Hall of Famer Bill Lillard Sr. celebrates 65 years at USBC Open Championships


    United States

    2012USBCOCBillLillard65.jpgUnited States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Bill Lillard Sr. (pictured) of Houston added another milestone to his resume when he made his 65th consecutive USBC Open Championships appearance at the Baton Rouge River Center on March 19.

    The 84-year-old right-hander is the event's active pinfall leader and posted a 1,489 all-events total to inch closer to career pinfall leader and fellow Hall of Famer Joe Norris, who knocked over 123,770 pins in a record-tying 71 tournament appearances. Lillard now has a career pinfall total of 120,015 (199 average) and trails Norris by 3,755 pins.

    "Well, Joe was motivating me," Lillard said. "But I'm bowling so poorly that I may not live long enough to catch him. I used to kid with him and tell him, 'Joe, I'm trying to beat you, and I'll catch you in total pins.' I think I had about 85,000 pins at the time. I think he thought someone would beat him. I think he knew that. I'll keep trying, though. I have a lot of people who ask me how many pins I need."

    Lillard and Norris are two of five competitors to reach the 65-year plateau at the Open Championships. The list also includes Bill Doehrman of Fort Wayne, Ind., who competed in 71 consecutive tournaments, and Sylvester Thiel of Lake City, Minn., and Les Berry of Wooster, Ohio, who have bowled 66 times apiece.

    It didn't take long for Lillard to find success on bowling's biggest stage. In 1956, he became the first of three bowlers in tournament history to collect four titles in the same year (Ed Lubanski in 1959 and Mike Neumann in 1990 are the others) when he claimed the Regular Team, Regular Doubles, Regular All-Events and Team All-Events titles.

    He also was a Regular Team and Team All-Events winner in 1955 and added Classic Team victories in 1962 and 1971. He and Detroit's Fred Bujack each have eight titles, while Nelson Burton Jr. of St. Louis owns nine.


    Wisconsin bowler takes Singles lead at 2012 USBC Open Championships

    2012USBCOCAndrewKleutgen.jpgAndrew Kleutgen (pictured) of Wild Rose, Wis., struggled with his footing during doubles at the USBC Open Championships on March 19, but a new slide sole and a pep talk from his teammate helped him refocus and find his way into the Regular Singles lead.

    The 22-year-old right-hander fired games of 219, 276 and 290 to grab the top spot with a 785 series. Ryan Whitney of Lewisville, Texas, previously held the lead with 773.

    Kleutgen's 2012 tournament campaign didn't get off to the start he had hoped as he shot 541 in team and then struggled to a 483 doubles set, but his strong finished helped him to a 1,809 all-events total. Whitney leads Regular All-Events with 2,170.


    Florida bowler tosses third 300 of 2012 USBC Open Championships

    2012USBCOCMatthewTuckfield.jpgMatthew Tuckfield (pictured left) of Miami rolled the third perfect game of the 2012 USBC Open Championships on March 18.

    The 23-year-old right-hander started doubles with a disappointing 169 game but turned what could have been a sub-par performance into the moment of a lifetime by rolling 12 consecutive strikes in the next game.

    2012USBCOCChrisHansRyanWhitney.jpgHe started the finale with four more strikes before a 9 pin ended his quest to join 2003 Regular Singles champion Ron Bahr as the only bowlers to record back-to-back 300s at the Open Championships.

    Tuckfield finished with a 233 game for a 702 series and teamed with former Team USA member Amanda Vermilyea of Mansfield, Texas, who added games of 219, 224 and 153 for 596 and a 1,298 total. Ryan Whitney and Chris Hans (pictured right, r-l) of Rocky Mount, N.C., lead Regular Doubles with 1,420.

    Tuckfield also helped his team, Jr. Team USA Support 1 of Mansfield, Texas, into the top 10 in Regular Team and Team All-Events with 3,170 (fourth) and 9,505 (third), respectively.

