How cool is this? On minute Tom Smallwood is reeling after losing a (once) steady production job at General Motors' Truck Plant in Pontiac, MI, and the next minute he takes the PBA championship. In a real-life event that mimics some of the great tales in the history of underdog turned champion, Smallwood took third in a PBA qualifier event, making him eligible for one year on the prestigious bowling tour.
That alone barely makes the story interesting, but the tale becomes far more compelling due to the fact that Smallwood rolled into Wichita, Kansas an also-ran and left holding the first place trophy and a $50,000 grand prize. Smallwood, a 15-year recreational bowler, even had to beat out PBA bowler of the year Wes "Big Nasty" Malott in the final round. The former GM line worker performed superbly under pressure by hitting two strikes in the decisive tenth frame to take the match 244-228. After Smallwood's big win he was called by GM to take another plant job but the suddenly high-flying bowler turned down the offer in order to stick with his new profession.

We're thinking Smallwood's meteoric rise to the top of the bowling world will net him quite a bit more than his $50,000 top prize. Advertisers love a rags-to riches-story and Smallwood may be selling resin and those wrist things bowlers wear before you're even finished reading this post. Congratulations Tom!

[Source: Kicking Tires]

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