USBC Hall of Famer Don Ellis reaches 60 years at Open Championships


    United States

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., United States (Feb. 20 - July 5, 2010)

    2010USBCOCDonEllis.jpgWhen United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Don Ellis of Sugar Land, Texas, made his 60th appearance at the USBC Open Championships on Sunday, he was surrounded by friends, family and hundreds of fellow bowlers.

    One of those bowlers was his 19-year-old granddaughter, Amanda Lopez, who planned her Open Championships debut for this year so it would coincide with Ellis' magical milestone.

    "It was amazing to be a part of this, and I'm really proud of him," said Lopez, who shot 561 in doubles, 498 in team and 491 in singles for a 1,550 all-events total. "He's been doing this for a long time, and it meant a lot to be here with him. I'm really excited to be able to carry on the family tradition at this tournament."

    Ellis, a member of the tournament's elite 100,000-Pin Club, became the 13th bowler to reach the 60-year plateau. His son Don also reached a milestone Sunday as he competed in his 25th Open Championships.

    "It just doesn't seem like it has been that long," said Ellis, who made his first tournament appearance at the 1947 event in Los Angeles. "The last 15 years have gone by very quickly, but I am happy to be where I am."

    The 81-year-old right-hander missed four tournaments shortly after his debut, but has been to every event since 1955. In 60 appearances, he has knocked down 107,452 pins for a career average of 193.6 and ranks sixth on the all-time pinfall list. In all, 11 bowlers have reached the 100,000-pin mark.

    Late USBC Hall of Famer Joe Norris of San Diego tops the career pinfall list with 123,770 pins, which he toppled in a record-tying 71 trips to the tournament. The late Bill Doehrman of Fort Wayne, Ind., also competed 71 times.

    The sport of bowling has allowed Ellis to see most of the country while traveling to participate in various tournaments, exhibitions and instructional clinics.

    Ellis was a star in the 1950s and 60s, but found a new love during that time and began focusing on making a living and caring for his family.

    "At the time, it was a little tougher to make a living as a bowler, compared to other sports," said Ellis, who teamed with fellow hall of famer Joe Kristof to win the 1961 Classic Doubles title at the Open Championships. "I ended up spending 46 years as a proprietor because I was able to make a living. We had five centers in Houston."

    Ellis has as much love for the sport now, as he did in the past. He's also glad that he gets to share the tournament experience with his family.

    "I had no idea that there would be such a ceremony," said Jean, Ellis' wife of 54 years. "When I saw his team walk down Center Aisle without him, I knew he would come out last, but I wasn't prepared for the presentation. Everything was really, really nice, and it was thrilling for his children and grandchildren to take part."

    Ellis rounded out his milestone appearance with 483 in team and singles and 467 in doubles for a 1,433 all-events total.

    "Bowling is something you can do for a lifetime and meet new people while doing it," Ellis said. "It is quite an honor to be the 13th person to bowl in 60 Open Championships, and it's also an honor to have bowled this long and still love it. But what really keeps me coming back is the friends we come with."


    2010USBCOCLogo_small.jpg Presenting sponsors for the 2010 USBC Open Championships are Circus Circus, Eldorado and Silver Legacy Hotel/Casinos in Reno, Nev. Other sponsors include Sands Regency Casino Hotel, official brackets sponsor, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, US Steltronic, official scoring system, and supporting sponsors Storm Bowling Products, UPS, Nationwide Insurance, Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa, Harrah's Reno Casino and Hotel and Peppermill Hotel Casino.


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    107th USBC Open Championships

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., United States (Feb. 20 - July 5, 2010)


    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfalls


    1, Bluebird Lanes (Dennis Campbell, Ron Davis, Michael Dugan, Robert Flaws, Ray Struck), Orland Park, Ill., 3,122. 2, St. Charles Lanes, St. Charles, Mo., 3,085. 3, Central Saw and Mower, Racine, Wis., 3,081. 4, Bowlers Junction, Hemet, Calif., 3,080. 5, J&J Pro Shop, Mount Crawford, Va., 3,066. 6, Pandorum, Buford, Ga., 3,063. 7, CMS Concrete 2, Nashua, N.H., 3,049. 8, The Bowlers ER, Des Plaines, Ill., 3,035. 9, J Wood's Flooring, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 3,030. 10, Pita Uno, Shakopee, Minn., 3,023.

    1, Jason Hale, Des Moines, Iowa/Matt Smith, Altoona, Iowa, 1,411. 2, Brian Salapatek, Cortland, Ill./Anthony Jovanovich, DeKalb, Ill., 1,379. 3, Mark Henrichs, Edgar, Wis./Jim Moore, Mosinee, Wis., 1,362. 4, Alvin Lou, El Cajon, Calif./Bob Handley, Winter Park, Fla., 1,342. 5, Richard Voakes Jr., Oshkosh, Wis./Troy Schaefer, Neenah, Wis., 1,326. 6, Mitch Bakies, Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Mark Wolford, West Liberty, Ohio, 1,323. 7, David Meyer, Staatsburg, N.Y./Steve Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y., 1,313. 8, John Bossone, Carroll, Ohio/Carl Cramer Jr., Austintown, Ohio, 1,307. 9, Shawn Mariani/Ryan Mapes, Havre, Mont., 1,301. 10, Lloyd Burleson, San Diego/Greg Brooks, Oro Valley, Ariz., 1,300.

