Hall of Famer Bill Lillard Sr. breaks career pinfall record at USBC Open Championships


    United States

    North Dakota's Matt Smallin leads three events at El Paso Convention Center

    2015USBCOCBillLillardCareerPinfallLeader.jpgUnited States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Bill Lillard Sr. (pictured left) of Houston added to his USBC Open Championships legacy as he became the tournament's career pinfall leader during his first game of singles in front of a standing-room-only crowd of friends, family, fans and fellow competitors at the El Paso Convention Center on March 31.

    He needed 106 pins in singles to secure the record and got there in style with a strike in the eighth frame.

    2015USBCOCBillDorothyLillard.jpgHis wife, Dorothy (right), was in the audience, as she has been for more than 60 years, and USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy, USBC national board member Karl Kielich and Open Championships Tournament Manager Duane Hagen were on-hand to present Lillard with a special trophy commemorating the achievement.

    Lillard, an 87-year-old right-hander, entered the 2015 Open Championships, his 68th consecutive tournament, needing just 852 pins to match the 123,770 pins toppled by late USBC Hall of Famer Joe Norris of San Diego.

    Norris took part in a record-tying 71 appearances, with his last coming at the 2000 event in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a year before Lillard became a member of the elite 100,000-Pin Club, which currently has 15 members.

    2015USBCOCBillLillard2.jpg"I had been telling Joe since I had about 85,000 pins that I needed him to slow down, so I could catch him, only joking of course," said Lillard, who averaged more than 200 throughout most of his tournament career.

    "We saw his last three shots at his last tournament in Albuquerque, and they all were strikes, of course. He was a terrific bowler, and his record has lasted a long time. I'm very proud and excited to be able to reach that number, but records are made to be broken. I know there are some great bowlers who have a really good chance to catch me soon, too."

    An eight-time Open Championships winner, and the first of three bowlers in tournament history to claim four titles in the same year, Lillard now has settled atop the career pinfall list with a 124,087 total.

    Slightly hampered by a slow recovery from a recent knee replacement, Lillard has been using an abbreviated approach and worked his way up to using a 12-pound ball in El Paso this week, but that did not stop him from completing all nine games.

    This year on the championship lanes, he shot 422 in singles, 387 in doubles and 360 in team for a 1,169 all-events total.



    North Dakota's Matt Smallin leads three events at El Paso Convention Center

    2015USBCOCMattSmallin.jpgMatt Smallin (pictured) of Glenburn, North Dakota, capped off a week to remember at the USBC Open Championships as he left the El Paso Convention Center on top of the standings in three events.

    2015USBCOCNDStorm.jpgAfter helping ND Storm of Mandan, North Dakota (right), take the lead in Regular Team on March 24, the 27-year-old right-hander carried that momentum into doubles and singles, moving into the lead in Regular All-Events with a 2,062 total March 25. The effort also helped ND Storm to the Team All-Events lead with 9,393.

    Chris Pounders of Madison, Wisconsin, previously held the top spot in Regular All-Events with 2,008, while his team, Team Dirty of Evansville, Wisconsin, topped the Team All-Events standings with 9,055.

    Joining Smallin on ND Storm was Travis Hersrud (1,924), Randy Peterson (1,874), Robert Vander Vorst (1,821) and Dave Schick (1,712).

    Smallin ended his team competition with a 299 game for a 714 series, and he added 727 in singles and 621 in doubles for the highest all-events total in his six-year Open Championships career.


    A look ahead

    There will be two live stream broadcasts from the 2015 USBC Open Championships this week as the first of the defending Regular Division champions hit the lanes at the El Paso Convention Center.

    First will be Janz's H.I. of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, last year's Team All-Events winner. The group will put its title on the line April 2-3, with all six games of doubles and singles being shown live on BowlTV, beginning at 3 p.m. EDT on April 3.

    Defending Regular All-Events champion Anthony LaCaze of Melrose Park, Illinois, will look to make history April 3-4 as he tries to become the second bowler in 112 years of Open Championships competition to win titles in three consecutive years.

    LaCaze helped Junior Team USA Support 1 of Mansfield, Texas, to the Team All-Events crown in 2013, before finding individual success in 2014. His doubles and singles sets will be broadcast live on BowlTV, beginning at 3 p.m. EDT on April 4.

    Les Zikes of Palatine, Illinois, is the only bowler in history with wins in three consecutive years (1962-1964). The USBC Hall of Famer owns six titles overall. For more information on the Open Championships, click here.


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    2015 USBC Open Championships - Regular Division

    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

    1, ND Storm (Travis Hersrud, Dave Schick, Randy Peterson, Robert Vander Vorst, Matt Smallin), Mandan, N.D., 3,149. 2, The Cutting Edge, Windsor, Colo., 3,032. 3, Team Dirty, Evansville, Wis., 3,010. 4, Out Of Wood Pro Shop, Enfield, Conn., 2,995. 5, ND Roto Grip, Mandan, N.D., 2,983. 6, Indian Hills Golf, Okemos, Mich., 2,975. 7, Storm Products Inc., Brigham City, Utah, 2,963. 8, Kruse's Pro Shop, Fargo, N.D., 2,962. 9, Goopboy 1, Macomb, Mich., 2,945. 10, Dave's Pro Shop, Dubuque, Iowa, 2,941.

