LAS VEGAS - Don Burdick of DeKalb, Ill., gets more hyped up for the USBC Open Championships than any other event. He particularly enjoys the camaraderie, the challenge and the chance to visit different places, and he has found regular success on the tournament lanes.

Earlier this year, Burdick gave up his regular spot in the tournament to give a new bowler the chance to experience the event, and that good deed was repaid in a big way when he got his spot back and made the most of the opportunity by taking the lead in Regular All-Events at Cashman Center on Sunday night.

The 49-year-old right-hander became the first bowler to record three 700 series at the 2009 Open Championships. He shot 759 in singles, 706 in doubles and 703 in team for a 2,168 all-events total and moved past Ron Nelson Jr. of Bridgeview, Ill., who previously held the lead with 2,138.

"I came in with a good idea about what the team event was going to be like, and I played the lanes right," said Burdick, who made his 27th tournament appearance. "I threw the ball well and caught a few breaks, and then I had a little more area on my singles pair and ended up with a good set. I said last night after team that it would be nice to walk out of here in the lead in something, and even though it may not hold up, it's nice to be in the lead for at least one day."

Burdick's day in the spotlight almost didn't come, however.

As he and his teammates started planning for their trip to Las Vegas, it turned out that one of the bowlers couldn't make it, and they were a person short. Looking long-term, Burdick found two bowlers who were interested in bowling together, and might be a nice permanent addition to the group. With only one open spot, he decided to sit the year out to make room for the newcomers. Then, about seven weeks ago, another bowler decided not to make the trip, and Burdick got his spot back.

"It's all about getting the right group of guys together," Burdick said. "I always try to get the good bowlers I know to come bowl this event, and if it took sitting out a year to get these guys to come be regulars on the team, I figured it was worth it. If I had to make the decision again, I'd still do the same thing."

Burdick's previous high series on the tournament lanes was 743, which came in the team event at the 1989 tournament in Wichita, Kan. His previous high all-events total was a 2,013, shot in Billings, Mont., in 2002 and again at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., in 2004.

Moving into the all-events lead is a new career highlight for Burdick, who rolled a 300 game in singles at the 1991 Open Championships in Toledo, Ohio, and then tossed another perfect game at the Hoinke Classic in Cincinnati the next day.

"I've had some decent years out here, which is nice, but no matter what, it's a lot of fun, and it's a nice vacation," Burdick said. "There are years when you get good pairs and some years when you don't. Either way, you still have to make good shots."

To help Burdick and his teammates prepare for their trip to the Open Championships this year, their local bowling center has been putting out the tournament pattern on Sundays.

He also bowls in a competitive league with a number of bowlers who have found success at the Open Championships, including Anthony Jordan and Pete Spreadbury, who are both members of Fox Bowl 2, which won the Team All-Events title in 2008.

"I've always been a pretty good bowler and been able to hold my own, but I don't know if I really ever thought I could win an eagle," said Burdick, whose career average at the Open Championships is 198.7. "Of course, you always have that dream when you come here, but there are so many good bowlers who bowl this tournament and haven't even been out yet. I'll definitely keep an eye on the leaderboard and hope my score stays up there."

Presenting sponsors for the 2009 USBC Open Championships are the Coast Casinos in Las Vegas and the Eldorado Hotel Casino, Silver Legacy Resort Casino and Circus Circus in Reno, Nev. Other participating sponsors are Kegel, official lane maintenance provider; Brunswick, capital equipment supplier; Storm Products, Inc.; Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel and Four Queens Hotel and Casino, the official brackets sponsors; Sapphire Gentleman's Club; Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino; MGM Mirage; Jerry's Nugget Casino and Fitzgerald's Casino and Hotel.