2020 PBA Hall of Fame Classic

Duke: Withdrawing 'A Punch In The Gut'

Duke: Withdrawing 'A Punch In The Gut'

Norm Duke was forced to withdraw due to an upper left leg injury Friday night at the PBA Hall of Fame Classic.

Jan 18, 2020 by Lucas Wiseman
Duke: Withdrawing 'A Punch In The Gut'
In the hunt to make the show at the first event of the season, Norm Duke was forced to withdraw due to an upper left leg injury Friday night at the PBA Hall of Fame Classic.

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In the hunt to make the show at the first event of the season, Norm Duke was forced to withdraw due to an upper left leg injury Friday night at the PBA Hall of Fame Classic.

With six games to go in the final round of match play and just 164 pins off the show, Duke looked like he was ready to drop out, but he bowled one more game before bowing out and was replaced by alternate Tom Hess.

Duke told FloBowling he felt the pain in his left upper thigh in the first game after throwing eight straight strikes to start the round. He immediately realized it was in the same area of an injury he had many years ago.

“Every step I took, every ball I threw got worse,” Duke said. “I said, ‘look man, you’re right on the verge of having to take two-to-three months off.’ Because of that injury a long time ago, which is how long it took to get well, I had to call it. I’m not scheduled to bowl next week, so I have a chance to go home before it’s injured worse let’s say. I’m hoping I’m not there right now.”

Duke, a 40-time PBA Tour champion who turns 56 in March, was especially disheartened because of the time he spent getting ready for the season, which just got underway Wednesday.

“It’s disappointing to go to the gym every single day for two months to get myself in what I felt was as good a shape as I’ve ever been,” Duke said. “Then three days in, I’m looking at this. That’s very disappointing. A lot of hard work goes into this training stuff. It’s a punch in the gut.”