PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., began defense of his One A Day Dick Weber Open title Wednesday as competition got underway at Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley, Calif.
Sunday’s finals will shift from the PBA’s normal home on ESPN to “the Deuce” – ESPN2 – for this week only. The Dick Weber Open finals will air live at 1 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Pacific) on Jan. 31.
The Dick Weber Open has become the unofficial “fifth major” on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour schedule because it features the traditional open qualifying format used in the PBA’s early years when bowling great Dick Weber was a dominant player. The format includes 15 games of qualifying with the top 24 advancing to three eight-game blocks of round-robin match play to determine the five-player stepladder final.
In addition to Duke trying for his 34th career title, Hall of Famer Pete Weber will try to win his 35th in the event named after his legendary father. Pete finished third in the 2009 Dick Weber Open, the event Duke won by defeating Mike Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., 278-168, in the title match.
Subscribers to pba.com’s Xtra Frame online “television channel” will have a front row seat for all of the One A Day Dick Weber Open action. To sign up, visit pba.com.
WALTER RAY WILLIAMS JR. MAKES DREAM COME TRUE FOR 15-YEAR-OLD
PBA Hall of Famer and all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr., made a dream come true for 15-year-old Eric Mandzuch of Los Angeles, who has recently recovered eye cancer, prior to the start of the One A Day Dick Weber Open.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation and PBA teamed up to allow Mandzuch to bowl with Williams at Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley, Calif., where the teenager also received some valuable pointers to help with his game during a friendly three-game match.
“I’m overwhelmed to be here,” said Mandzuch, who holds a 194 average. “It’s amazing to see all these pros here. Being here is giving me a lot of inspiration to pursue my dream of becoming a pro bowler.”
While Williams won their three-game match (608-531), the experience was something Mandzuch will never forget.
“He gave me a lot of help with my spares,” the Culver Park Independent Study High School sophomore said. “I found out how tough it was to bowl on PBA lane conditions. I can see why these guys are the best.”
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Founded in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 65 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 40 minutes and has granted more than 180,000 wishes in the United States since its inception. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit wish.org and discover how you can “share the power of a wish®.”
2009-10 LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR STATISTICAL LEADERS
EARNINGS Events Total
1, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich. 10 $72,200
2, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas 10 $69,050
3, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla. 10 $64,085
4, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. 10 $57,070
5, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas 10 $56,170
6, Bill O'Neill, Southampton, Pa. 10 $56,125
7, Mike DeVaney, San Diego 10 $45,770
8, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y. 10 $44,380
9, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas 10 $43,570
10, Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan. 10 $41,000
AVERAGES Games Average
1, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y. 190 223.84
2, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. 296 223.20
3, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas 288 222.33
4, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas 283 221.64
5, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas 226 220.58
6, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla. 183 220.46
7, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y. 258 220.23
8, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C. 274 219.96
9, Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan. 286 219.32
10, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla. 265 218.93
PBA PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS CRA Points
1, Bill O’Neill, Southampton, Pa. 3 28
Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich. 2 28
3, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla. 3 24
Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J. 1 24
5, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas 2 20
6, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. 2 18
7, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla. 1 16
Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y. 2 16
Mike DeVaney, San Diego 1 16
Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y. 1 16
Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas 1 16
Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill. 1 16
(CRA = Championship Round Appearances)