    1, Barry Zimmerman, Grand Forks, N.D., 766. 2, George Kontos, Joliet, Ill., 760. 3, Larry Thompson Jr., Spring, Texas, 742. 4, Tony Biondi, Orlando, Fla., 734. 5 (tie), Steven Vance, Stone Mountain, Ga., and Troy Kendrick, Laguna Niguel, Calif., 729. 7, Ron Davis, Orland Park, Ill., 727. 8, Matt Smith, Altoona, Iowa, 722. 9 (tie), Steve Blanchet, Lawrence, Mass., and Chris Kirschner, Seattle, 715.

    1 (tie), Matt Smith, Altoona, Iowa, and George Kontos Joliet, Ill., 2,073. 3, Barry Zimmerman, Grand Forks, N.D., 2,044. 4, Ray Struck, Orland Park, Ill., 2,023. 5, Robert Phillips, North Ridgeville, Ohio, 2,017. 6, Jim Moore, Mosinee, Wis., 2,016. 7, Curtis Odom, Coldwater, Mich., 1,994. 8, Doug Hayes, Clarksville, Tenn., 1,987. 9, William Banks, Laurel Hill, N.C., 1,986. 10, Thomas Hinz, Joliet, Ill., 1,980.

    Team All-Events
    1, Bluebird Lanes (Dennis Campbell, Ron Davis, Michael Dugan, Robert Flaws, Ray Struck), Orland Park, Ill., 9,602. 2, Sign Producers 1, Winter Garden, Fla., 9,341. 3, Team USA, St. Louis, 9,223. 4, Bowlers Junction, Hemet, Calif., 9,214. 5, Super Bowl-Appleton, Kaukauna, Wis., 9,165. 6, Hot Printing 1, Holland, Ohio, 9,135. 7, Breakpoint Pro Shop 1, Sartell, Minn., 9,096. 8, Breakpoint Pro Shop 2, Sartell, Minn., 9,075. 9, Team Dirty, Madison, Wis., 9,060. 10, Bowldocs Pro Shop 1, University Place, Wash., 9,031.



    1, EWI/NPS/Denny's (Lawanda Scott, Lynette Crowther, Derek Arnold, Kelliann Frank, Phillip Savelli), Mentor, Ohio, 2,699. 2, Whitlow Furnace, Scobey, Mont., 2,602. 3, Stevens Seed, Clarion, Iowa, 2,594. 4, Who U Wit, Hayward, Calif., 2,578. 5, Stuart Bowl 3, Stuart, Iowa, 2,573. 6, Schmidt Motors, Ogallala, Neb., 2,567. 7, Minnow's Marine, Havre, Mont., 2,558. 8, Lucky Strike Lanes, Spearfish, S.D. 2,554. 9, PMAHC EHT, Ocala, Fla., 2,552. 10, Lake Country Rollers 1, Clarissa, Minn., 2,547.

    1, Tyson Sims/Scott Wilcox, Georgetown, Idaho, 1,182. 2, Greg Allen/Stacey Bauer, Ogallala, Neb., 1,166. 3, Holly Ventura, Harwood Heights, Ill./Bob Zurek, River Grove, Ill., 1,149. 4, Delmar Brownell/Dale Brownell, Spearfish, S.D., 1,148. 5, Scott Werner, Overland Park, Kan./Mark Klyn, Pella, Iowa, 1,145. 6 (tie), Terry Crowther/Monte Gebhardt, Roundup, Mont., and Richard Anderson, Julesburg, Colo./Dan Ford, Chappell, Neb., 1,141. 8, Terry Henkle, Garrison, Iowa/Larry Albers, Van Horne, Iowa, 1,139. 9, Kevin Jenkins/George Haney, Incline Village, Nev., 1,138. 10 (tie), Delbert Peterson, Glendale, Ariz./Kyle Wagner, Canton, Ill., and Jerry Bormann, Moorhead, Minn./Linda Hirchert, West Fargo, N.D., 1,131.

    1, David Garcez, Merced, Calif., 669. 2, Mark Plute, Montrose, Colo., 644. 3, Curt VanLaningham, Ogallala, Neb., 624. 4, Ryan Goettsch, Galva, Iowa, 618. 5, Robb Waynick, Dunbridge, Ohio, 605. 6, Ryan Fritchen, Dakota Dunes, S.D., 604. 7 (tie), Patrick Mcdermand, Villa Park, Ill., and Roger Southland, Lowell, Mich., 595. 9, Anne Woodhull, Golden Valley, Minn., 593. 10, John Stolarski, Waterford, Mich., 592.

    1, Richard Eisenhut, Downers Grove, Ill., 1,766. 2, John Stolarski, Waterford, Mich., 1,733. 3, Doug Boleyn, Waterloo, Iowa, 1,719. 4, Ryan Goettsch, Galva, Iowa, 1,702. 5, Mark Plute, Montrose, Colo., 1,701. 6, Robb Waynick, Dunbridge, Ohio, 1,690. 7, Gena Harvey, Boise, Idaho, 1,689. 8, Jay Lere, Moorhead, Minn., 1,687. 9, Greg Allen, Ogallala, Neb., 1,683. 10, Nick Petri Jr., Bolivar, Mo., 1,679.