Texas bowler celebrates 50 years, eyes next goal at USBC Open Championships

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LAS VEGAS - Howard D. Rhodes of Dallas is a journeyman at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

He's soft-spoken, his scores aren't flashy and he competes every year simply because he loves bowling.

The shy 75-year-old found his way into the spotlight Saturday at the South Point Bowling Plaza, where he achieved a longtime goal by becoming the newest member of the event's 50-Year Club.

Following a celebratory march to the lanes, Rhodes was presented with a plaque, chevron and diamond lapel pin to commemorate the milestone, but his attention quickly turned to his next goal - adding his name to the list of bowlers who have toppled 100,000 pins at the USBC Open Championships.

"I just love bowling, and it's something I've done all my life," Rhodes said. "I've looked forward to this milestone for a long time, and I don't intend to stop bowling anytime soon. I'd really like to get to 100,000 pins, and based on how I bowled today, I think it'll probably take another 15 years or so."

Rhodes entered the year with a career pinfall of 75,374, an average of 170.9 for 441 games. He opened his 2021 tournament campaign with 453 series.

When mentioning his new Open Championships goal of climbing the pinfall list, Rhodes made note of Dallas-area standout and past Open Championships titlist Jamie Brooks, who earlier this year became the 24th member of the elite 100,000-Pin Club.

The all-time list is topped by another Texas sensation, the late Bill Lillard Sr. of Houston, an eight-time champion who knocked down 124,087 pins in 68 years on the tournament lanes.

Rhodes was joined on the lanes this weekend by his son, Howard F. Rhodes, who made his 23rd Open Championships appearance.

During doubles and singles Sunday at the South Point Bowling Center, the elder Rhodes added sets of 424 in doubles and 420 in singles for a 1,297 all-events total.

In 50 years of Open Championships competition, he has knocked down 76,671 pins.

The younger Rhodes posted scores of 497 in doubles and 462 in singles for a 1,447 total.

Rhodes was the 17th of 25 bowlers schedule to celebrate 50 years of participation this year at South Point.

The 60-Year Club also will get two new members, while USBC Hall of Famer and three-time Open Championships titlst Bob Hart Sr. of Suwanee, Georgia, added his name to the short list of bowlers who have competed 65 times.

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