PENNSYLVANIA BOWLER CELEBRATES MILESTONE, BIRTHDAY AT 2017 USBC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

By Matt Cannizzaro and Brian Hirsch
USBC Communications
LAS VEGAS -Harry McCoy of Ambridge, Pennsylvania, had plenty of reasons to celebrate this week at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, where he reached two milestones with his wife by his side.Since making his 49th tournament appearance in 2016, McCoy endured numerous health issues that left him unsure if he’d make it to the South Point Bowling Plaza this week for his entry into the event’s 50-Year Club, but he persevered to complete his five-decade journey into the record book.Not even a knee replacement, quadruple bypass heart surgery and a collapsed lung could stop McCoy from logging his 50th USBC Open Championships appearance, and his milestone march to the lanes Monday came one day before his 80th birthday.

“The doctors told my wife I wouldn’t make it six months, but I fooled them, and I got here,” said McCoy, who received a plaque, chevron and diamond lapel pin to commemorate the milestone. “My health is getting better, but like the doctor said, it will be a slow process, and I started to feel it in the last game of team.”

McCoy’s career on the lanes actually started a little differently than most.

He was a longtime duckpin bowler from the late 1940s until the 1960s, and he averaged in the 180s. He then moved from duckpins to tenpin bowling, before making his Open Championships debut at the 1963 event in Buffalo, New York.

Now, he’s earned a spot in the event’s storied history.

“I got a little choked up as I was walking down to the lanes.” McCoy said. “It was nice, but I couldn’t see where I was going. I was glad that my wife was there to guide me as I held her hand. My dream bug Marlene has held me up for over 50 years. If it wasn’t for her, I never would have made it.”

Las Vegas is a very special place for the McCoys, who had their honeymoon in the Entertainment Capital of the World and now have been married for 52 years.

As the middle child of 12 brothers and sisters, McCoy learned to be humble and appreciative of the things he has and just enjoy life.

“I am not a greedy man, and now that I have reached 50 years, I am going to take them one year at a time,” said McCoy, who only bowled in the team event this year at the Bowling Plaza.

In 50 years on the championship lanes, McCoy has knocked down 74,574 pin for a lifetime average of 177.5.

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