PBA 50 Senior Open at South Plains Lanes
UPDATE: Jurek is in the final four in the U.S. Open in Lubbock.
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It is no secret that sports unify people in many ways, even beyond the game itself. Many also build teamwork skills and strategic thinking.
For one sport that can be so solo, if you step out of the game long enough, you begin to really look back and miss those around you. For one professional bowler, he’s learned to dodge the gutterballs life throws his way and just takes it one frame at a time.
Last Saturday from 9 until 12, the bowlers practiced and were able to gather and socialize with one another. For one bowler, after a three-year hiatus taking care of his mother, he’s finally back to the sport he calls home.
It is like the Julliard of bowling - the PBA 50 Senior Open.
It is taking place in Lubbock for the second time at South Plains Lanes.
A casual game of 300 pins or bust, leaving the stakes higher than ever. A game, yes, but a game between friends and plenty of them. That goes for multi-PBA champion Jack Jurek. He is back after his three-year hiatus.
“A lot of these guys kind of become your second family. That was probably one of the things I did miss the most. Just missed being with the guys,” said Jurek.
For the past three years, he was in New York caring for his mother.
“It was just no way to combine the two to take care of her and try and bowl at the same time, there was no way to do it. So, she passed away last November unfortunately. And it took a little time to get things adjusted.”
He also caught a mild case of COVID in the following year, then had a thumb injury after that, which left Jack only to look back on his playing career.
“I was starting to wonder if I was meant to come back and bowl the way things were going.”
But he did, nonetheless. He is now on his second tournament back on the PBA 50 tour. Despite being from New York, Jack knows a little bit about West Texas as he spent his first four years at West Texas A&M in Canyon before his bowling career.
“Just the atmosphere, the experience, the travel and practice. The guys I got to meet and bowl with, all kind of was a huge stepping stone trying to turn professional. So to be back here, this area of the country always will be very special to me…nobody can take away what I gained from that.”
Jack’s play on and off the bowling lanes signifies the huge heart he carries with him through every journey - batteling adversity beyond measure and has become a beacon of inspiration to many.
“I know growing up watching it, I looked up to guys like Dick Weber, they were my inspiration to want to be a bowler. I’d always hope at some point I could be that for someone else.”
Jack is back, off to try and win his 5th PBA Major with a full circle moment back in West Texas.
The PBA 50 Senior continues through Wednesday, June 22.
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