    2012USBCOCLogo_small.jpg Sponsors for the 2012 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno. Other sponsors include the Belle of Baton Rouge, official brackets sponsor; Kegel, official lane maintenance provider; Humana, official registration sponsor; Bud Light and Budweiser, official beer sponsors; The Advocate, official publication sponsor; Brunswick, official lane provider; US Steltronic, official scoring system; Storm Bowling Products and Nationwide Insurance.


    Related Articles

    Egofske, Larson celebrate 50 years at USBC Open Championships
    Teamwork helps Nicholas J's Pro Shop 2 into top spot at USBC Open Championships
    First-timer Michael Daniels takes Regular Singles lead at USBC Open Championships
    USBC, Baton Rouge Mayor host charity event
    109th USBC Open Championships underway
    Special Olympics joins USBC Open Championships for 22nd year
    2012 USBC Open Championships kicks off in Baton Rouge
    Showcase lanes newest addition to USBC Open Championships
    Baton Rouge welcomes 2012 USBC Open Championships
    VIP package available for USBC Open Championships bowlers


    2012 USBC Open Championships - Regular Division

    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

    1, Nicholas J's Pro Shop 2 (Nick Heilman, Matt Mysliwiec, Greg Pizl, Trevor Yonan, Andy Mills), La Crosse, Wis., 3,401. 2, ND Storm 1, Mandan, N.D., 3,227. 3, Nicholas J's Pro Shop, La Crosse, Wis., 3,204. 4, Jr. Team USA Support 1, Mansfield, Texas, 3,170. 5, Bud Light Sheboygan, Sheboygan, Wis., 3,154. 6, Bob's Custom Decks, Romeoville, Ill., 3,144. 7, Solid9proshop 1, Taylorville, Ill., 3,134. 8, Towne & Country Lanes 1, Bassett, Wis., 3,129. 9, Jr. Team USA Support 2, Mansfield, Texas, 3,127. 10, Super Bowl Appleton, Kaukuana, Wis., 3,110.

    1, Chris Hans, Rocky Mount, N.C./Ryan Whitney, Lewisville, Texas, 1,420. 2, Paul Marmolejo, Rialto, Calif./Alex Marmolejo, Alta Loma, Calif., 1,398. 3, Patrick Smart/Rick Meneley, Santa Maria, Calif., 1,368. 4(tie), David Meyer, Staatsburg, N.Y./Steve Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y., and Jeffrey Mersch, Orlando, Fla./Erik Vermilyea, Mansfield, Texas, 1,363. 6, Robert Raymond/Jay Nephew, Oakland Park, Fla., 1,360. 7, Jeremy Crist, Bemus Point, N.Y./Jeff Wadsworth, Lakewood, N.Y., 1,347. 8, Michael Tucker, Las Vegas/John Mongillo, Long Beach, Fla., 1,345. 9, Richard Thomas, Middleton, Wis./William Gray, Columbus, Ind., 1,344. 10(tie), Danny Smith, Lawrenceville, Ga./Darin Belsito, Oakwood, Ga., and Bob Bures Sr./Robert Bures Jr., Mentor, Ohio, 1,343.

    1, Andrew Kleutgen, Wild Rose, Wis., 785. 2, Ryan Whitney, Lewisville, Texas, 773. 3, Camden Rokita, Springfield, Ill., 763. 4, Vayle Floria, Cerritos, Calif., 755. 5, Robert Baldwin, State College, Pa., 751. 6(tie), Michael Tucker, Las Vegas, Kevin Reinhardt, Schaumburg, Ill., and Sean Mason, Brookings, S.D., 742. 9(tie), Tim Burnett, Rushville, N.Y., and Jeffrey Ward, Lancaster, N.Y., 739.

    1, Ryan Whitney, Lewisville, Texas, 2,170. 2, Nick Heilman, La Crosse, Wis., 2,121. 3, Camden Rokita, Springfield, Ill., 2,080. 4, Michael Tucker, Las Vegas, 2,078. 5, Sean Mason, Brookings, S.D., 2,057. 6, Jeff Wadsworth, Lakewood, N.Y., 2,052. 7, Vayle Floria, Cerritos, Calif., 2,034. 8, Tim Burnett, Rushville, N.Y., 2,017. 9, Stephen Hardy, Manchester, N.H., 2,007. 10, Rick Meneley, Santa Maria, Calif., 2,004.

