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Norm Duke Takes PBA Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open Second Round Qualifying Lead

North Brunswick, N.J. (April 1, 2009) – There is a lot at stake for Norm Duke at the 66th Professional Bowlers Association Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open–a major title defense and a shot at Player of the Year honors. The 44-year-old Hall of Famer demonstrated he’s up for the challenge by taking the second round qualifying lead Wednesday at Brunswick Zone Carolier.

With a 2,826 12-game overall pinfall (235.5 average) and averaging 243.5 in Wednesday’s six-game round, Duke holds a 141-pin lead over reigning PBA Player of the Year Chris Barnes in second who is a contender to repeat as Player of the Year.

“I’m ecstatic about how well I’ve been bowling to this point,” Duke said. “You’re not supposed to be able to shoot numbers like this at the U.S. Open.”

Duke, who is tied for fourth with Parker Bohn III for career PBA Tour titles with 32—six of those majors—took last week off from the Tour to prepare for the U.S. Open.

“For this tournament you need all your mental skills,” Duke said. “Taking last week off was part of my preparation and as a result I feel I’m as ready as I can be for this tournament.”

Duke and Barnes are the only two players who can challenge current front-runner Wes Malott for the Player of the Year title but would have to win for any chance for the honor. Malott is in 58th place after Wednesday’s qualifying round.

It’s nice to be in position for Player of the Year,” said Duke, who was Player of the Year in 1994 and 2000, “but after 27 years, I’ve only won one of these (U.S. Opens). It’s not easy, but I go into it thinking why not me?”

A testament to Duke’s prowess in majors was his win in the PBA World Championship that kicked off the 2008-09 season where he became the only bowler to win three consecutive majors. He is just one of two bowlers to win professional bowling’s Grand Slam (USBC Masters, Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open and World Championship) and one of just five players to win the Triple Crown (Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open and World Championship).

Dave Husted was the last bowler to win back-to-back U.S. Open titles in 1995 and 1996.

The entire field of 415 professional and amateur players will bowl another six-game qualifying round Thursday after which the field will be cut to the top 103 players for another nine-game round on Friday. The top 24 after 27 games will advance to round-robin match play which concludes on Saturday. The top five players will advance to the live, two-hour ESPN-televised stepladder finals on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

The U.S. Open winner will earn a $100,000 first prize, a three-year PBA Tour exemption and Grand Slam points which will impact players trying to qualify for the GEICO PBA Team Shootout hosted by Six Flags in June.

66th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open
Brunswick Zone Carolier, North Brunswick, N.J.

