Duke Earns Top Berth for PBA Bear Open Finals

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

Duke.Norm_AS_2015PlayersChampionship(2)-1Bowling in his 33rd year of Professional Bowlers Association competition, PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., averaged 225.3 Tuesday to earn the top qualifying berth for the stepladder finals of the PBA Bear Open at FireLake Bowling Center.

Duke, who ranks third on the all-time PBA Tour win list with 38 titles, earned the top spot with a 2,704 12-game pinfall total bowling games of 198, 280, 234, 232, 212 and 215 in Tuesday evening’s final qualifying round.

“Obviously the power players got there this year which forces me to put more on the ball than I’m used to,” said the 51-year-old Duke. “To be competitive with these guys it’s a work in progress.

“I’m as confident as I’ve always been but I have to call on all the experience I have and even more to stay in the game,” he added. “I’m definitely going to have to rise to the occasion if I’m going to get No. 39.”

Duke is one of a handful of players who competes on both the PBA Tour and the PBA50 Tour for players 50 and over. In 2014, the two-time PBA Player of the Year earned both PBA50 Player and Rookie of the Year honors.

Qualifying second for his second consecutive stepladder final in the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing, five-time PBA Tour champion Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., earned the No. 2 berth finishing 45 pins behind Duke with a 2,659 pinfall total. O’Neill also earned the No. 2 spot for the Wolf Open on Monday.

One day after a 56th-place finish in the Wolf Open, two-time reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia bounced back Tuesday to earn the No. 3 qualifying berth for the Bear Open finals finishing with a 2,651 pinfall.

Heading into the Summer Swing, Belmonte is the front-runner for a third consecutive PBA Player of the Year title, thanks to wins in the season’s first two majors, the United States Bowling Congress Masters and Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions.

Also qualifying for his second consecutive stepladder final was 15-time Tour winner Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., completing qualifying with a 2,642 pinfall. Jones qualified fifth for the Wolf Open stepladder.

Earning the fifth and final spot for the finals with a 2,609 pinfall total was Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., who will be trying for his third PBA Tour title.

The Bear Open is the second of five events that compose Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing. All five events (Wolf, Bear, Badger and Oklahoma Opens plus the Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing) will be televised by CBS Sports Network on consecutive Tuesday nights beginning with the Wolf Open on May 26 at 8 p.m. ET. The Bear Open finals will be taped Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT at the Grand Hotel Casino & Resort Event Center and will air June 2 at 9 p.m. ET.

The Summer Swing continues Wednesday with the PBA Badger Open on a 52-foot lane condition. Squad A will bowl six qualifying games at 8 a.m. and Squad B will bowl at 2 p.m. The top 18 players will bowl an additional six-game qualifying round at 7:30 p.m. to determine the Badger Open stepladder finalists.

The first six games on each of the three animal patterns will determine the 18 players who will advance to the Oklahoma Open match play rounds on Thursday. The King of the Swing field will consist of the Wolf, Bear, Badger and Oklahoma Open winners plus the highest player in points without winning one of the four events.

All preliminary rounds of the PBA Wolf, Bear and Badger Opens, plus match play rounds of the Oklahoma Open are being covered live on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.


FireLake Bowling Center, Shawnee, Okla., Tuesday

Final Qualifying Standings (after 12 games; top five advance to stepladder finals at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday at the Grand Hotel Casino & Resort Event Center in Shawnee)

1, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 2,704.
2, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2,659.
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 2,651.
4, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,642.
5, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 2,609.
6, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,604, $2,000.
7, Patrick Girard, Canada, 2,569, $1,800.
8, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 2,563, $1,600.
9, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 2,548, $1,400.
10, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 2,498, $1,300.
11, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 2,480, $1,200.
12, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 2,471, $1,100.
13, Tyler Jensen, Ft. Worth, Texas, 2,457, $1,000.
14, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 2,444, $900.
15, Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C., 2,443, $800.
16, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 2,439, $700.
17, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 2,430, $600.
18, J.R. Raymond, Bay City, Mich., 2,415, $500.

