Ellis Celebrates 65 Years at USBC Open Championships

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

EllisDon2015OC465x262United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Don Ellis of Sugar Land, Texas, added his name to another short list in the USBC Open Championships record book as he celebrated his 65th appearance on the tournament lanes April 14.

The 86-year-old made his milestone march down Center Aisle at the El Paso Convention Center in El Paso, Texas, becoming the eighth bowler in 112 years of Open Championships history to reach the plateau.

Ellis made his Open Championships debut at the 1947 event in Los Angeles and has been to every tournament since 1955.

He entered 2015 fifth on the event's career pinfall list with a 113,357 total and will return to the lanes April 15 to continue his pursuit of all-time pinfall leader, USBC Hall of Famer Bill Lillard Sr. of Houston, who recently finished his 68th appearance with a 124,087 career total.

Ellis' lone title at the Open Championships came in 1961 when he teamed with fellow hall of famer Joe Kristof to capture the Classic Doubles title with a 1,331 total.

Also this week, Benton Dempsey of Columbus, Ohio, became the 175th bowler in history, and first of 12 this year, to reach 50 years of participation at the Open Championships.

The 79-year-old made an emotional march down Center Aisle on April 8 with thoughts of his friend Roger Holstein, who introduced him to the sport of bowling in 1953, heavy on his mind. Holstein died shortly before Dempsey made his 49th tournament appearance in 2014.

Dempsey made his tournament debut at the 1961 event in Detroit and has maintained a 188.6 average in his five decades at the Open Championships.

More from the past week at the USBC Open Championships . . .

EndersbeScott2015OC465x262Minnesota bowler takes singles lead at El Paso Convention Center
Scott Endersbe of Waite Park, Minnesota, finished his 2015 USBC Open Championships campaign with eight strikes, including three clutch shots in the final frame, to sneak into the Regular Singles lead April 14.

The 32-year-old right-hander put together games of 268, 238 and 279 for a 785 series at the El Paso Convention Center and passed Chad Oachs of Mankato, Minnesota, who previously held the lead with 772.

"I've done this for a few years, and on a tough pattern like this, you've got to make the adjustments at the right time," said Endersbe, who made his 12th Open Championships appearance. "This is the best I've ever done overall. I don't really have words to explain it. I'm just on a high note right now."

Record holders won't repeat in 2015
ArtisticExpressions12015OC465x262Artistic Expressions 1 of Oklahoma City turned in a top-10 performance at the El Paso Convention Center on April 14 but will not take home a second consecutive Regular Team title at the USBC Open Championships.

The defending champions rallied down the stretch, and a big finish helped them into seventh place in the 2015 standings with a 3,088 total on games of 1,022, 952 and 1,114.

Xeno Garcia led the title defense with a 698 series and was followed by Anthony Lavery-Spahr (687), Jimmy McMartin (605), Pete Thomas (558) and Ted Pritts (540). Junior Team USA Support 1 of Las Vegas leads Regular Team this year with 3,359.

Artistic Expressions 1 claimed the 2014 team title with a record score of 3,720.

Wisconsin teammates enjoy success at El Paso Convention Center
Chad Maas of Waukesha, Wisconsin, and Jeff Nimke of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, entered the 2015 USBC Open Championships fresh off back-to-back top-five team finishes, and after making their way back into the top 10 live on BowlTV on April 10, they returned to the championship lanes April 11 to find individual success.

Nimke, a two-time titlist at the Open Championships, struck first, rolling the second perfect game of this year's event in his final game of doubles. The 52-year-old added 194 and 228 for a 722 series and teamed with Rich Abboud of Omaha, Nebraska, for a 1,352 doubles total, which is fourth in Regular Doubles. Jeremy Sonnenfeld and Tom Woodworth of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, lead with 1,372.

Maas, a 36-year-old right-hander, got better with each event this year, closing with a 746 singles set to cruise into the lead in Regular All-Events with a 2,152 total. Former Team USA member Erik Vermilyea of Las Vegas previously topped the standings with 2,083.

