Hall of Famer Norm Duke Leads Field into PBA Bear Open Finals

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

Duke.Norm_AS_2015BearOpen(9)PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., in pursuit of his 39th PBA Tour title, heads the field for the finals of the PBA Bear Open which will air on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, June 2, at 9 p.m. ET.

Duke took sole possession of third place on the list of all-time PBA Tour title winners after teaming up with Wes Malott to win the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship earlier in the year. He earned the top berth in the five-man Bear Open stepladder finals by averaging 225 for 12 games on the demanding U.S. Open-style 40-foot flat lane condition to top five-time PBA Tour title-winner Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., by 45 pins.

Qualifying third was Australian two-handed star Jason Belmonte. Belmonte will meet the winner of the opening match between No. 4 Tommy Jones, a 15-time PBA Tour titlist from Simpsonville, S.C., and No. 5 qualifier Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y.

The Bear Open is the second of five events that compose Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing. Qualifying rounds were conducted at nearby FireLake Bowling Center. The CBS Sports Network finals were held on specially-installed lanes in the Grand Casino Event Center. The Bear Open winner will join Wolf Open champ Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., in the five-man Oklahoma’s Grand Casino King of the Swing special event that will conclude the summer series.

Duke, 51, is now competing on the PBA50 Tour as well as the PBA Tour. Last year, in his first season as a “senior” player, Duke earned both PBA50 Player and Rookie of the Year honors.

O’Neill also qualified No. 2 for the Wolf Open (where he finished third, losing a 202-188 decision to eventual winner Troup) and No. 1 for the Oklahoma Open finals. In 2014, he won the Badger Open and Oklahoma’s Grand Casino King of the Swing events at the Grand Casino Event Center.

Belmonte is trying for his third consecutive PBA Player of the Year honor in 2015. He also is seeking his 13th career title after winning a third straight USBC Masters title and a second straight Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions title earlier in the season. Belmonte’s won-lost record on television, 37-17, is No. 1 among all active PBA players.

Jones’ 39-22 record on television ranks second behind Belmonte among active players. He will be trying for his first title on U.S. soil since winning the 2008 GEICO Classic in West Babylon, N.Y. He has made 14 television appearances in the U.S. since then with two second-place finishes, including a runner-up finish in the 2014 Bear Open.

Angelo, 45, is a two-time PBA Tour titlist whose most recent title was the 2012 Viper Championship during PBA World Series of Bowling IV. The 2002-03 PBA Rookie of the Year won his first title in the 2008 Viper Championship.

CBS Sports Network coverage of Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing will continue on three consecutive Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET with the finals of the PBA Badger Open on June 9, the Oklahoma Open on June 16 and the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino King of the Swing on June 23.

CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.

Xtra Frame, the PBA’s on-line video subscription service, will feature a preview show for the PBA Bear Open on Friday, May 29, and a post-game show immediately following the conclusion of the CBS Sports Network telecast on June 2. PBA fans can find additional coverage of Summer Swing action through the PBA Network which includes archived coverage of all preliminary rounds on Xtra Frame, player interactions through Facebook and Twitter, mobile gaming, original programming, archived events and immediate news updates 24/7 on varying communications devices anywhere in the world. For additional PBA Network information, visit http://www.pba.com/PBANetwork.

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