Defending Champ Duke Charges Into Senior U.S. Open Lead

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

Jerry Schneider
Professional Bowlers Association

DukeUSDefending champion Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., posted a 14-2 match play record and averaged 218.8 after the fifth round to charge into the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm lead Thursday at the Suncoast Bowling Center.

The reigning PBA50 Player of the Year’s performance in match play vaulted him into the lead after qualifying 17th. He finished the day with a 245-237 win over qualifying leader Jack Jurek of Lackawanna, N.Y., in the position round match to take the top spot with a 7,674 34-game overall pinfall total (including match play bonus pins) 67 pins ahead of Jurek in second with 7,607.

“The key in qualifying is to not shoot yourself in the foot and bowl your way out of the tournament,” said the Hall of Famer who owns 38 PBA Tour titles. “It’s hard to navigate qualifying in this tournament because of all the different types of players and styles out there. You don’t necessarily have to be the leader.”

Duke led a field of 24 players who advanced to Friday’s final two eight-game match play rounds that will determine the top four players for the stepladder finals at 4 p.m. PT.

Duke is trying to become the second consecutive player to win back-to-back Senior U.S. Open titles after Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli accomplished the feat in 2012 and 2013. Duke is also trying for his first PBA50 Tour win of the season and third of his career.

“The 30 (match play) bonus points are just huge,” Duke said. “When you’re thinking just get through qualifying, it’s almost the opposite in match play where you want to continuously apply the pressure.

If you lose it mentally in any U.S. Open, whether it be on the regular tour or the PBA50 Tour, you will pay the maximum price.”

Duke won last year’s Senior U.S. Open by defeating fellow Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., 214-174, in the title match at the Suncoast to become the first player to win Senior U.S. Open titles on both the PBA and PBA50 Tours.

Jurek, who is trying for his second PBA50 Tour title of the season and third of his career, also had a productive day in match play but couldn’t hold off the hard-charging Duke.

“I’m hanging in there,” said Jurek, who also owns two PBA Tour titles. “I won my share of matches today but didn’t shoot many big games.”

Rounding out the top five after Thursday’s fifth round were five-time PBA Tour winner Eric Forkel of Henderson, Nev., 7,580; Weber, 7,562, and two-time PBA50 Tour winner Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pa., 7,506.

Monacelli, who ended the day sixth with a 7,503 pinfall, is trying to become the first Senior U.S. Open three-time winner.

Fans can catch Senior U.S. Open final day action on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame. For subscription information visit http://www.xtraframe.tv/pba/

SUNCOAST PBA SENIOR U.S. OPEN PRESENTED BY STORM

Suncoast Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Thursday

Fifth Round Results (34-game pinfall totals with bonus pins and match play record. Top 24 advance to Friday’s sixth round)

1, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 14-2, 7,674.
2, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 10-6, 7,607.
3, Eric Forkel, Henderson, Nev., 13-3, 7,580.
4, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 10-6, 7,562.
5, Bob Learn Jr., Erie, Pa., 12-4, 7,506.
6, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 10-6, 7,503.
7, Rick Steelsmith, Wichita, Kan., 9-7, 7,473.
8, Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 9-7, 7,461.
9, Warren Nelson, Middleburg, Fla., 12-4, 7,439.
10, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 11-4-1, 7,407.
11, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 9-7, 7,405.
12, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 7-8-1, 7,330.
13, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 9-7, 7,260.
14, Hugh Miller, Mercer Island, Wash., 8-8, 7,216.
15, a-Skip Wolfe, Dixon, Ill., 8-7-1, 7,197.
16, a-Bo Goergen, Sanford, Mich., 9-7, 7,195.
17, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 12-4, 7,134.
18, Robert Spaulding, McKinney, Texas, 9-7, 7,126.
19, (tie) John Burkett, Southlake, Texas, 7-8-1, and Thomas Ream, Tampa, Fla., 8-7-1, 7,111.
21, Lennie Boresch Jr., Kenosha, Wis., 7-9, 7,089.
22, Noel Vazquez, Sacramento, Calif., 6-10, 7,071.
23, Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 6-10, 7,060.
24, Robert Lawrence, Austin, Texas, 8-8, 7,047.

Failed to advance:
25, Daniel Miyamoto, Mililani, Hawaii, 8-8, 7,045, $1,425.
26, Roger Kossert, Lithia, Fla., 9-7, 7,044, $1,400.
27, Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 10-6, 7,037, $1,375.
28, a-Billy Langford, Lone Grove, Okla., 9-7, 7,027, $1,350.
29, a-Jimmie Pritts Jr., Mathuen, Mass., 8-8, 7,013, $1,325.
30, Craig Miller, Tracy, Calif., 8-8, 7,005, $1,300.
31, Robert Brown, Cody, Wyo., 4-11-1, 6,988, $1,275.
32, Ty Dawson, Sunnyvale, Calif., 7-9, 6,987, $1,250.
33, Sammy Ventura, Syracuse, N.Y., 5-10-1, 6,984, $1,225.
34, Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 6-10, 6,981, $1,200.
35, Jim Murtishaw, Menifee, Calif., 7-9, 6,980, $1,180.
36, Joe Goldstein Sr., San Bruno, Calif., 8-8, 6,977, $1,170.
37, Jim Gordin, Modesto, Calif., 7-9, 6,971, $1,160.
38, John Dudak, Orland Park, Ill., 7-9, 6,944, $1,150.
39, Rob Rice, Sunnyside, Wash., 5-11, 6,943, $1,140.
40, Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 7-9, 6,935, $1,130.
41, Ron Winger, Las Vegas, 8-8, 6,888, $1,120.
42, Randy Peterson, Carrington, N.D., 6-10, 6,883, $1,110.
43, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 4-12, 6,877, $1,100.
44, a-Alvin Lou, El Cajon, Calif., 4-12, 6,842, $1,095.
45, a-Mike Taylor, Havertown, PA, 3-13, 6,838, $1,090.
46, Tommy Martin, Olive Branch, Miss., 7-9, 6,837, $1,085.
47, Kent Wagner, Bradenton, Fla., 5-11, 6,730, $1,080.
48, Mike Kanada, Camarillo, Calif., 5-10-1, 6,699, $1,075.

DV8 Warrant