PBA Spare Shots: Norm Duke Earns 5,000 Points, Moves into Sixth Place in Race to PBA Playoffs

by Bill Vint  |  Thursday, February 28, 9:26 AM

PBA Spare Shots: Norm Duke Earns 5,000 Points, Moves into Sixth Place in Race to PBA Playoffs

By earning 5,000 points for his win Sunday in the Tier 2 Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open, Norm Duke advanced from 34th to sixth place in the race to qualify among the top 24 for the inaugural PBA Playoffs.

Indianapolis runner-up Jason Belmonte continued to expand his lead in the 2019 PBA Playoffs points race with 18,550 points, nearly 7,000 points ahead of EJ Tackett. The top eight, with their points totals (and last week’s ranking in parenthesis) are:

1, Jason Belmonte, 18,550 (1); 2, EJ Tackett, 11,590 (2); 3, Sean Rash, 11,210 (3); 4, Jakob Butturff, 10,285 (5); 5, Anthony Simonsen, 10,200 (4); 6, Norm Duke, 8,565 (34); 7, Wes Malott, 8,170 (12); 8, Kyle Troup, 8,150 (6). Marshall Kent retained ninth place with 8,105 points.

The race for the 24th-and-final berth in the PBA Playoffs currently involves Anthony Lavery-Spahr in 24th place with 5,020 points followed by Nick Pate (4,660) and Tom Smallwood (4,620).

Under the new Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition points structure in play this season, a win in a Tier 1 (major championship) event is worth 7,500 points, a Tier 2 (standard PBA Tour tournament) title is worth 5,000 points and a Tier 3 (limited entry and/or modified format tournament) title is worth 2,500 points. There are only five events remaining on the PBA Playoffs schedule after Jonesboro: the Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion Champions (all Tier 3 events) and the PBA World Championship (a Tier 1 event) during the PBA World Series of Bowling X, March 11-21, and the USBC Masters (a Tier 1 event) in Las Vegas, March 26-April 1.

Players finishing in the top eight after the USBC Masters ends on April 1 will earn a first-round bye in the PBA Playoffs. Players finishing in the top 24 qualify for a berth in the Playoffs; finishing in the top 40 is required for eligibility to enter the 2019 PBA League Draft. To follow the points competition as the season progresses, use this link: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=1.

The PBA Playoffs begin on Monday, April 8, with live coverage of the opening Round of 24 matches on FS1 at 7 p.m. EDT from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

NORM DUKE MOVES UP ON PBA TELEVISION STATS LISTS

With his two match wins in the FS1-televised finals of Sunday’s Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open finals, Norm Duke became the third player in PBA history to record 100 wins in nationally-televised matches. Duke now has 101 wins, trailing Walter Ray Williams Jr.’s 154 and Pete Weber’s 120.

Duke also broke a tie with Parker Bohn III to take sole possession of third place on the television appearances lists with 116. Williams again is the leader with 177 and Weber is second with 137.

Duke also moved into third place in the career television average list for players with at least 10 TV appearances. Duke’s TV average for 116 appearances is 228.97. Ryan Ciminelli is the leader with a 232.05 average for his 19 TV appearances while Roger Bowker is second, averaging 229.17 for his 16 career TV shows.

JASON BELMONTE ON THE BRINK OF JOINING ELITE PBA TOUR 20 TITLES CLUB

With his next Go Bowling! PBA Tour victory, Australia’s Jason Belmonte will become the 15th player in PBA history to win 20 PBA Tour titles. Belmonte will join PBA Hall of Famers Dick Ritger, Wayne Webb and Amleto Monacelli on the 20 titles list.

Belmonte, 35, joined the PBA in 2008 and won his first PBA Tour title in the 2009 Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic, leading to his selection as Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year for the 2008-09 season. He became title-eligible for PBA Hall of Fame consideration when he won the first of his four USBC Masters titles in 2013, but he won’t be eligible for election until the Class of 2028 when he completes his 20th year of PBA membership.

In the meantime, Belmonte continues to add impressive accomplishments to his portfolio. Most recently:

• He qualified No. 1 in all three Go Bowling! PBA Tour events in February: the PBA Tournament of Champions (which he won); the PBA Players Championship (where he finished second) and the Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open (where he also finished second).

Belmonte, Marshall Kent and Wes Malott were the only players who qualified for match play rounds in all three of those events. All three bowled 126 games in those three events. Belmonte’s pinfall total, including match play bonus pins, was 30,407. Kent had 28,979 (1,428 behind Belmo) and Malott had a 28,500 total (1,907 behind the Australian star).

Belmonte’s actual average for those three events was 229.65, almost 10 pins ahead of Kent (219.77) and more than 11 pins ahead of Malott (218.21).

Because Belmonte bypassed the Jonesboro Open in order to spend a week at home in Australia with his family before the PBA World Series of Bowling X, he’ll not be able to break his record-tying streak of being top qualifier for three consecutive television finals.

PBA PLAYERS HAVE ONE MORE SHOT AT $1 MILLION 300 GAME BONUS

The $1 million bonus offered for a 300 game bowled in the title match of four select Go Bowling! PBA Tour events thus far in 2019 has gone unclaimed, but players will have one more chance: in the PBA World Championship telecast on Thursday, March 21, at 8 p.m. EDT on FS1.