Scott Cable of Elk River, Minnesota, added the third perfect game of the 2015 tournament later April 11 as he became the first to conquer the 38-foot Sport Bowling-certified team lane condition. The 48-year-old right-hander threw 27 strikes on the way to games of 237, 216 and 300 for a 753 series.

A look ahead
There will be two live stream broadcasts from the 2015 USBC Open Championships this week.

First, former Team USA member Derek Eoff of Madison, Wisconsin, and his talented group of past University of Nebraska standouts will hit the lanes at the El Paso Convention Center for doubles and singles, beginning at 3 p.m. EDT on April 15.

The second live broadcast will take place April 20 at 7 p.m. Eastern as new Guinness record holder Adam Barta of Girard, Ohio, takes the lanes for his team event. The right-hander recently set the world record for total pinfall by an individual in one hour. He knocked down 2,709 pins in 60 minutes on Feb. 15.

For more information on the Open Championships, visit BOWL.com/OpenChamp.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open/Women's Championships page.

El Paso Convention Center, El Paso, Texas

(Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall)

As of April 14, 2015


1, Junior Team USA Support 1 (Matthew Tuckfield, Anthony LaCaze, Steve Novak, Jeffrey Mersch, Erik Vermilyea), Las Vegas, 3,359. 2, Hashtag Team Dole, Cleveland, 3,231. 3, Bowling With Leverage Pro Shop, Peoria, Ariz., 3,211. 4, Coach K Scholarship, Pleasant View, Utah, 3,178. 5, Motion Plus, Greenfield, Wis., 3,169. 6, ND Storm, Mandan, N.D., 3,149. 7, Artistic Expressions 1, Oklahoma City, 3,088. 8, Off The Sheet Pro Shop 1, Oklahoma City, 3,084. 9, The Bowlers ER Too, Des Plains, Ill., 3,071. 10, Savage Bowling Pro Shops 1, Whitestown, Ind., 3,060.

1, Tom Woodworth/Jeremy Sonnenfeld, Sioux Falls, S.D., 1,372. 2, James Hansen, Anchorage, Alaska/Ron Mohr, North Las Vegas, 1,370. 3, Phil Karwoski Jr./Phil Karwoski Sr., Lake Worth, Fla., 1,357. 4, Rich Abboud, Omaha, Neb./Jeff Nimke, Oshkosh, Wis., 1,352. 5, Ray Huffman, III, Glenford, Ohio/Robert Murgatroyd, Zanesville, Ohio, 1,337. 6, Chad Kloss, West Allis, Wis./Chad Maas, Waukesha, Wis., 1,318. 7, Steve Kloempken, Pleasant View, Utah/David Haynes, Las Vegas, 1,309. 8, Steve Novak, Bay City, Mich./Anthony LaCaze, Hoffman Estates, Ill., 1,309. 9, Doug McHugh/Bo Johnson, Huron, S.D., 1,298. 10, Jeffrey Mersch, Orlando, Fla./Erik Vermilyea, Las Vegas, 1,296.

1, Scott Endersbe, Waite Park, Minn., 785. 2, Chad Oachs, Mankato, Minn., 772. 3, Matthew Tuckfield, Orlando, Fla., 771. 4, Dave Beres, Greenfield, Wis., 754. 5, Mike Pelham, Clinton, Iowa, 748. 6, Chad Maas, Waukesha, Wis., 746. 7, Ken Duffield, Platteville, Wis., 739. 8, Andy Bunkoske, Beaver Dam, Wis., 736. 9, Art Alexander, Baldwinsville. NY, 735. 10, Brent Matthys, Whitestown, Ind., 731.

1, Chad Maas, Waukesha, Wis., 2,152. 2, Erik Vermilyea, Las Vegas, 2,083. 3, Matt Smallin, Glenburn, N.D., 2,062. 4, Matthew Tuckfield, Orlando, Fla., 2,048. 5, Camden Rokita, Springfield, Ill., 2,016. 6, Chris Pounders, Madison, Wis., 2,008. 7, Scott Endersbe, Waite Park, Minn., 1,990. 8, Anthony LaCaze, Hoffman Estates, Ill., 1,988. 9, Rick Miller, Lincoln, Neb., 1,985. 10, Steve Novak, Bay City, Mich., 1,982.

