11th Annual National Championship
$70,000 11th ANNUAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Garden City Bowl, Garden City, N.Y., Oct 17-24, 1970
A Double Dose For McGrath
Once again, the National Championship was staged at Buddy Russell's Garden City Bowl on Long Island. Mike McGrath, certainly not one to try and change a winning habit, made it a comeback victory as he joined Wayne Zahn and Davis as a multiple winner of this PBA classic, which played for the 11th time and fifth time at Garden City.
Davis, as a matter of record, was going for his third conquest and it appeared from the way he almost lapped the field through the first 60 games that he was not to be denied. But, things never are final until they're final, and when the five finalists came up to the regionally-telecast finals, it was a new ballgame.
Davis was top-seeded, and awaited the outcome of one-game matches involving Johnny Petraglia (fifth), George Pappas (fourth), McGrath (third) and Larry Lichstein (second).
Pappas started out by elminiating Petraglia, 182-169, and then McGrath moved into the picture by scoring a 205-174 triumph over Pappas, who already had taken two titles in 1970. Then McGrath disposed of Lichstein by a 229-188 count and moved into the title confrontation with Davis. This was the same Davis who had charged into first place after three rounds of play and left his top perch only briefly when he was ousted by Pappas.
In the match game phase, Davis took 16 of his 24 games, tying one. Lichstein, McGrath and sixth-placer Dick Battista also took 16, but when it came down to actual pinfall over 60 games, it was no contest. Davis spilled 13,084 pins, 312 more than his nearest pursuer-Lich stein. It figured out to a 218 average for the tall lefthander, winner earlier in the year of the San Jose Open.
Davis opened the final game with four straight strikes, putting it right to McGrath. The two stayed close until the -seventh frame, when Davis saw his game come undone somewhat by 4-7-10 split. McGrath rushed right in and took the lead, but then he, too, left a split in the eighth frame . . . a split he failed to convert. Davis arose, took his shots, and finished with a 222.
McGrath toed the line knowing he needed a "double" to register a victory. Mike got the two he needed, added one for icing, and came away with a 226-222 victory for the $7,500 first place prize. The money served a twofold purpose for McGrath, for it moved him into a position where a few weeks later he was able to lock up first place in the PBA money earnings standings.
PLAYOFF RESULTS-Pappas defeated Petraglia, 182-169; McGrath defeated Pappas, 205-174; McGrath defeated Lichstein, 229-188; and in the championship game McGrath defeated Davis, 226-222. 60-GAME TOTALS 36-GAME TOTALS **Alternates. 36-Game Qualifying Leader-Davis, 7851. 24th Low-Battista, 7339. PRO-AM CASHERS ($50)-Jim Chestney, Butch Gearhart, Don Russell, Bill Tucker, Jim Stefanich, Mike Orlovsky, Larry Festa, Nelson Burton Jr., Alex Seymore, Les Schissler.
**Alternates. 36-Game Qualifying Leader-Davis, 7851. 24th Low-Battista, 7339. PRO-AM CASHERS ($50)-Jim Chestney, Butch Gearhart, Don Russell, Bill Tucker, Jim Stefanich, Mike Orlovsky, Larry Festa, Nelson Burton Jr., Alex Seymore, Les Schissler.