September 27, 2001 19:00
Car-stereo fanatic Kurt Pilon continues to amplify the level of success surrounding his bowling career. But, the 29-year-old Michigander realizes that, “one tournament does not make a career.”
This awareness comes after attaining every bowler’s dream: winning a PBA Tour title, which also happened to carry a $40,000 payday.
“It’s a big boost to finally get the job done and win one,” said Pilon after winning the PBA’s 2001-2002 season-opener, the PBA Peoria (Ill.) Open. “But getting that first title was only goal No. 1. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Consequently, shying away from hard work has never been a trait of Pilon’s.
Growing up bowling in Michigan, his first experience with “real” competition was bowling in the esteemed Michigan Junior Masters Association. Pilon worked his way through the ranks, winning more than $20,000 in scholarship money by the time he turned 19.
His last year bowling in the league, Pilon claimed the association’s championship. Hours after winning the crown, he hopped a plane to bowl in a “high-roller” amateur event with a big check waiting for the winner.
“I got my butt kicked,” he fondly remembered about his experience bounding the country as a cocky youngster.
It was then Pilon began to develop his work ethic. “I knew the challenges I was going to face. But, I didn’t know how hard they were actually going to be. It took me three years before I started to have success in the big amateur events. The same thing happened to me as a pro.”
After the amateur events lost their appeal and following a short stint with TEAM USA, Pilon decided to turn pro in 1998.
After he raised the bar for himself once again, he needed to meet personal expectations. But, this time it was versus the big boys on the PBA Tour. He met the demands for the first time in Peoria in September of 2001 and plans to raise the bar continually.
Besides, “The Big Wheel,” as he’s nicknamed for his penchant to roll the ball slowly and wide-hooking, also needs to fund his hobby. He has three cars that have stereos “worth more than the cars themselves.”
“My No. 1 goal is to have a van and put six 10-inch woofers in it,” he joked.
If that’s the bar Pilon has set for himself, he should be rockin’ in no time.
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