    1, Tom Woodworth/Jeremy Sonnenfeld, Sioux Falls, S.D., 1,372. 2, Phil Karwoski Jr./Phil Karwoski Sr., Lake Worth, Fla., 1,357. 3, Doug McHugh/Bo Johnson, Huron, S.D., 1,298. 4, Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas/Pete McCordic, Katy, Texas, 1,291. 5, Jim Dougherty/Perry Hall, Oklahoma City, 1,284. 6, Brent Miller, Cridersville, Ohio/Anthony Kennard, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 1,267. 7, Ray Struck, Orland Park, Ill./George Kontos, Joliet, Ill., 1,260. 8, Drew Simmons/Michael Simmons, Bradley, Ill., 1,259. 9, Rob Warren, Antigo, Wis./Thomas J. York II, Norridgewock, Md., 1,257. 10, Chase Nadeau, Las Vegas/Mike Taylor, Havertown, Pa., 1,256.

    1, Chad Oachs, Mankato, Minn., 772. 2, Mike Pelham, Clinton, Iowa, 748. 3, Ken Duffield, Platteville, Wis., 739. 4, Matt Smallin, Glenburn, N.D., 727. 5(tie), Jefry Carley, Berlin, Wis., and Camden Rokita, Springfield, Ill., 719. 7, Billy Langford, Lone Grove, Okla., 715. 8(tie), Brandon Nelson, Fargo, N.D., William Young, Cortland, N.Y., and Justin Weiss, Madison, Wis., 712.

    1, Matt Smallin, Glenburn, N.D., 2,062. 2, Camden Rokita, Springfield, Ill., 2,016. 3, Chris Pounders, Madison, Wis., 2,008. 4, Tyler Jensen, Fort Worth, Texas, 1,981. 5, Terrance Reeves III, Winter Haven, Fla., 1,978. 6, Scott Salinas, Racine, Wis., 1,974. 7, Dan Vick, Pittsford, N.Y., 1,967. 8, Richard Jackson III, Moreno Valley, Calif., 1,957. 9, Billy Langford, Lone Grove, Okla., 1,951. 10, Mike Pelham, Clinton, Iowa, 1,945.

    Team All-Events
    1, ND Storm (Travis Hersrud, Dave Schick, Randy Peterson, Robert Vander Vorst, Matt Smallin), Mandan, N.D., 9,393. 2, Joliet Town & Country Lanes, Joliet, Ill., 9,092. 3, Team Dirty, Evansville, Wis., 9,055. 4, Team Kegel, Winter Haven, Fla., 9,044. 5, Nicholas J's Pro Shop 2, La Crosse, Wis., 8,992. 6, Greatresulters, Simi Valley, Calif., 8,988. 7, Storm Products Inc., Brigham City, Utah, 8,944. 8, BeginRs To Pros 1, Lititz, Pa., 8,933. 9, Roxy Supper Club, Oshkosh, Wis., 8,911. 10, Taylorville Bowling Found, Taylorville, Ill., 8,909.


    2015 USBC Open Championships - Classified Division

    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

    1, Rails Bar and Grill (Dale Helgevold, Brandon Meyer, Eric Douglass, Darrell Pedersen, Michael Thielen), Eagle Grove, Iowa, 2,597. 2, T-Rays, Jamestown, N.D., 2,533. 3, Lani Ohana, Kaneohe, Hawaii, 2,532. 4, Lake Country Rollers 2, Clarissa, Minn., 2,530. 5, Minnesota Select Sires 1, Fergus Falls, Minn., 2,526. 6, Stri King 1, Hannaford, N.D., 2,506. 7, Melody Lanes 4, Montevideo, Minn., 2,505. 8, Wothe Bait 1, Perham, Minn., 2,499. 9, TH-1, Miami, 2,490. 10, Weaver Farms, St. Anthony, Idaho, 2,485.

    1, Donald Holtz, Hutchinson, Minn./Gary Holtz, Litchfield, Minn., 1,153. 2,Sterling Minke Jr., Columbus, Ohio/Sterling Minke Sr., Englewood, Fla., 1,111. 3, Michael Thielen/Darrell Pedersen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,105. 4, Sharon Nelson, Mesa, Ariz./Missy Price, Harrisburg, S.D., 1,100. 5, Bill King/Mark Bylander, Vergas, Minn., 1,097. 6, Vern Minor, Thayer, Kan./Craig Carnahan, Altamont, Kan., 1,093. 7, Dale Helgevold, Osceola, Iowa/Brandon Meyer, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,092. 8, Karla Coon, Dawson, Minn./Chad Reimer, Granite Falls, Minn., 1,090. 9, Larry Wittmeier, Vermillion, S.D./Bill Hochstein, Hartington, Neb., 1,081. 10, James Lindenfelser/Tom Lindenfelser, Erhard, Minn., 1,071.

    1, Jim Conkle, Pentwater, Mich., 628. 2, Donald Holtz, Hutchinson, Minn., 620. 3, Michael Thielen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 610. 4, Billy Dedek, Amarillo, Texas, 605. 5, Mark Bearman, Webster, S.D., 601. 6, Jason Gorley, Tacoma, Wash., 593. 7, Karen Peterson, Fulton, Iowa, 591. 8, Randy Miskovic, Lansing, Ill., 590. 9(tie), Glenn Coffey, Lafayette, La., and Mark Soeffker, Gaylord, Minn., 589.

    1, Michael Thielen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,712. 2, Darrell Pedersen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,689. 3, Shea Branch, Dallas, 1,687. 4, Randy Miskovic, Lansing, Ill., 1,669. 5, Donald Holtz, Hutchinson, Minn., 1,663. 6, Joseph Whittaker, Provo, Utah, 1,660. 7, Paul Reker, New Ulm, Minn., 1,643. 8, Missy Price, Harrisburg, S.D., 1,636. 9, Jason Gorley, Tacoma, Wash., 1,632. 10, Gene Pecoraro, Windham, Maine, 1,612.