PETALUMA, Calif.; – Mike McGrath, who stopped the Bowlers Professional Association when he won the 1965 Portland Open, the first PBA tournament he entered at the age of 19, died late Sunday in California. His death, at age 71, was confirmed by his daughter Jennifer. Details were not immediately available.

McGrath, a lanky left-wing fan, was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1988 and the United States Bowls Hall of Fame in 1993 after a career that included a back-to-back PBA National Championships. in 1969 and 1970, when he was the main winner of the tour. He recorded another major victory when he defeated fellow Hall of Famer Earl Anthony, 234-222, to become the first left-back to win the 1973 U.S. Open at Madison Square Garden in New York.

McGrath completed his career with 10 Tour titles and $ 238,305 in earnings. During the PBA’s 50th anniversary gala in 2009, he ranked 39th on the list of PBA’s top 50 players.

“Anyone who won 10 titles in that time had some ability,” said Dick Ritger at PBA Hall of Famer about McGrath’s selection to the top 50 list. “He was one of three or four left with Bill Allen, Dave Davis and Earl Anthony. ”

“Today I lost one of my best friends, said a close friend and famous colleague Barry Asher. “Mike McGrath has passed.”

“For those who didn’t know and understood it, you missed something special. He was a Hall of Fame bowler as we all know. But in his life he was a Hall of Fame man, a friend and especially a father. I miss it while I breathe. ”

Details of memorial services will be published as they become available.

The PBA has also learned of the Sunday death of PBA pioneer Bill Lillard, one of the group’s 33 founding members in 1958. He was a member of St. Louis’ famous Budweisers, among other well-known “beer teams” in the 1950s, Lillard won his only PBA Tour title in High Miller Open 1966. The Houston native would have celebrated his 90th birthday in October.

Lillard excelled in the USBC Open where he won eight titles and set the full-time drop list with 124,087 pins in his lifetime. Lillard was also the owner of Bowl on Bellaire, the venue that hosted the PBA-PWBA Xtra Frame Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles event for several years before selling the venue last year.

USBC ON BILL LILLARD LOSSES
By Matt Cannizzaro

ARLINGTON, Texas – Bill Lillard Sr. died. of Houston, Hall of Famer at U.S. Bowls Congress and fallout director of the USBC Open, Sunday after a battle with Leukemia. He was 89.

Lillard, who was selected to the USBC Hall of Fame in 1972, was an eight-time Open Champion, earning his first team and All-Events Team titles as a member of Detroit’s Pfeiffer Beer team in 1955.

The following year, he became the first of three bowlers in tournament history to claim four titles in the same year. Bowling with the Falstaffs team, he captured team titles and the All-Events Team, paired it with Stan Gifford to earn doubles and also took on individual events. He won the Classical Team in 1962 and 1971.

In 2015, in the 68th consecutive season, he became a fall-back director at the Open Championships when he passed the mark set by the late USBC Hall of Famer Joe Norris to San Diego.

Lillard, along with his wife, Dorothy, accounted for most of his appearances, with a total career loss of 124,087 at the Open Championships, an average of 196.

Lillard is one of 11 bowlers in 114 years of tournament history to reach 65 years of participation at the Open Championships. Norris, Bill Doehrman’s famous collaborator from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Sylvester Thiel from Lake City, Minnesota, top the list with 71 years.

Lillard was named Bowler of the Year by the Bowling Writers Association of America in 1956, and won Bowling Magazine recognition for the first All-American team in 1956 and 1957.

Lillard was a chartered member of the Professional Bowlers Association and claimed one title, the Miller High Life Open, in 1966. He was elected to the USBC Hall of Fame and Texas Hall of Fame in 1972, and the USBC Hall of Texas. Reputation in 1979.

In December 1999, Lillard No. 15 by Bowlers Journal International on the list of the 100 greatest archers of the 20th century.

Of his achievements, Lillard said he won all four titles in one year (1956) and later finished third in doubles with his son, Bill Jr., (Memphis, Tennessee, in 1981). ) as two of his main memories of Open Championships. Bill Jr. now has given 37 competitions credit.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

USBC LOST ME McGRATH
By Terry Bigham

ARLINGTON, Texas – Mike McGrath, a member of the United States Bowls Congress and Professional Bowling Association Hall of Fame, died Sunday in California at the age of 71. Details were not available.

McGrath was born on May 13, 1946, in Berkeley, California, and entered the bowling scene at the age of 19 when he won the 1965 Portland PBA Open Championship in his first professional record.

The left wins 10 PBA Tour titles and was ranked 39th on the 2009 list of the top 50 players in PBA History.

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

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

He joined left-backs 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-back to win the U.S. Open when he defeated Dick Ritger, Hall of Famers, Dave Davis, and, in the title game, Earl Anthony, Madison. Square Garden in New York.

Remembrance services are pending.