Parker Bohn III
Born: July 13, 1963
Parker Morse Bohn III was born July 13, 1963 in Jackson. His grandfather, also named Parker Bohn, was a stock car legend who raced out of South Jersey. The lanes that intrigued Parker were in bowling alleys, not on racetracks. A lefty, he showed great promise as a teenager, winning several local tournaments. He was also an avid fisherman.
Parker honed his game at Dave Davis Lanes and after graduating from high school attended one year of community college before deciding to go pro. He gave himself five years to make the PBA Tour but needed only two.
He joined the tour in 1984 and won his first tournament as a pro in Seattle in 1987. His first major championship came at the 2001 USBC Masters. Parker reached the pinnacle of his career between 1997–98 and 2001–02, when he won at least one tournament each year, and 18 in all. Twice during that span he was named PBA Bowler of the Year and, in 1998, he rolled a 300 game on national TV—for which he won a bowling ESPY.
In 2013, at the age of 49, Parker captured his second major title when he won the PBA World Championship. It came in an event he almost didn’t make. Hurricane Sandy had just struck New Jersey and his Jackson home was without power for several days. Unwilling to leave his family with no electricity, he was about to cancel his flight when power was restored a few hours before his flight.
Once in Las Vegas, he qualified for match play by a mere three pins, but caught fire and made it to the finals, where he defeated Jason Belmonte 254–227. It was the 33rd victory of his career and his first in almost five years. Prior to that he had been tied with Norm Duke for fourth all-time with 32 victories, and many believed that his next victory wouldn’t come until he reached the PBA-50 Tour.
Parker was elected to the PBA Hall of Fame in 2000 and USBC Hall of Fame in 2007. His annual charity tournament generates college scholarship money to college-bound bowlers.