Normally known as team captain for the Canadian National Curling Team, and last year's winner of the Labatt Brier, Lenny Hookman scored a perfect 300 game in a regional Ontario Tenpin Federation tournament.
Shocking fans and critics alike, Hookman took a detour from recent curling team training to compete in a Regional Ontario Tenpin bowling tournament. Where his style of stone placement on the ice is famous for the wickedest curve on the curling tour, Hookman throws nothing but a "straight" ball on the hardboards.
"I've never seen anything like it", says bowling tour regular Mickey Phurchest. "You can't hit the ten pin pocket with a straight ball, but he still manages to get great action on the pins." Phurchest was referring to most bowlers on the OTF tour who hook the ball into the front pin edge to create better pin contact. Hookman's style in comparison seems to be one of speed and accuracy.
"I like to throw hard, my teammates will tell you. So much of curling is speed control and placement, this is a way to really whip the shit out of something heavy, legally." Hookman may have been referring to last summer's incident on Lake Ontario, where he allegedly sunk a boat by skipping heavy stones across the water. No charges were ever filed.
Hookman's perfect score of 300 in match play, an accomplishment only achieved once every few years, was allowed under protest pending rules review by the OTF. Phurchest claims that nobody should be allowed on the lanes after a ball is thrown, while Hookman's team was at the ready to sweep his ball on line towards the target. "It's clearly an unfair advantage", says Phurchest. "This ain't curling, eh?".
Hookman defends his strategy saying, "There's nothing in the rules that says other people can't be on the lanes during play, only that the bowler must remain behind the delivery line". "True", says Phurchest, "but next year we're all bringing our own teams".
"That's not likely to be allowed", says OTF President Sammy Splitzner. "The typical bowling venue is simply not set up for that much beer consumption, bladder relief, and smoke management. The average bowling night would be more like a 3 alarm fire at Octoberfest."