Minnesota bowler hits 50-year mark at 2019 USBC Open Championships

By Matt Cannizzaro and Makinzey Marracco
USBC Communications

- When David Haugan of Richfield, Minnesota, competed in his first United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, the year was 1960.

This year, he clocked in for his 50th appearance on the biggest stage in bowling.

The 79-year-old was surrounded by friends and family when he was presented with a plaque, chevron and special lapel pin to commemorate the milestone Monday at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

For Haugan, the USBC Open Championships has been as much about the traveling and seeing the country, as it has been about participating in the competition. His wife, Donna, enjoys it just as much, and she has joined him at most of the destinations throughout the years.

Haugan was the second of 23 bowlers scheduled to celebrate 50 tournaments this year in Las Vegas.

"I enjoy that coming to the Open Championships also is a vacation for us," said Haugan, who made his tournament debut at the 1960 event in Toledo, Ohio. "Donna's not quite been to 50 of the tournaments, but she has been to most of them with me. We got married in 1961, and she has only missed a few since then. She's probably traveled with me to 45 Open Championships."

Donna supportively stood behind the settee area and watched as her husband competed in the team event Monday. Together, they made the days-long drive to Las Vegas to experience his milestone march out.

Keeping the tradition in the family, Haugan's son Eric has been bowling with him for 27 of his 50 years at the event. On the lanes this week, they were joined by members of the league Haugan bowls with at Minnesota's Apple Place Bowl.

"We bowled OK out there, but we missed way too many spares," Haugan said. "But, it has been a really nice experience overall."

Some of Haugan's most memorable Open Championships moments were in Detroit and El Paso, Texas. His highest all-events total was posted in Salt Lake City in 1996, a 1,906 effort.

Attending the events in Reno, Nevada, is where he says they've had the most fun throughout the years.

"It's been a good run, and I've had a good time," Haugan said. "I've made it to 50, which is special. I don't know how many more I'm going to bowl, but I made it to the big milestone."

To top off the Vegas vacation, Haugan and his wife have plans to play golf and enjoy the great weather Las Vegas has to offer.

On the lanes this year, Haugan rolled sets of 548 in doubles, 516 in singles and 454 in team for a 1,518 all-events total. In 50 tournament appearances, he has toppled 82,739 pins for a career average of 186.3.

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