When the PBA50 Sun Bowl In The Villages presented by Hammer gets underway Sunday at Spanish Springs Lanes, one of The Villages own will be making PBA history.
PBA founding member and former longtime PBA Tour host proprietor Darrell Ducat, at age 87, is believed to be the oldest player to compete in a PBA event.
Ducat is the patriarch of the Ducat family which operates several bowling centers including Spanish Springs Lanes in The Villages where his son, Larry, is the proprietor.
The elder Ducat was one of the founding members of the PBA when the organization was formed in 1958. While he never bowled as a professional full time, he did enter occasional Tour events through the years. The most recent PBA event he bowled in was the Senior U.S. Open eight years ago.
It was around that time that he began to suffer from macular degeneration which caused his eye sight to deteriorate to the point where he could no longer bowl. But thanks to some ground-breaking treatment, his sight has improved to the point where he can return to the sport he loves.
“I decided to see what I could do,” said Darrell, who splits his time between his hometown of Perrysburg, Ohio and his home in The Villages. “I don’t know how well I will do but I’ll give it my best. I feel good and I’m pretty healthy. I exercise regularly and have a healthy diet so I’m ready to give it a try.”
Darrell has also been an integral part of PBA history has host proprietor of PBA Tour events in Toledo, most notably the PBA National Championship (now World Championship) at Imperial Lanes from 1981 to 1999 and at Southwyck Lanes from 2000-2002.
“I wasn’t able to pursue a professional bowling career because I became so involved on the business side,” Darrell said. “That’s why I’m looking forwarded to bowling here because I can concentrate on the bowling and not have to worry about running the business.”
Holding the record for oldest bowler to compete in a PBA Tour event is PBA Hall of Famer Carmen Salvino who competed in the 2012 PBA Tournament of Champions at age 79.
A field of 160 of the top professional bowlers ages 50 and over will compete in the Sun Bowl In The Villages which begins with first-round qualifying Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.
PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame will provide start to finish coverage of the tournament. For subscription and schedule information visit the pba.com homepage and click on the Xtra Frame logo.