Big Final Game Gives Hall of Famer Norm Duke the Lead Heading into Match Play in PBA Jonesboro Open

by Bill Vint  |  Thursday, February 28, 12:13 PM

Big Final Game Gives Hall of Famer Norm Duke the Lead Heading into Match Play in PBA Jonesboro Open

JONESBORO, Ark. – PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke, making a bid for his 40th PBA Tour title, tracked down Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill., and finally took the lead by 12 pins with a 266 final game Thursday in the PBA Jonesboro Open at Hijinx Family Entertainment Center.

Duke, who is closing in on his 55th birthday, can become the third player in Professional Bowlers Association history to win 40 titles if he can win Sunday. He won his 39th title last Sunday in the Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open. Walter Ray Williams Jr. (47) and Earl Anthony (43) are the only PBA players ever to win 40 titles.

“I’ve never thought about 40 titles, ever,” the Clermont, Fla., resident said, “but I guess that would be a milestone. In my mind, the next milestone would be catching Earl Anthony, and the only reason I’m close to him is my longevity. I’ve been bowling for 37 years. Earl bowled for what? Fourteen, fifteen years? I’m on borrowed time, but just to be mentioned with those guys is amazing.”

Duke, as he did in Indianapolis, managed the dual lane condition challenge like a hall of famer.

“On the dual pattern situation, you look across the center and see 150, 160 games everywhere,” he said. “You can get a good game if you get a good start, but for the most part, it’s seven games of managing safely and trying to find something. To get done with the round and see myself in the lead, man, that’s something.”

Prather, who is trying for his first Go Bowling! PBA Tour title in his fifth year as a PBA member, bowled a consistent, trouble-free round, taking the lead earlier in the day by two pins over Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz.

Duke finished with a 14-game total of 3,138 pins. Prather had 3,126. Rounding out the closely-packed top five heading into Friday’s match play finals are Butturff at 3,124, Shawn Maldonado of Houston, Texas, at 3,083 and EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Ind., with 3,054 pins.

Prather, who made six championship round appearances in 2018 including three third-place finishes, is trying for his first television appearance of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. He currently ranks 15th on the 2019 PBA Playoffs points list, but being a frequent contender is now driving him to step it up.

“Being close the past couple of years and not having won anything has really motivated me,” Prather said. “Missing the cut last week has really fired me up. I’m at a point in my career where I feel like I shouldn’t be missing cuts. I should get a check every week and, if not, it’s infuriating.”

Prather said he intends to turn that frustration into aggression starting in tomorrow’s two rounds of match play.

“Being that close and getting that taste of victory in my mouth has really motivated me, so I’m just going to keep working hard,” he added. “I really haven’t had much success in match play, so tomorrow I’m going to be really a lot more aggressive than I have been in the past. Other than that, nothing’s really going to change.”

All rounds of the Jonesboro Open, a Tier 3 event in the 2019 PBA Playoffs points competition, are being contested on a mixed lane conditioning environment where the 45-foot Shark oiling pattern is applied to the left lane and the 36-foot Viper pattern to the right lane.

FloBowling will live-stream the two eight-game match play rounds Friday at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (visit FloBowling.com for subscription information). For results as they happen, visit Live Scoring on PBA.com.

The top five bowlers after 30 games advance to the Jonesboro finals that will air live on FS1 on Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern.

PBA JONESBORO OPEN

Hijinx Family Entertainment Center, Jonesboro, Ark., Thursday

Final Qualifying Standings (after 14 games; top 16 advance to match play Friday at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. EST)

1, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 3,138.
2, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 3,126.
3, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 3,124.
4, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 3,083.
5, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 3,054.
6, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 3,034.
7, Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.Va., 3,018.
8, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 3,017.
9, Richie Teece, England, 3,016.
10 (tie), Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., and, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 2,992.
12, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 2,988.
13 (tie), Mike Coffey, Melbourne, Fla., and Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 2,980.
15, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 2,966.
16, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 2,964.

Other Cashers (after 14 games):
17, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 2,963, $2,000.
18, Patrick Hanrahan, Wichita, Kan., 2,960, $1,800.
19, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 2,949, $1,700.
20, DJ Archer, Spring, Texas, 2,946, $1,600.

Failed to Advance (after 14 games):
21, Stuart Williams, England, 2,941.
22, Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, 2,934.
23 (tie), Dom Barrett, England, and Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 2,933.
25, Mitch Hupe, Canada, 2,932.
26, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 2,921.
27, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 2,915.
28, Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 2,914.
29, Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 2,912.
30, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 2,907.
31, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 2,904.
32 (tie), Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., and Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 2,901.
34, Rhino Page, Orlando, 2,899.
35, Darren Tang, Las Vegas, Nev., 2,896.
36, Jason Sterner, Fayetteville, Ga., 2,893.
37, Dick Allen, Lexington, S.C., 2,888.
38, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 2,883.
39, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 2,882.
40, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo., 2,877.
41, Zacharay Wilkins, Canada, 2,871.
42, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,862.
43, Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 2,861.
44, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 2,858.
45, Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, 2,853.
46 (tie), Osku Palermaa, Finland, and Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,852.
48, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 2,848.
49, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 2,842.
50, Gaetan Mouveroux, France, 2,833.
51, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 2,829.
52, Mykel Holliman, Collierville, Tenn., 2,827.
53, Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 2,819.
54, Zach Doty, Campbellsville, Ky., 2,816.
55, Andrew Suscreba, Clifton, N.J., 2,810.
56, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 2,803.
57, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 2,796.
58, Billy Rogers, Mesquite, Texas, 2,794.
59 (tie), Jim Pratt, Avondale, Ariz., and Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 2,776.
61, Kenneth Ryan, Farmingdale, NJ, 2,774.
62, Tim Foy Jr., Seaford, Del., 2,763.
63, Brandon Robertson, Venice, Fla., 2,760.
64, Sam Cooley, Australia, 2,749.
65, Jake Rollins, Glen Rock, N.J., 2,744.
66, Geoffrey Young, Roanoke, Texas, 2,742.
67, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 2,740.
68, Michael Tang, Johnstown, Ohio, 2,738.
69, Gary Faulkner Jr., Memphis, Tenn., 2,735.
70, Michael Davidson, Versailles, Ohio, 2,729.
71, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 2,727.
72, Eduardo Astiazaran, Mexico, 2,725.
73, Blake Demore, Springfield, Mo., 2,698.
74, Greg Ostrander, Brick, N.J., 2,678.
75, Greg Young, Viera, Fla., 2,657.
76, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 2,627.
77, David Krol, Nixa, Mo., 2,622.
78, Justin Wyman, Fairport, N.Y., 2,592.
79, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,559.
80, Elijah Felling, Norman, Okla., 2,520.
81, Andrew Marks, Conway, Ark., 2,504.
82, JT Jackson, Sherman Oaks, Calif., 2,308.
83, Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo.,, 1,180.