Ohio bowler joins 50-Year Club at 2018 USBC Open Championships

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - For George Rowan of Columbus, Ohio, the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships has been about travel, camaraderie and participating in a sport he loves.

His passion for bowling has taken him on a five-decade journey that has allowed him to see all corners of the country and share the sport's biggest stage with his friends and family.

As he made his 50th appearance at the USBC Open Championships this week, Rowan was escorted to the lanes at the Oncenter Convention Center by his daughter, Julie, grandsons Dilynn and Chad, granddaughter, Noelle, his girlfriend, Mary, and his son Todd, who also joined him on the lanes.

The large contingent helped make the milestone extra special, and Rowan was presented with a plaque, chevron and diamond lapel pin to commemorate his longevity. He was the last of 13 bowlers scheduled to join the 50-Year Club this year in Syracuse.

"This year, my daughter and three grandkids came, which made it even more special," Rowan said. "This all is very nice. It's exciting. Essentially, bowling is my life. As long as I enjoy it, I'm going to keep doing it. I like to compete. I really enjoy this."

The 74-year-old right-hander made his Open Championships debut at the 1968 event in Cincinnati, and his most memorable tournament performance came more than four decades later, when he and Rod Singer finished second in Regular Doubles in 2011.

Singer rolled an 809 series that year at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, while Rowan contributed a 685 set for a 1,494 total. They finished three pins shy of the winning score, posted by Michigan's Chad Reiffer and Brandon Tarabek.

Being able to compete alongside his son at the Open Championships also has been a highlight for Rowan.

Todd Rowan made his debut at the 1999 tournament, also held in Syracuse, and he has competed off and on, making his 10th appearance this week at the Oncenter Convention Center.

"Today was great," Todd Rowan said. "It was great to see him get the recognition for the sport he loves. He's done a lot with it, he taught it to me and it's an opportunity for us to do something together. I first came out because he was going, and I wanted to bowl. The whole experience was more than I ever expected."

In his 50th Open Championships appearance, Rowan rolled sets of 555 in team, 474 in singles and 470 in doubles for a 1,499 all-events total, increasing his career pinfall total to 85,208, a 189.4 average.

Outside of the world's largest participatory sporting event, George Rowan's dedication to bowling earned him induction into the Greater Columbus Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1989.

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