Duke Does It Again, Wins Title No. 40

Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 7.15.15 PM.png

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

In an era dominated by high rev rates and two-handed bowlers, Norm Duke is showing the old-school way of bowling is just as effective as ever.

Duke, a master of versatility and accuracy, used those skills Sunday to become just the third player in the history of the PBA Tour to win 40 career titles by winning the 2019 PBA Jonesboro Open.

In the championship match, Duke, 54, blew past 22-year-old two-hander Anthony Simonsen, 212-164, to win back-to-back titles on the PBA Tour for the first time in his career. The victory at Hijinx Family Entertainment in Jonesboro, Arkansas, also made Duke the first two-time winner of the season.

Results: PBA Jonesboro Open Stepladder Finals

“We don’t work this hard and travel this far unless we think we can win, I don’t care who it is against,” Duke told FOX sideline reporter Kimberly Pressler after the win. “But as you just said, ‘Did you think you were going to come out and win two in a row?’ I just bowled two majors, and I didn’t make either cut. So, no.”

Duke, the top seed, kept the ball in play throughout the title match as the players faced dual patterns for the second consecutive week. With the 48-foot Shark on the left lane and 36-foot Viper on the right lane, Duke bowled a clean game while Simonsen struggled.

Simonsen went high in five of the first six frames and was never really competitive in the match. By the fifth frame, Duke had already amassed a 46-pin lead and cruised to the victory.

Duke’s 40th career title puts him in the company of other 40-plus winners in history on the tour. Walter Ray Williams Jr. has the most all-time titles with 47, while Earl Anthony won 43 times.

In the semifinal, Simonsen took down second seed EJ Tackett, 214-199, in a match in which he never trailed.

Simonsen popped four strikes in a row to start the match and never looked back, staying clean the through nine frames to pick up the easy victory.

Tackett suffered from some tough carry in the match and never tossed a double. He did, however, convert two splits, making the 2-4-8-10 and the 3-4-6-7-10.

Simonsen started the second match of the stepladder finals with the front five and rolled to a 247-203 victory over Kris Prather.

After starting strong, Simonsen left a 5 pin in the sixth frame, struck in the sixth and left a 4-9 split in the eighth. By the time he got to the final frame, Simonsen just needed a spare and nine on the fill for the win and instead struck out.

Prather appeared to struggle with a bit of transition early in the match and only struck once in the first five frames, putting him in a deficit from which he would never recover.

In the opening match of the stepladder, Prather had little trouble in a 246-236 victory over Japan’s Shota Kawazoe.

Prather got out of the gates quickly with four strikes in a row to start the match before leaving a 10 pin and converting it. He then threw three more strikes and just needed a mark with minimal count in the final frame to lock up the victory. He advanced with a strike to start the 10th frame.

Kawazoe, meanwhile, was in the pocket throughout the match but single-pin leaves in the second, fourth and seventh frames kept him from keeping up with Prather.

The PBA Tour has the week off before action resumes with the PBA World Series of Bowling X on March 12.

Simonsen Ends Koeltzow's Cinderella Run At 2021 PBA Players Championship

2020 PBA Players West Anthony Simonsen

JUPITER, Fla. – After sitting backstage watching Kris Koeltzow make his Cinderella run to the final match in the West Region stepladder finals of the 2021 PBA Players Championship, Anthony Simonsen stepped in and put an end to it.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

O'Neill Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Out Of PBA Players Championship

ONeill.Bill_2020PBAPlayersChampionship(8).jpg

JUPITER, Fla. – After testing positive for the coronavirus Sunday morning, Bill O’Neill, the defending champion at the PBA Players Championship, will not participate in the regional stepladders currently being held at Bowlero Jupiter.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

First 2021 PBA Players Championship Regional Stepladder Set For Sunday

2020 Wesley Low

A week after qualifying rounds across the country, the first regional stepladder of the 2021 PBA Players Championship will take place Sunday.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

PBA Announces Title Sponsor, Return Of $1 Million 300 Bonus For 2021

PBA_Tour_Web1320x660.jpg

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) announced today that Guaranteed Rate, one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the country, has signed on as the title sponsor of the 2021 PBA Tour season when it returns to FOX Sports on Sunday, Jan. 24.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

A Year Of Change: Anthony Simonsen Gets A Job, A Puppy And Loses Weight

Simonsen.Anthony_2020PBAPlayoffsQuarterfinals15.JPG

For many, 2020 was a year to forget, but for Anthony Simonsen, it was a year filled with possibility and change.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Finalists For Regional Stepladders Set At 2021 PBA Players Championship

2020 PBA Playoffs Round of 16 Kyle Troup.JPG

The field at the 2021 PBA Players Championship has been narrowed to the top five players in each region and left standing are 14 PBA champions and 11 players looking for their first title.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Qualifying Reaches Halfway Point At 2021 PBA Players Championship

Svensson.Jesper_2020PBAOklahomaOpen(6).jpg

At the halfway point of qualifying at the 2021 PBA Players Championship, there are relative unknown players looking to make their first show ranging all the way to PBA Hall of Famers in contention to advance.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

PBA Announces Schedule For Every Major Event In 2021

Belmonte.Jason_2019ChameleonChampionship(40).jpg

Just a day before the start of the 2021 PBA Players Championship, the PBA has revealed its plans for the upcoming months, which includes every major being held between now and April 11.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Top-Ranked Bowlers In Each Region For 2021 PBA Players Championship

ONeill.Bill_2020PBAPlayersChampionship(2) (1).jpg

When the 2021 PBA Players Championship gets underway this weekend, the best bowlers in the world will be scattered across five different regions.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

2021 Preseason PBA Power Rankings: No. 1 Jason Belmonte

Belmonte.Jason_2020PBAWorldChampionship(1).jpg

Career Titles: 25 (13 majors)Age: 372020 Earnings: $293,050 (rank: 1)2020 Points: 30,295 (rank: 1)2020 Peak Ranking: 12020 Low Ranking: 3

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In