At 54 years of age Norm Duke has showed the world that age isn’t a barrier to winning after defeating Australian and World number one, Jason Belmonte at the PBA Indianapolis Open, this morning 237-219
For Belmonte, who entered the finals as the top qualifier and for a record-tying third consecutive tournament, it was only one match against Duke at Woodland Bowl, which would stand in the way of a 20th PBA title for the two hander.
In the live TV final, Duke opened with strikes in the first three frames to earn a slight early lead. The fourth frame proved crucial for the Florida bowler. His first ball left the 4-9 pins standing. Duke, however, converted it, then rolled strikes in the fifth, sixth and seventh frames to take control.
Belmonte stayed in the match over the final frames and needed to strike out in the 10th to keep the pressure on. On the first roll of frame 10, however, the TBA ambassador left the 3 and 10 pins. All Duke needed in the 10th were seven pins, and he knocked down eight on the first ball to clinch the match.
The win was Duke’s 39th PBA tour title and first PBA singles title since winning the 2012 PBA Dick Weber Playoffs also at Woodland Bowl. Duke won his first PBA title in the 1983 Cleveland Open at 18 years and 345 days.
Following the match and a spectacular few weeks, Belmonte paid tribute to Duke.
“Today I watched my idol bowl the most impressive game at me. I tried my best to keep up, a few stubborn corner pins and a ball that saw some friction earlier than I thought ended my chances.”
“Congratulations Norman, you’re a treasure to the game and still my idol,” Belmonte added.
Australia’s Sam Cooley finished the tournament in 67th place in the 120 strong field, averaging 204.33.
The Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s next event will be the PBA Jonesboro Open with qualifying beginning on Wednesday local time.
GO BOWLING! PBA INDIANAPOLIS OPEN
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis
1, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., $30,000.
2, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $15,000.
3, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, $10,000.
4, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., $8,000.
5, Rhino Page, Orlando, $7,000.
Match One: Malott def. Page, 242-192.
Match Two: Malott def. Daugherty, 174-170.
Semi-final: Duke def. Malott, 214-195.
Championship: Duke def. Belmonte, 237-219.