

The 18-year-old shook his head when he was left with the pins. Ordinarily, most would just go for one of them. But somehow, Neuer found the right shot and power to hit the 10 pin and send it flying over the 7 pin spot for the incredible and rare spare.

Christened the “Ginger Assassin” by Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Rob Stone, Neuer went on to lose to Butturff (257-203).

Regardless, he joins the bowling annals as one of the few bowlers who were able to defy the odds and convert the spare and on national TV, making him only the fourth player to accomplish such an improbable shot.

Butturff went on to the finals but lost a nail-biter to Chris Via, 214-213. It was the first PBA Tour title for the 29-year-old according to USA Today.

Bowling Enhanced Automatic Robot Launcher or E.A.R.L., named after bowling great Earl Anthony, competed in a one on one match against Pro Bowling Association star Chris Barnes. EARL, a one-armed robot, has the ability to throw the ball 10 to 24 mph and can spin balls up from 50 to 900 revolutions per minute. It was designed by the U.S. Bowling Congress to consistently simulate any type of bowling style with an accuracy and consistency on the lanes that no human bowler could achieve. Despite this, Barnes, a PBA player of the year in 2007-08, defeated the robot by a score of 249-209. Photo: Reuters

Aside from actual tournaments, the only time most may remember such a shot was made was on the movie “Kingpin” back in 1996. The film starred Woody Harrelson who took on the role of Roy Munson who saw his bowling career cut short and losing his hand to thugs.

After trying to build up a new protégé (Randy Quaid who played Ishmael), he ends up bowling again even with one hand to settle a score with nemesis Ernie McCracken.

In the final, Munson converts an improbable 7-10 split but went on to lose to McCracken.