Failed to advance after six games:

19, (tie) Dom Barrett, England, and Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 1,293.
21, John Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y., 1,292.
22, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 1,283.
23, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 1,281.
24, (tie) D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, and Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 1,280.
26, Randy Weiss, Columbia, S.C., 1,279.
27, Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio, 1,277.
28, (tie) Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., and Kris Koeltzow, Wheat Ridge, Colo., 1,276.
30, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 1,274.
31, (tie) Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., and Jason Sterner, Covington, Ga., 1,268.
33, (tie) Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, and John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y., 1,261.
36, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 1,257.
37, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 1,256.
38, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 1,252.
39, Stuart Williams, England, 1,247.
40, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,245.
41, Robert Smith, Ventura, Calif., 1,243.
42, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 1,241.
43, Kevin Andes, Somerset, Mass., 1,240.
44, Craig LeMond, Jasper, Ind., 1,239.
45, (tie) Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., and Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 1,238.
47, John Burkett, Southlake, Texas, 1,237.
48, Christopher Colella, Templeton, Mass., 1,235.
49, Tim Gillick, Milford, Conn., 1,231.
50, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 1,229.
51, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 1,227.
52, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 1,226.
53, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 1,225.
54, Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, 1,223.
55, (tie) Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., and Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 1,216.
57, Mike Fagan, Ft. Worth, Texas, 1,213.
58, (tie) Arturo Quintero, Mexico, and Brad Miller, St. Charles, Mo., 1,211.
60, (tie) Patrick Allen, Mount Kisco, N.Y., and Ronnie Sparks Jr., Ecorse, Mich., 1,207.
62, Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio, 1,204.
63, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 1,202.
64, (tie) Gabriel Yanes, Shertz, Texas, and Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 1,199.
66, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 1,198.
67, (tie) Thomas Larsen, Denmark, and Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 1,197.
69, a-Perry Hall Jr., Oklahoma City, 1,192.
70, Clint Land, Houston, 1,190.
71, John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 1,187.
72, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 1,185.
73, Terrance Bright, Atlanta, 1,184.
74, Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 1,183.
75, Dale Coleman, High Springs, Fla., 1,179.
76, Blake Demore, Springfield, Mo., 1,178.
77, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 1,176.
78, Mike DeVaney, Winchester, Calif., 1,173.
79, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 1,171.
80, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 1,166.
81, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 1,165.
82, Brett Cooper, Denver, 1,164.
83, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 1,161.
84, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 1,159.
85, (tie) Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., and Miguel Lopez, Wichita, Kan., 1,158.
87, Michael DeVore II, Oak Ridge, Tenn., 1,153.
88, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 1,148.
89, Lee Vanderhoef, Canton, Ga., 1,144.
90, Aaron Lorincz, Saginaw, Mich., 1,143.
91, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,142.
92, (tie) Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., and Dirk Gibson, Little Rock, Ark., 1,133.
95, Humberto Vazquez, Mexico, 1,132.
96, Julio Cesar Blancas, Mexico, 1,129.
97, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 1,118.
98, a-Trey Ford III, Bartlesville, Okla., 1,117.
99, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 1,110.
100, Joe Findling, Mesquite, Texas, 1,109.
101, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., 1,107.
102, Dan Buchman, Maple Shade, N.J., 1,106.
103, Matt Bollhalter, Niceville, Fla., 1,104.
104, Austin Hunt, Kennewick, Wash., 1,099.
105, Corey Bottos, Houston, 1,095.
106, Mason Edmondson, Amarillo, Texas, 1,093.
107, Zachary Dwyer, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., 1,085.
108, Cory Gilbert, Dickson, Tenn., 1,082.
109, (tie) Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., and a-Bryant Ezell, Fayetteville, Ark., 1,075.
111, Kenneth Bland Jr., Chibolo, Texas, 1,071.
112, a-A.J. Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 1,061.
113, Nicholas Johnsen, Rosenberg, Texas, 1,053.
114, Justin Morris, McLoud, Okla., 1,052.
115, Sheldon Oliver, Oklahoma City, Okla., 1,042.
116, Chris Skillings, Shawnee, Okla., 1,023.
117, Daniel Hochstein, Farmington Hills, Mich., 1,011.
118, a-Floyd Speck, Marshalltown, Iowa, 996.
119, Jeff Hatt, Oklahoma City, 993.
120, Robert McBride, Dallas, 969.

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