Special to the Sun
Saturday, May 31, 2014 | 2 a.m.
When Ron Mohr takes the lanes Monday in the PBA Senior U.S. Open at the Suncoast, he’ll easily be spotted. He’ll likely be the lone bowler competing with a cast.
Mohr broke the wrist on his left, nonthrowing hand after falling off his bicycle in his North Las Vegas driveway. Although his doctor advised him to not bowl until the cast is removed, he has no plans of missing the year’s most significant event. The left hand is used to briefly hold the ball during the rolling motion, presenting a minor obstacle.
“I won’t be listening to doctor orders,” joked Mohr, 58.
He moved to Southern Nevada last year from Alaska primarily because the area has more bowling centers and challenging lanes. He’s a retired air traffic controller, focusing full-time on competitive bowling when he retired after more than 20 years.
“Those Alaskan winters finally chased me out,” he said. “It was a logical destination because there is something to bowl every weekend.”
Mohr is a two-time PBA50 (Senior Tour) Player of the Year and in 2011 won the U.S. Open. Twice, he has taken second place at the event, meaning — cast or not — he could be in for another deep tournament run.
Bowlers reaching the finals June 6 will have competed in 50 games. The lane patterns are more challenging than at a typical league night or weekend PBA event, and tournament pairings will rotate bowlers each game to a different lane to keep them off balance.
“This is our major. It’s the best competition over the age of 50,” Mohr said. “The person who bowls the best should win the tournament.”
Mohr has been that best bowler more times than not.
He’s an eight-time champion on the senior tour, including four times in 2011 when he won a career-high $56,100. He cashed in all 10 events he bowled in 2011 and averaged a career-best 225.98.
In his 2011 Senior Open victory, he bowled a perfect 300 game on the way to winning the event. He’s bowled 88 perfect games, including 19 in PBA-sanctioned events.
The PBA issues a perfect-game ring to each bowler accomplishing the feat, adding one diamond for each perfect game until the ring is full at 14 diamonds. Mohr, however, is still trying to complete his ring.
When he mailed his ring back to the PBA to add a diamond two years ago, it was never received and likely stolen in the mail. The PBA issued him another ring, but the diamond count is lacking.
But he isn’t concerned with the jewelry. Just the results.
He was the best bowler at his home lanes in Anchorage, Alaska, in the late 1980s when he decided to test his ability by trying out for Team USA.
“I wanted to see where I stood outside my little world in Anchorage,” he said. “Maybe I would be good enough to compete beyond my local Thursday night league.”
Then, when he retired at the age of 51, the timing worked out perfect to compete on tour.
His first season in 2008, he cashed in seven of the eight tournament he entered to earn about $11,000.
Along the way he’s been a four-time member of Team USA’s senior team, winning two gold medals, two silvers and a bronze during the 2013 World Senior Championships.
And, of course, he moved to Southern Nevada. He’s also part owner of the K&K Bowling supply store inside the lanes at Boyd Gaming properties.
“There are really some great (bowling) opportunities here. It’s a great place to be,” he said.