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Mike Mcgrath, USBC and PBA Halls of Fame member, dies at age 71

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Mike McGrath, a member of United States Bowling Congress and Professional Bowlers Association Halls of Fame, died Sunday in California at age 71. Details were not available.

Born May 13, 1946, in Berkeley, California, McGrath stormed onto the bowling scene at the age of 19 when he won the 1965 PBA Portland Open in his professional debut.

The left-hander would win 10 PBA Tour titles and was ranked 39th on the 2009 list of the 50 Greatest Players in PBA History.

He won the first of his three Classic Team titles at the American Bowling Congress (now USBC) Open Championships at the 1969 event in Madison, Wisconsin.

The 1970 event in Knoxville, Tennessee, saw the first Classic Team rolloff series at the Open Championships, and McGrath converted a 1-3-6-9 spare to give Merchant Enterprises the title by eight pins. That year he also took home his second consecutive PBA National Championship, made four consecutive PBA television finals and led the tour in money won.

He teamed with fellow left-handers Johnny Petraglia, Larry Lichstein, Dick Battista and Butch Gearhart for his third Classic Team title at the 1972 Open Championships in Long Beach, California.

In 1973, he became the first left-hander to win the U.S. Open when he beat fellow Hall of Famers Dick Ritger, Dave Davis, and, in the title match, Earl Anthony, in Madison Square Garden in New York.

Memorial services are pending.

Author: Herbert Bickel
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