    Team All-Events
    1, Legend of Dung Ho (Vayle Floria, Douglas Svela, Scott Poddig, John Mongillo, Michael Tucker), Cerritos, Calif., 9,666. 2, Nicholas J's Pro Shop 2, La Crosse, Wis., 9,632. 3, Jr. Team USA Support 1, Mansfield, Texas, 9,505. 4, Jr. Team USA Support 2, Mansfield, Texas, 9,487. 5, Meczynskis 1, Buffalo, N.Y., 9,376. 6, Bud Light Sheboygan, Sheboygan, Wis., 9,267. 7, Don Carter Line, Broad Brook, Conn., 9,254. 8, Solid9proshop 1, Taylorville, Ill., 9,235. 9, Towne & Country Lanes 1, Bassett, Wis., 9,206. 10, Sign Producers 1, Winter Garden, Fla., 9,188.


    2012 USBC Open Championships - Classified Division

    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

    1, K Lines 2 (Ron Turner, Dan Redding, Lyle Harrison, Andy Owens, Todd Langel), Gildford, Mont., 2,658. 2, Lani Ohana, Honolulu, 2,650. 3, Schmidt Motors, Ogallala, Neb., 2,639. 4, Bluedog Blazers, Webster, S.D., 2,614.. 5, Easy Five, Palmyra, Neb., 2,588. 6, Wafflers, Romeoville, Ill., 2,568. 7, FCA, Ogallala, Neb., 2,561. 8(tie), Country Boys, Stickney, S.D., and Northern Grain One, North Kansas City, Mo., 2,553. 10, B V Construction, Lake Park, Iowa, 2,550.

    1, Randy Tennant, Onida, S.D./Tim Luken, Gettysburg, S.D., 1,231. 2, Jeremy Skelenar/Bobby Turner, Kearney, Neb., 1,177. 3, Paul Reker, New Ulm, Minn./Norman Skarphol, Madelia, Minn., 1,163. 4, Kristine Kreuser, Wayne, Ill./Keith White, Gurnee, Ill, 1,153. 5, Brian Engleman, Hawarden, Iowa/Chad Vlotho, Ireton, Iowa, 1,146. 6, Todd Kettner, Winthrop, Minn./Paul Meyer, Gaylord, Minn., 1,129. 7, Chris Nygaard, Boyd, Minn./Tim Anderson, Montevideo, Minn., 1,124. 8, Mark Johnson/Steven Fergerson, Hardin, Mont., 1,119. 9, Ronald Schmidt/Stacey Bauer, Ogallala, Neb., 1,118. 10, Bill Adolph/Matt Adolph, Kimball, Minn., 1,114.

    1, Joel Fee, Pella, Iowa, 655. 2, Dennis Hanson, Harbor Beach, Mich., 640. 3, Rick Richter, Primghar, Iowa, 634. 4, Dustin Space, Minden, Neb., 613. 5, Sheldon Goldberg, Hollywood, Fla., 607. 6, Randy Tennant, Onida, S.D., 605. 7, Dondi Pratt, Eufaula, Okla. 598. 8, Bob Dorn, Little Falls, Minn., 597. 9, Justin McNett, Lena, Ill., 593. 10, Tim Wagner, Hardin, Mont., 592.

    1, Paul Schrubbe, Horicon, Wis., 1,742. 2, Sheldon Goldberg, Hollywood, Fla., 1,739. 3, Mike Raburn, Cleveland, Tenn., 1,676. 4, Ken Valenzuela, Brighton, Colo., 1,673. 5, Jeremy Skelnar, Kearney, Neb., 1,665. 6(tie), Paul Reker, New Ulm, Minn., and Leon Green, Keystone Neb., 1,658. 8, Bridget Riley, Baton Rouge, La., 1,654. 9, Dustin Space, Minden, Neb., 1651. 10, John Stolarski, Waterford, Mich., 1,650.