RENO, Nev. – There are several synonymous names in sports that instantly bring fans back to their great moments. It may be DiMaggio for baseball or Unitas for football to some, but the McCordic name certainly sounds familiar to many bowling fans as one of the greatest families in the sport.
Tuesday in 2023 United States Bowling Congressional Open ChampionshipPaul McCordic of Sugar Land, Texas, stood in the spotlight with family and friends as he made his 50th consecutive appearance at the event, receiving a plaque, ribbon and diamond lapel pin to commemorate his achievement in the National Bowling Stadium.
The 69-year-old left-hander began his path to turning 50 at the 1973 event in Syracuse, New York.
“I really have to thank my wife for letting me come every year,” McCordic said. “Lucy has only really asked me to stay home a few times, and those were understandable circumstances, but here I am 50 years later and I’m grateful for her support.”
Along with Lucy, McCordic also credits his younger brother (by 20 minutes), Pete McCordic, as a big reason for his success and longevity in the USBC Open Championship. They have bowled together for all but three years on Paul McCordic’s way to 50 appearances.
March has also been a great month for both brothers. On March 13, Pete McCordic was inducted into the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame for his meritorious service as long-time manager of the Southwest Region.
“We have very fundamental games and we’ve bowled good players all these years, and that really kept me and my brother going,” said Pete McCordic, who made his 47th tournament appearance this week. “While watching Paul at a PBA regional event where he finished second, a guy came up to me and asked how I would feel if my brother won an event before me. My answer was simple. I told him that if I can’t win a tournament, my brother is the one I would like to see win more than anyone else in the world.”
Paul McCordic’s best overall performance in the Open Championship was during the 1997 event in Huntsville, Alabama. He posted a nine-game total of 2,077, marking one of many solid showings he’s put together, leading to his overall average of 203 through 50 appearances.
She added sets of 646 team, 604 doubles and 579 singles on NBS this week for a total of 1,829 in all events, bringing her career to 91,362.
“In addition to the attendance aspect of this achievement, I am very proud of my career average,” said Paul McCordic. “It’s been a goal of mine to continue bowling and maintain that average.”
One of Paul McCordic’s fondest memories of his 50-year career is sharing the lanes with USBC Hall of Famer and eight-time Eagle winner Bill Lillard Sr. of Houston.
He also had a ringside seat during the 2015 event in El Paso, Texas, when Lillard set the tournament pinfall record (124,087) during his 68th consecutive Open Championship appearance.
“We were his team for years, and one of my favorite memories is being there when he broke the all-time Open Championship pinfall record,” said Paul McCordic. “Bill was 80 when he shot an 1,800 for all events one year, and that’s enough inspiration to keep going.”
Another thing that keeps Paul McCordic excited to keep up his streak at the Open Championship is seeing his brother join him at the event’s 50 Years Club.
“I would like to continue bowling in the Open Championship with Pete until he is 50 years old,” said Paul McCordic. “Right then, it should be at the 100,000 pin mark, and that’s another goal. I want to add my name to that list.”
The 2023 Open Championships began on March 4 and will conclude on July 24. The 143-day tournament will see more than 9,700 five-player teams and nearly 50,000 bowlers making their way to compete in The Biggest Little City in the World.
Paul McCordic was the first of more than 20 bowlers scheduled to reach the participation milestone in the 2023 event.
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