Team All-Events
1, Junior Team USA Support 1 (Matthew Tuckfield, Anthony LaCaze, Steve Novak, Jeffrey Mersch, Erik Vermilyea), Las Vegas, 10,064. 2, Motion Plus, Greenfield, Wis., 9,669. 3, ND Storm, Mandan, N.D., 9,393. 4, Bowling with Leverage Pro Shop, Peoria, Ariz., 9,338. 5, SavageBowlingProShops 1, Whitestown, Ind., 9,306. 6, Coach K Scholarship, Pleasant View, Utah, 9,189. 7, Molalla Bowl, Cornelius, Ore., 9,168. 8, Southern Storm, 9,144. 9, Janz's H.I., Beaver Dam, Wis., 9,118. 10, Joliet Town & Country Lanes, Joliet, Ill., 9,092.


1, Scotty's 3 (Brady Erdmann, Jed Lye, Marshall Lagred, Tyler Grabow, Alan Iverson), Alexandria, Minn., 2,676. 2, Scotty's 4, Alexandria, Minn., 2,646. 3, Rails Bar and Grill, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 2,597. 4, T-Rays, Jamestown, N.D., 2,533. 5, Lani Ohana, Kaneohe, Hawaii, 2,532. 6, Lake Country Rollers 2, Clarissa, Minn., 2,530. 7, Scotty's 1, Alexandria, Minn., 2,527. 8, Minnesota Select Sires 1, Fergus Falls, Minn., 2,526. 9, Kirkmeyer Electric, Hobbs, N.M., 2,509. 10, Stri King 1, Hannaford, N.D., 2,506.

1, Donald Holtz, Hutchinson, Minn./Gary Holtz, Litchfield, Minn., 1,153. 2, Ryan Burmester/David Burmester, Hampton, Iowa, 1,126. 3, Courtney Johnston/Eric Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,116. 4, Bruce Huikko, South Haven Minn./Leslie Huikko, Buffalo, Minn., 1,115. 5, Sterling Minke Jr., Columbus, Ohio/Sterling Minke Sr., Englewood, Fla., 1,111. 6, Cecilia Lung/Joseph Lung, Monterey Park, Cal., 1,106. 7, Michael Thielen/Darrell Pedersen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,105. 8, Sharon Nelson, Mesa, Ariz./Missy Price, Harrisburg, S.D., 1,100. 9(tie), Bill King/Mark Bylander, Vergas, Minn., and Alan Miller, Eunice, N.M./Hugo Naegele, Hobbs, N.M., 1,097.

1, Marshal Lagred, Starbuck, Minn., 636. 2, Jim Conkle, Pentwater, Mich., 628. 3, Donald Holtz, Hutchinson, Minn., 620. 4, Michael Thielen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 610. 5, Billy Dedek, Amarillo, Texas, 605. 6, Jere Goff, Ormond Beach, Fla., 603. 7, Mark Bearman, Webster, S.D., 601. 8, Jason Gorley, Tacoma, Wash., 593. 9, Karen Peterson, Fulton, Iowa, 591. 10, Randy Miskovic, Lansing, Ill., 590.

1, Marshal Lagred, Starbuck, Min., 1,734. 2, Michael Thielen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,712. 3, Darrell Pedersen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, 1,689. 4, Shea Branch, Dallas, 1,687. 5, Randy Miskovic, Lansing, Ill., 1,669. 6, Donald Holtz, Hutchinson, Minn., 1,663. 7, Joseph Whittaker, Provo, Utah, 1,660. 8, Nathan Erickson, Melrose, Mont., 1,657. 9, Dale Huling, Las Vegas, 1,647. 10, Paul Reker, New Ulm, Minn., 1,643.

BJI Subscribe Now