Johnson, Duke Nearly Perfect in Winning PBA Mixed Doubles Title

by PBA Editor January 31, 2009 19:00
Norm Duke called his 31st career Professional Bowlers Association title “the easiest I’ve ever won” and that was because he and partner Liz Johnson were nearly perfect in running away with the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship at the National Bowling Stadium.
Johnson, the first and only woman to advance to the title match in a Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour event, and Duke defeated Jennifer Petrick of Canton, Ohio, and Steve Harman of Indianapolis, 274-180, in the title match to split the $50,000 first prize.
In the Baker Format stepladder finals, where teammates bowled alternate frames, Johnson threw strikes on all five of her shots and Duke had four to build a string of nine team strikes heading into the 10th frame.
“Liz did everything you could ask a partner to do for two days,” Duke said. He and his Cheektowaga, N.Y., teammate wound up paired together because they were respective top qualifiers in the men’s and women’s preliminary rounds.
“With four games to go in qualifying, I looked up at the leader board and saw Liz was pulling away from the field,” Duke continued. “I was leading the men and I said to myself, ‘I can’t let anyone else have that gal to bowl with.’ She’s that good.”
 “When we got to the TV show,” the newly-inducted PBA Hall of Famer from Clermont, Fla., said, “we were considering throwing our opponents a curveball by having Liz bowl anchor. But we didn’t and we started with nine strikes. And then I miss the headpin in the 10th frame. It was embarrassing.”
“Had I not had Liz as a partner, I might have bowled a 150 game,” Duke grinned. “She was perfect, perfect, perfect. It was the easiest tournament I ever won.”
It also was a victory that moved Duke into fifth place on the all-time PBA Tour titles list.
“It was pretty awesome,” Johnson said. “Norm was really a great partner. If I needed help, he’d offer it, but he pretty much left me alone. We both want to win. We were both hungry to win. We have that passion to win, so that’s what made it so great.”
Duke’s miscue in the 10th frame didn’t bother Johnson at all.
“I gave him a hard time about throwing a Brooklyn in the sixth frame,” she said. “I nailed the pocket in the seventh, and I came back and told him ‘That’s the way you throw a strike.’ But he got a harder time from other people than me. As far as I was concerned, the goal was to win and we pretty much had the game locked after six frames, so neither of us was concerned about a 300. It would have been something extra, but I was so happy to win, it didn’t matter.”
Johnson, 34, has been a shining star in women’s bowling since winning back-to-back United States Amateur Championships in 1993 and ’94. She won 11 Professional Women’s Bowling Association titles before the women’s tour ceased operations in 2003. Since then she has frequently competed in PBA events, winning a PBA Eastern Region title as well as finishing second to Tommy Jones in the 2005 Cambridge Credit Classic in West Babylon, N.Y. Most recently, Johnson won the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open, and she barely missed making the TV show in the PBA National Bowling Stadium Championship early in January in Reno.
It was also Johnson’s third PBA mixed doubles title. She won the inaugural Ladies & Legends in San Diego in 1996 with PBA Senior Tour competitor Mike Kench and the 2007 version of the Ladies & Legends in Rockford, Ill., with Senior Tour partner Roger Kossert.
Shannon Pluhowsky of Phoenix and Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., started the stepladder final with a 247-209 victory over Laura Hardeman of Chula Vista, Calif., and Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa. Petrick and Harman then defeated Pluhowsky and Angelo, 217-199, followed by a 166-155 decision over Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of N. Richland Hills, Texas, and Sean Rash of Wichita, Kan., to advance to the title match.
The PBA Tour’s first mixed doubles event since the Philip Morris Mixed Championships in 1998 was named in honor of one of the sport’s most celebrated couples, PBA/PWBA/United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famers Don and Paula Carter. It also was the seventh and final event in the 2008-09 PBA Women’s Series.
