Oklahoma City bowler adds name to 50-Year-Club at 2019 USBC Open Championships

By Matt Cannizzaro and Makinzey Marracco
USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS - Jerry Beavers of Oklahoma City made his United States Bowling Congress Open Championships debut at the 1970 event in Knoxville, Tennessee, and he has competed in every tournament since.

Beavers made his milestone march to the lanes this week at the South Point Bowling Plaza, where he added his name to the list of bowlers who have reached 50 years of participation at the USBC Open Championships.

He is one of 23 bowlers scheduled to celebrate this milestone at the 2019 event in Las Vegas.

For his accomplishment, the 77-year-old right-hander received a chevron, plaque and diamond lapel pin Friday prior to the start of his team event on Friday.

Beavers started bowling in 1964, when his friend, whom he worked with at the post office, asked him to join his league. His friend was Glenn Cox, a fellow member of the 50-Year Club, who added his own name to the list just 10 days ago.

The camaraderie of the Open Championships has helped Beavers make the five-decade journey, and he credits his teammates for helping him stay dedicated. But, the No. 1 factor for him, is having been lucky enough to stay in good health throughout the years.

"Glenn asked me if I would bowl at the Open Championships that first time in Knoxville, and I've bowled every year since," Beavers said. "I haven't gotten sick, so I've just kept it going. I didn't really think about the number of years, I knew I just kept getting closer."

Beavers' dedication and success on the lanes also have earned him spots in the Oklahoma City (1990) and Oklahoma State (1998) USBC Halls of Fame for superior performance.

For Beavers and his wife, Kathy, the Open Championships is a chance to get away and explore cities they've never been to. They take the opportunity to do some sightseeing and try the local cuisine.

Their favorite destination over the years is Las Vegas.

While Beavers enjoys the time away from the lanes, exploring different areas of the country, some of his best memories made at the Open Championships have come from the competition side.

"The times I've bowled the best would be the best memories I've made out here," Beavers said. "I did have a clean 724 in doubles one year (Reno, Nevada - 2011), and my son has bowled quite a few times with me, though he didn't make it out this year."

Beavers best performance on the championship lanes came in Syracuse, New York, in 1999, where he shot 667 in team, 657 in singles and 599 in doubles for a 1,923 all-events total.

With his 50th tournament now concluded, Beavers already is planning to attend the 2020 tournament at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.

Beavers finished his 2019 Open Championships campaign with sets of 516 in doubles, 505 in singles and 485 in team for a 1,506 all-events total. In 50 years on the championship lanes, he has knocked down 83,813 pins for a 188.7 career average.

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