Round 2 Qualifying After 12 Games (Only top 99 shown)
1, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 2,826
2, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,685
3, Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif., 2,657
4, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 2,640
5, Matthew O'Grady, South Amboy, N.J., 2,633
6, Jeff Lizzi, Sandusky, Ohio, 2,612
7, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 2,598
8, Anthony LaCaze, Glen Ellyn, Ill., 2,590
9, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 2,586
10, Vinny D'Ambrosio III, Staten Island, N.Y., 2,581
11, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 2,573
12, Richard Wolfe, Vienna, Va., 2,564
13, Shawn McKee, Concord, N.C., 2,559
14, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 2,555
15, Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., 2,543
16, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio, 2,542
17, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 2,538
18, Mitch Beasley, Puyallup, Wash., 2,535
19, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 2,533
20, Paul Pinto, Philadelphia, 2,510
21, Troy Wollenbecker, Miami, 2,509
22, Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, 2,506
23, Mike Rose Jr., Rochester, N.Y., 2,502
23, Don Allen III, Vancouver, Wash., 2,502
25, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 2,500
25, Bobby Hall II, Landover, Md., 2,500
27, Chun Bae, Cedarhurst, N.Y., 2,494
28, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 2,491
29, James Wallace, Hicksville, N.Y., 2,488
29, George Lambert IV, Canada, 2,488
29, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 2,488
32, Rick Hara, Darien, Ill., 2,487
32, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 2,487
34, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 2,486
35, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 2,485
36, P.J. Sonday, Avoca, Pa., 2,484
37, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 2,482
38, Paul Gibson, Brunswick, Ohio, 2,476
39, Don Breeden, Clive, Iowa, 2,474
40, Kenneth Jessee, Huber Heights, Ohio, 2,472
41, Ron Nelson Jr., Bridgeview, Ill., 2,471
41, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 2,471
43, Jim Tomek Jr., Camp Hill, Pa., 2,462
44, Billy Oatman, Chicago, 2,460
44, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 2,460
46, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 2,459
47, P.J. Haggerty, Clovis, Calif., 2,458
48, Jason Weaver, Denver, Pa., 2,457
49, Rhino Page, Topeka, Kan., 2,455
49, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 2,455
51, Shannon Buchan, Waterloo, Iowa, 2,452
52, Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., 2,451
52, Chris Forry, Bridgeport, Conn., 2,451
54, John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 2,448
55, Jason Baker, Sharon Springs, N.Y., 2,446
56, Geoff Wetzler, Tolland, Conn., 2,444
57, Craig Tuholski, Washougal, Wash., 2,439
58, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,437
59, William Barlow, Edgewood, Md., 2,433
59, Derek Petty, Potomac Falls, Va., 2,433
61, Sean Riccardi, Piscataway, N.J., 2,432
62, Gean Perez, Puerto Rico, 2,431
63, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 2,430
64, Ken Simard, Greenville, S.C., 2,427
65, Peter Spreadbury, Oak Forest, Ill., 2,426
66, Jeff Morin, Hoptacong, N.J., 2,425
67, Brian LeClair, Athens, N.Y., 2,423
68, Tom Carter, Rockford, Ill., 2,420
69, Ryan Abel, Bel Aire, Kan., 2,418
69, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 2,418
71, Brian Voss, Kennesaw, Ga., 2,417
72, Chad Kloss, Greenfield, Wis., 2,414
73, Jim Thomas, Binghamton, N.Y., 2,409
73, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 2,409
73, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 2,409
73, Joe Conigliaro, Valley Stream, N.Y., 2,409
77, Nick Weber, St. Charles, Mo., 2,408
77, Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 2,408
79, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 2,407
80, Mike Long, High Point, N.C., 2,404
80, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2,404
80, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 2,404
83, Rusty Thomsen, Morgan, N.J., 2,395
84, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 2,392
85, Joseph Costanzo, Plainview, N.Y., 2,388
85, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 2,388
85, Jason Poli, West Des Moines, Iowa, 2,388
85, David Simard, Canada, 2,388
89, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 2,386
90, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 2,385
90, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, 2,385
92, Thomas Smallwood, Flushing, Mich., 2,384
93, John Nolen, Waterford, Mich., 2,383
93, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 2,383
93, Edward VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md., 2,383
96, Michael Cimba, Monroeville, Pa., 2,382
97, Kenny Parks, Hammond, Ind., 2,376
97, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 2,376
99, Butch Cormier, Lafayette, La., 2,373
99, Ray Edwards, Middle Island, N.Y., 2,373
99, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., 2,373
99, Dean Richards, Tacoma, Wash., 2,373

About the PBA

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) features the best bowlers in the world competing in National, Regional and Senior Tour events and will award over $4.3 million in prize money during the 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA National Tour. The organization has more than 4,000 members spanning 13 countries, and nearly one million viewers tune-in to watch the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour every Sunday on ESPN throughout the season. PBA sponsors include Bayer, Brunswick, CLR, Denny's, Etonic, Flomax, GEICO, Go RVing, H&R Block, Lumber Liquidators, Motel 6, Pepsi-Cola and the USBC, among others. For more information on the PBA, log on to This season marks the 50th Anniversary of the PBA Tour.