By Matt Cannizzaro and Brian Hirsch
USBC Communications

LAS VEGAS – Decades ago, Edwin Macha of Decorah, Iowa, made a commitment to the sport of bowling, and he was recognized for his dedication Tuesday at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, where he celebrated 50 years of participation.

The 85-year-old right-hander is thankful for the people he’s met in his travels to the event each year since his debut in Cincinnati in 1968, and as he prepared for his milestone appearance on the championship lanes, he reflected fondly on the memories he’s shared with many friends and teammates over the years.

Macha was recognized in front of his current teammates and fellow competitors at the South Point Bowling Plaza and received a plaque, chevron and diamond lapel pin to commemorate his entry into the tournament’s 50-Year Club.

“Getting to 50 years at the USBC Open Championships cannot be done without a commitment to the sport of bowling,” Macha said. “I have been very fortunate not to have health, family or work issues that have interrupted my consecutive run.”

Macha’s commitment to bowling extended to the administrative and coaching sides of the sport, and his hard work as an officer in the Clark County (Ohio) USBC Bowling Association and Ohio State USBC Bowling Association earned him a spot in the Clark County Hall of Fame.

With many plane, train and automobile rides across the United States to get to the tournament site each year, Cincinnati and Niagara Falls, New York, provided some of his top memories.

The first stands out because that was the site of his debut, while the breathtaking Niagara Falls left a lasting impression.

From the lengthy list of host cities he’s been to, Macha cites Corpus Christi, Texas, as his favorite, thanks to the great weather and sandy beaches.

Reaching the 50-year mark at the Open Championships, or anything for that matter, is done because of a love and drive. A huge support group also is involved when you get to a milestone, such as this one.

Macha finished his 2017 tournament campaign with 332 series in the team event. He only has bowled team for the last few years.

In 50 tournament appearances, Macha has knocked down 70,716 pins for a career average of 167.9.

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