Mike McGrath Is 1969 National Champ

Seldom in the annals of the Professional Bowlers Association have individual tournament championships been decided by a solitary pin.

But it happened, of all places, in 1969's $70,000 National Championship at Garden City Bowl in Garden City, L. I., N. Y.

And who was the beneficiary? ---- 23-year-old Mike McGrath of El Cerrito, Cal. His thrilling 212-211 win over Bill Allen of Fresno, Cal. left a huge crowd limp at the finish.

It was that way all week at. Garden City Bowl where the Nassau Bowling Proprietors Association staged a highly successful tournament that saw them enroll nearly 600 amateur bowlers in the opening Pro-Am. Following the Pro-Am, fans alternately cheered for their local favorites and watched Billy Hardwick of Louisville, Ky., who was trying to win his eighth victory of the year and break an all-time one year official money winning mark.

Going into the tournament Hardwick was $7,000 shy of the $67,375 won by Jim Stefanich of Joliet, Ill. a year earlier. He had won the PBA National championship at these same lanes in 1963 and was runnerup in the BPAA All-Star in 1968 ---- also at Garden City Bowl.

Hardwick actually took the lead early in the tournament and stayed close throughout, even when Allen took charge in the match-game play. While Allen's lead was burgeoning Friday night and Saturday afternoon, Hardwick was within three or four places of the top, although he did drop once to eighth, and all the time McGrath, was slowly but steadily cutting into the margins of the leaders.

In fact, he came almost out of nowhere to finally take over first place when he topped Keith Wiltse of Vicksburg, Mich., 234-192, in the next to last game., That left him 14 pins ahead of Allen going into the championship game, and when Allen sat down with a 211, McGrath needed a double and nine to win and that is exactly what he netted.

The victory could not have been sweeter for McGrath. Earlier in the year, he bowled a miserable 149 while losing the $75,000 Cougar Open to Ralph Engan at Paramus, N. J. A national television audience was looking on and McGrath felt badly enough about losing in front of such a huge audience.

But the $7,500 check for winning the National more than atoned, and the PBA had an articulate young National Champion and an equally happy Mrs. McGrath.


 Name, City/StatePins  WLT+TotAmt
1Mike McGrath, El Cerrito, Calif. 12820 17-7-0 850 13670 $7,500
2Bill Allen, Fresno, Calif. 12905 14-10-0 700 13605 4,000
3Larry Lichstein, Bloomfield, Conn. 12683 15-9-0 750 13433 3,000
4Billy Hardwick, Louisville, Ky. 12711 13-11-0 650 13361 2,500
5Ed Bourdase, Fresno, Calif. 12625 13-10-1 675 13300 2,000
6Teata Semiz River Edge, N. J. 12487 15-9-0 750 13237 1,800
7Don Helling, St. Louis, Mo. 12573 13-11-0 650 13223 1,700
8Tommy Tuttle, King, N. C. 12501 13-11-0 650 13151 1,600
9Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill. 12656 9-15-0 450 13106 1,500
10Carmen Salvino, Chicago, Ill. 12517 11-12-1 575 13092 1,400
11Keith Wiltse, Vicksburg, Mich. 12363 14-10-0 700 13063 1,300
12Craig Mueller, Union City, N. J. 12381 13-11-0 650 13031 1,200
13A. W. "Bill" Johnson, New Orleans, La. 12421 12-12-0 600 13021 1,150
14Mike Orlovsky, Endicott, N. Y. 12395 11-12-1 575 12970 1,100
15Mike Limongello, N. Babylon, N. Y. 12407 10-14-0 500 12907 1,050
16Terry Booth, Mountain, View, Calif. 12390 10-14-0 500 12890 1,000
17Eddy Patterson, Dallas, Tex. 12271 11-11-2 600 12871 950
18Don McCune, Munster, Ind. 12163 13-10-1 675 12838 900
**19Larry Laub, San Francisco, Calif. 12170 12-12-0 600 12770 850
20Dick Ritger, Hartford, Wisc. 12206 10-14-0 500 12706 800
21Vern Downing, San Francisco, Calif. 12161 10-14-0 500 12661 750
22Bob Strampe, Detroit, Mich. 12197 9-15-0 450 12647 700
23Pat Peterson, St. Louis, Mo. 12223 8-16-0 400 12623 650
24John Slota, Albertson, N. Y. 12160 9-15-0 450 12610 600


Pos.Name, City/StateTotalAmount
25Tim Harahan, Canoga Park, Calif.7346$475
*26John Edelberg Ft. Lee, N. J.7344515
27Bill Tucker, Louisville, Ky7334420
28Jack Biondolillo, Gilroy, Calif.7332400
29Ernie Schlegel, Newburgh, N. Y., Les Zikes, Chicago, Ill.7325385
31Ray Bluth, St. Louis, Mo., Pete Mylenki, River Vale, N. J.7323365
33Jim McHugh, Newark, N. J.7322355
34Johnny Petraglia, Brooklyn, N. Y.7321350
35Dick Battista, Astoria, N. Y.7320345
36Nelson Burton Jr., St. Louis, Mo.7299340
37Skee Foremsky, Houston, Tex.7298335
38Glenn Allison, Los Angeles, Calif.7295330
39Wayne Sheridan, Richmond, Va.7290325
40Ben McNevich, New York, N. Y.7288320
41Fred Lening, Yardley, Pa.7282315
42Norm Meyers, St. Louis, Mo.7277310
43Don Johnson, Kokomo, Ind7276305
44Dick Weber, St. Louis, Mo., Doug Stazer, Wallington, N J.7274297.50
46Mike Durbin, Dayton, Ohio7259290
47Ed Chewens, New Hyde Park, N. Y.7257285
48Ralph Engan, Monsey, N. Y.7252280
49Larry Festa, Astoria, N. Y.7241275
50Gerry Credendino, Elmsford, N. Y.7227270
51Jim Godman, Elkhart, Ind.7225265
52Roger Fink, Joliet, Ill.7218260
53Ralph Hartmann, New Hyde Park, N. Y.7217255
54Allie Clarke, Akron, Ohio7214250
55Chet Dziedzina, Chicago, Ill.7210245
56Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz.7201240
57Johnny Guenther, Seattle, Wash.7191235
58Frank Lynch, Philadephia, Pa.7186230
59Don Lemon, Rochester, N. Y.7172225
60Paul Tartaglia, Port Chester, N. Y., Jimmy Mack, Dover, N. J.7170217.50
62Gary Dickinson, Ft. Worth, Tex.7159210
63Dale Seavoy, Birmingham, Mich., Bob Snell, Stamford, Conn.7152202.50

*Alternate. **Bill Jargella and Larry Laub received $100 for 300 games. 36-Game Qualifying Leader-Stefanich, 7745. 24th Man Low-Tuttle, 7353. Pro-Am Cashers ($50)-Gary Dickinson, Teata Semiz, Don Glover, Allie Clarke, Bill Allen, Ralph Engan, Larry Laub, Mike Orlovsky, Dick Ritger, Jack Biondolillo. ($25)-Harry Smith, Mike Limongello.