National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev., Feb. 1
Final Standings
1, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y./Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., $50,000
2, Jennifer Petrick, Canton, Ohio/Steve Harman, Indianapolis, $27,000
3, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, N. Richland Hills, Texas/Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., $13,000
4, Shannon Pluhowsky, Phoenix/Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., $11,000
5, Laura Hardeman, Chula Vista, Calif./Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, $10,000
Stepladder Results (Baker Format)
Match One - Pluhowsky/Angelo def. Hardeman/Hess, 247-209
Match Two - Petrick/Harman def. Pluhowsky/Angelo, 217-199
Semifinal Match - Petrick/Harman def. Dorin-Ballard/Rash, 166-155
Championship - Johnson/Duke def. Petrick/Harman, 274-180
Round of 16 (after 32 games, including match play bonus pins)
1, Duke/Johnson, 7,073
2, Rash/Dorin-Ballard, 7,013
3, Harman/Petrick, 6,798
4, Hess/Hardeman, 6,758
5, Angelo/Pluhowsky, 6,716
6, Ken Abner, Cincinnati, Ohio ($4,000)/Missy Bellinder, Fullerton, Calif. ($3,000), 6,662
7, Robert Smith, Columbus, Ohio ($3,700)/Clara Guerrero, Colombia ($2,700), 6,650
8, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla. ($3,400)/Amy Stolz, Castle Rock, Colo. ($2,500), 6,642
9, Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis ($3,200)/Shannon O’Keefe, Arlington, Texas ($2,300), 6,603
10, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. ($3,000)/April Ellis, Arlington, Texas ($2,200), 6,582
11, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y. ($2,800)/Shalin Zulkifli, Malaysia ($2,100), 6,568
12, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla. ($2,700)/Tennelle Milligan, Costa Mesa, Calif. ($2,000), 6,534
13, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio ($2,650)/Lisa Bishop, Belleville, Mich. ($1,950), 6,443
14, Joe Bailey, Pittsburgh ($2,700)/Trisha Reid, Columbus, Ohio ($1,900), 6,385
15, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla. ($2,550)/Joy Esterson, Annapolis, Md. ($1,850), 6,286
16, Chester Rogers Jr., Milwaukie, Ore. ($2,500)/Anne Marie Duggan, Edmond, Okla. ($1,800), 6,252
Men’s Round of 64 (after 23 games)
17, Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 3,055, $2,410
18, Andrew Cain, Scottsdale, Ariz., 3,050, $2,240
19, Ken Simard, Greenville, S.C., 3,033, $2,230
20, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 3,032, $2,220
21, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 3,031, $2,205
21, Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 3,031, $2,205
23, Rhino Page, Topeka, Kan., 3,028, $2,190
24, Danny Wiseman, Baltimore, 3,020, $2,180
25, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa., 3,015, $2,170
26, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 3,014, $2,160
27, Michael Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 3,011, $2,150
28, Matt Freiberg, Somerset, N.J., 2,997, $2,140
29, Tony Reyes, San Bruno, Calif., 2,991, $2,130
30, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 2,990, $2,120
31, Jason Lundquist, Delaware Water Gap, Pa., 2,989, $2,110
32, Troy Wollenbecker, Miami, 2,987, $2,100
33, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 2,984, $1,800
34, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 2,983, $1,800
34, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 2,983, $1,800
36, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 2,980, $1,800
37, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2,977, $1,800
38, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 2,969, $1,800
39, David Traber, Hebron, Ill., 2,963, $1,800
39, Dave D'Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, 2,963, $1,800
41, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 2,960, $1,800
42, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 2,958, $1,800
43, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,949, $1,800
44, Edward VanDaniker Jr., Essex, Md, 2,942, $1,800
45, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 2,939, $1,800
46, Mike DeVaney, San Diego, 2,932, $1,800
47, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 2,924, $1,800
48, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 2,910, $1,800
49, Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., 2,908, $1,800
50, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 2,904, $1,800
51, Roger LeClair, Clackamas, Ore., 2,902, $1,800
52, Mitch Beasley, Puyallup, Wash., 2,890, $1,800
53, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 2,888, $1,800
54, Chad Kloss, Greenfield, Wis., 2,885, $1,800
55, Billy Oatman, Chicago, 2,882, $1,800
56, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 2,874, $1,800
57, Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 2,866, $1,900
58, Todd Book, Wapakoneta, Ohio, 2,864, $1,800
59, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 2,828, $1,800
60, Terrance Reeves, Valrico, Fla., 2,819, $1,800
61, Craig Tuholski, Washougal, Wash., 2,799, $1,800
62, Randy Weiss, Columbia, S.C., 2,782, $1,800
63, Humberto Vazquez, San Pedro, Mexico, 2,721, $1,800
64, Kenny McPartlin, Reno, Nev., 2,672, $1,800
Women’s Round of 32 (after 23 games)
17, Adrienne Miller, Buffalo Grove, Ill., 2,837, $1,500
18, Olivia Sandham, Wichita, Kan., 2,824, $1,500
19, Michelle Feldman, Auburn, N.Y., 2,818, $1,500
20, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 2,804, $1,500
21, Lynda Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 2,798, $1,500
22, Robin Orlikowski, Grand Rapids, Mich., 2,778, $1,500
23, Tina Stickney, Phoenix, 2,763, $1,500
24, Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio, 2,748, $1,500
25, Elysia Current, Ephrata, Pa., 2,729, $1,500
26, Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 2,710, $1,500
27, Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic, 2,701, $1,500
28, Karen Boyd, Plantation, Fla., 2,700, $1,500
29, Wendy Macpherson, Henderson, Nev., 2,655, $1,500
30, Stefanie Nation, Arlington, Texas, 2,609, $1,500
31, Brenda Mack, Indianapolis, 2,587, $1,500
32, Ricki Williams, Wichita, Kan., 2,527, $1,500
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