And because no one has bowled a perfect game in any nationally-televised PBA Tour finals this season, the new Go Bowling Free America promotion also is still unredeemed. The Go Bowling Free America offer will kick in if any player bowls a nationally-televised 300 game, but fans must pre-register at www.gobowling.com/BowlFreeAmerica to be eligible to download a free game of bowling coupon.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: KOELTZOW WINS FIRST PBA REGIONAL TITLE IN LAS VEGAS

Non-PBA members Bryanna Cote of Red Rock, Ariz. and Bryan VanSickle of Tucson, Ariz. teamed up to win Sunday’s South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles title at South Point Bowling Plaza after Kris Koeltzow of Wheat Ridge, Colo., won his first PBA Regional title in the South Point West Challenge portion of the PBA West Region doubleheader on Friday.

In the preliminary singles event, Koeltzow defeated Cerell Cardines of Las Vegas, 265-237, to earn the $1,800 first prize. In the semifinal round, Koeltzow defeated VanSickle, 214-203, while Cardines eliminated Steve Kloempken of Pleasant View, Utah, 235-204, to set up the championship match. All but Koeltzow were non-members.

In Sunday’s title match, Cote and VanSickle defeated Kloempken and David Haynes of Las Vegas, 485-472, to claim the $4,000 first prize.

Cote and VanSickle advanced to the title match by eliminating non-member Kendle Miles of Daytona Beach, Fla. and Raymond Lussier of San Jose, Calif., 455-371, while Kloempken and Haynes ousted non-members Steve Smith of San Diego, Calif. and Frank Barefoot Jr. of Las Vegas. 506-463, in the other semifinal match. Kloempken and Haynes split $2,000 for second place.

• Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio defeated William Peters, also from Dayton, by 163 pins to win the PBA50 Plaza Lanes Central/Midwest Open at Plaza Lanes in Crawfordsville, Ind., Sunday.

Kretzer finished with an 11-1 match play record and a total of 5,174 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins, to win his second PBA50 title of the year in the PBA Central Region and his 11th career PBA50 Regional title. He also earned $1,500.

The March schedule of PBA Regionals begins over the March 1-3 weekend with the PBA50 Strike Zone Central Classic presented by Radical at Strike Zone Lanes in Canton, Ohio; the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Championship presented by DV8 at Gold Country Lanes in Sutter Creek, Calif., and the Aikyo House Cup-Chris Paul Japan Open at Aikyo Bowl in Chiba, Japan.

PBA’s March 8-10 regional tournament schedule includes the PBA50 Fayetteville South Open at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C., and the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open presented by Radical in Virden, Ill.

There are no tournaments on the March 15-17 calendar, but activity resumes over the March 22-24 weekend with the PBA50 Rossi Lanes East Open in Elmira, N.Y.; the Hubbard Central Open presented by Brunswick at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio; the PBA50 Allstate Monte Skeets Midwest/Central Open presented by Ebonite at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill.; the PBA50 Ultra Star Multi-Tainment Center South Open at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Cherokee, N.C., and the Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open presented by DV8 in Grants Pass, Ore.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple and Android device users using the PBA app).

QUICK NOTES:

• The PBA got some quality news media coverage over the past week from some unusual sources. Here are links to the following. Fans can review additional coverages of the PBA by clicking on “In The News” on the PBA.com home page:

Forbes, Tim Casey: https://www.forbes.com/sites/timcasey/2019/02/27/how-nba-star-chris-pauls-love-of-bowling-helped-the-pba-reach-a-new-audience/#620c77c21aeb;

Washington Post, Norman Chad: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/america-embrace-jason-belmonte-with-two-hands/2019/02/24/38587654-36fb-11e9-af5b-b51b7ff322e9_story.html?utm_term=.abc5b10f3944;

Daily Racing Form, Derick Giwner: https://classic.drf.com/news/harness-rolling-sport-future?fbclid=IwAR3mPXtKxH-AekdomDH-2dh5HvohhckNdlBCYXYDpvPeP4gP5GRRb5wiBkU.

• Ranking in the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition points race will be part of the consideration in the 2019 Bowl4life PBA Rookie Watch because the 2019 PBA Rookie of the Year will receive a $2,500 bonus from Chuck Gardner’s Bowl4Life Foundation and the foundation will donate an additional $2,500 to a youth bowler scholarship in the ROY’s name. After the Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open, the three top rookies on the PBA Playoffs points list remain unchanged: Jake Rollins of Glen Rock, N.J.; AJ Rice of Salem, Ala., and Patrick Hanrahan of Wichita, Kan.

• This week’s unofficial FloBowling PBA Power Rankings top 10 following the Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open includes: Jason Belmonte (retaining his No. 1 ranking from the previous two weeks); 2, EJ Tackett (2); 3, Jakob Butturff (4); 4, Sean Rash (3); 5, Dom Barrett (5); 6, Rhino Page (9); 7, Jesper Svensson (6); 8, Kyle Troup (7); 9, Wes Malott (14): 10, Tom Daugherty (12). Visit FloBowling.com for a complete list along with Flo’s rationale for its rankings.

• PBA50 Tour competitor Bob Learn Jr., a five-time PBA Tour titlist, three-time PBA50 Tour winner, and head bowling coach at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn., has been named Mid-South Conference Brandon Burns Coach of the Year for the 2018-19 season. The school also has announced that PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli has joined Learn’s staff as assistant coach.