A little over two years ago, after winning over $93,000 in the 2019 season on the PBA Tour, Kyle Sherman rewarded himself with new wheels. He went out to buy an all-new 2020 GMC Denali.
“The first thing I ever paid for,” the 28-year-old professional said. “I had a really good year on the Tour. I had a lot of money. So I bought that truck – and I realized I didn’t have enough money to buy that truck.
“But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love him.”
Paying the bills should come more easily now. On Monday, Sherman won the Cheetah Bowling World Championships in Wawatosa, Wisconsin, and on Saturday he led The Storm Cup: Lubbock Sports Open after the first 10 games of the playoffs in South Plains Lines averaging 242.
The winning check was $20,000 for the Cheetah Championship, one of five titles awarded over a two-week period in the World Bowling Championship, which was broadcast nationally on FS1.
More than money, the win in Wisconsin was a breakthrough for Sherman. His face became familiar to bowling fans over the six years he was on tour, but his only win was at the PBA-PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Doubles in 2019.
Monday was his first singles title on the PBA Tour.
He said, “I’ve always seen it because I’ve already won a title, but it’s a huge confidence booster to know you can get out there and be the guy on top and just prove to yourself that you can do it. We’re a lot of championships, there’s a lot of losing here, So knowing that you can go out and win is huge.”
Sherman beat majors Jesper Svensson and Jakob Buttorf in the match, both three games to zero, while averaging 255 in the six games. The second seed in the ladder, he beat Chris Coltzow 216-212 in the semi-finals and Christian Azcona 214-184 for the title.
“You never know when you will cook well,” he said. “So you have to keep at it, keep at it. I’ve been evolving, definitely more mentally than physically as much as I was, just getting mentally stronger. Be patient and understand the game and play my game.”
Even before winning the singles title, Sherman and his close bowling friend, fellow PBA Tour pro Brad Miller, were known across social media.
Via their YouTube channel, Brad and Kyle, the Missouri residents chronicle all aspects of life on the tour, in and off the trails. Their channel has 119,000 subscribers, and each of their many videos gets tens of thousands of views.
On Saturday, “Brad and Kyle Practice in Texas! PBA Lubbock Open” garnered 17,000 views within nine hours of its publication.
how did that happen?
“We had an idea that Brad and I weren’t the best bowlers on this tour, and we wanted to promote ourselves and we wanted to show the ride on the tour,” Sherman said. “One of our good friends, (Inside Bowling CEO Mike Flanagan suggested, ‘Hey, you should do it!'”) That’s through a YouTube channel.”
“So we started a YouTube channel mainly to promote ourselves and because the PBA doesn’t really promote people who are not in the top five or ten players. So we can show our journey, because we find it really interesting – the difficulties, everything that happens.
“Then we also wanted to help people become better, because we realized that if you’re not lucky enough to have a good coach, where are you going to learn how to get around?
“So in between all of that, we were like, ‘Hey, let’s show our story.’ And it turned out to be something we could never have dreamed of.”
The prize pool for the Lubbock Sports Open is $100,000, paid to the top 24 first-place players in the 70 starting field. The winner earns $20,000.
The field features six men named PBA Player of the Year, including six-time winner Jason Belmonte, and 10 other champions.
The field is cut to 24 after Saturday, and competition resumes at 9 a.m. Sunday at South Plains Lanes, located at 69th Street east of Slide Road. The top four make the final ladder run, which is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
FloBowling broadcasts live coverage of the tournament.
Storm Cup: Unlock LUBBOCK SPORTS
In the southern plains lanes
Round of 24: 9 am to 11 am (four matches). Offer the best 16. Re-oil.
Round of 16: 11:30 pm – 12:45 pm (two matches). Big Eight advances.
Quarter-finals: 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm (two matches). The top four advance to the ladder matches. Return the oil.
Stepladder Finalists Pairs Training: 2:45 p.m. TV Couples Stepladder Finalist Training: 3:10 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Final ladder matches: 3:30 pm to 5 pm