PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke, the No. 1 player on the Dallas Strikers in the PBA League, also serves as his team’s manager. But rather than taking personal advantage of the added financial compensation associated with his dual role, he is using his extra income in a unique manner.
In a memo to PBA Commissioner Tom Clark, Duke wrote:
“Thank you so much for your decision to allow me to act as Franchise Player/Manager this season for the Dallas Strikers. Our owner, Terrell Owens, and I are extremely excited to have this extraordinary opportunity to represent one of America’s iconic cities in the PBA League.
“Although I believe that much will be asked of all the Managers in the League and all will have to work hard for their compensation, I also believe that I have been awarded a unique position that would qualify me for two separate levels of payment, one as Player and one as Manager.
“I am writing this letter to inform the PBA of my intentions to donate 100% of payment I receive as Dallas Striker Manager to the family of one of my greatest friends, the late Tony Reyes. My family and I have pondered many times about how to lend a hand with the devastating loss that Nicole (Reyes, Tony’s wife) and Gianna (his daughter) have endured and this feels right to us. It would really be an honor for my family…Sincerely, Norm Duke.”
BOWLERS JOURNAL NAMES HUSTED “PROPRIETOR OF THE YEAR”
Dave Husted is well-known as a 14-time PBA Tour champion and the first player to win the U.S. Open three times during his PBA Hall of Fame career. He has just added Bowlers Journal International Proprietor of the Year honors to his scrapbook, in part because of what he has given back to the game.
Husted and his father Champ have hosted a PBA Northwest Region tournament now called the “Dave Husted Invitational” for 34 consecutive years. It may be the longest-running PBA Regional tournament in the country.
For bowlers starting a pro career, the PBA’s regional program is a training ground, Terry Johnson wrote in his Bowlers Journal story about the award, adding that Husted said that’s a big reason for conducting the tournament.
“I learned how to become a winner on the regional tour,” Husted told Johnson. “Winning is winning. It mostly feels the same way, whether it’s in a regional or national event. Becoming familiar with that feel is a good way to learn to conquer your nerves.”
The annual event has normally benefitted a charity, and has always included a pro-am. The pro-am, however, has never been about recruiting new league bowlers for his center.
“We never thought about not doing (the pro-am),” Husted said. “We enjoy it. Our customers like it. On the pro side, the players like it. It’s good for bowling, period.”
WALTER RAY AND FRIENDS TRY “THE PETE”
For the first time in his long and colorful career, the winningest bowler in PBA history got talked into bowling in the self-proclaimed “toughest tournament in bowling:” the infamous Petersen Classic at AMF Hoffman Lanes in Hoffman Estates, Ill. And as expected, it wasn’t a pretty thing for Walter Ray Williams Jr.
“(Fellow PBA50 Tour competitor) Tom Carter talked me into it,” Williams said. “He had a squad and I was doing a clinic at Cherry Bowl in Rockford, where he has his pro shop.
“I’ve never been that interested in bowling it, but I finally said, Why not? I told myself 180 would probably be a good score, but I had a good time. It’s not what I’d call real bowling, but it is what it is…”
What “The Pete” is, in its 103rd incarnation, is an eight-game scratch tournament held on lanes with no targeting markers, different conditions on each lane and racks of pins that are deliberately off-spot. The tournament, which began on the second floor lanes of the former Archer & 35th Recreation on Chicago’s south side, is notorious for such things as mysterious lane breakdowns if a player actually gets a string of three or four strikes going. Averaging 200 in “The Pete” is a monumental accomplishment, and almost always assures a player of a top five finish.
“It’s changed a bit over the years,” Williams said, “but the reputation may be bigger than what it really is. The lane conditions definitely were not easy. You don’t get to warm up. There is probably a different place to play every lane, but you don’t get to practice so you don’t know how to play each lane. The best answer is to throw hard and straight at headpin, which is what I did, and that’s why I say it isn’t real bowling. Anyone can throw the ball hard and straight at the headpin.”
So would he do it again?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I probably would. I kind of enjoyed it. I’m not ashamed of how I bowled.
“We took (fellow PBA Hall of Famer) Wayne Webb along, kicking and screaming and complaining,” Williams chuckled, “and he had the best score on our squad. He’ll actually make some money…”
Heading into the Labor Day weekend finale, Williams was tied for 100th place – the last-to-cash position in the singles main event – with a 1,452 total, a 181.5 average. Webb was in 42nd place with 1,485 pins.
O’NEILL REPEATS AS WTBA WORLD SINGLES CHAMPION
Four-time PBA Tour champion Bill O'Neill successfully defended his men's singles title for Team USA Monday in the 2013 World Tenpin Bowling Association Men’s World Championships at Sunset Station’s Strike Zone Bowling Center in Henderson, Nev.
O'Neill defeated Germany's Bodo Konieczny, 228-192, to win the gold medal. Sweden's Martin Larsen and Korea's Shin Seung-Hyeon each won bronze medals after losing in the semifinals. For O’Neill, it was his fourth WTBA World gold medal. He also won gold in singles, all-events and team during the 2010 World Championships in Munich.
The WTBA Men’s and Women’s World Championships will take place over a span of nearly two weeks. A number of American and international PBA members are competing for singles, doubles, trios, five-player team, individual all-events and Masters medals in both men’s and women’s divisions.
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: WARREN WINS 41ST PBA REGIONAL TITLE
● Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., is now within one title of tying for second place on the list of all-time PBA Regional title winners. Warren, turns 50 on August 27, posted a 20-game total of 4,984 pins – including match play bonus pins – to top Blaine Weninger of Happy Valley, Ore., by 12 pins Sunday to win his 41st PBA Regional title in the PBA Dave Husted Northwest Open presented by Motiv.
With his latest title, Warren is now one regional title behind Steve Jaros of Yorkville, Ill., for second place on the all-time standard regional titles list and seven behind record-holder Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., who has won 48 regional titles.
The top 10 PBA Regional title winners are:
1, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 48.
2, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 42.
3, Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 41.
4, Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., 40.
5 (tie), Sam Zurich, Grant, Fla., and Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 38.
7, Ross Packard, San Jose, Calif., 33.
8, Hugh Miller, Mercer Island, Wash., 32.
9, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 31.
10, Dennis Horan Jr., Oakley, Calif., 30.
● Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., earned his third regional title of the season when he defeated Joe Paluszek of Bensalem, Pa., 219-173, in the PBA Cap Card Eastern Open presented by Track at Cedar Lanes in Lebanon, Pa., Sunday.
Shafer, who led after qualifying, won the top stepladder berth by 281 pins after posting a 10-2 match play record, and used a string of five strikes to overwhelm Paluszek. The win was Shafer’s 22nd in PBA Regional competition and earned $2,500.
● Amateur Christopher Via of Springfield, Ohio defeated Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., 235-204, to win the PBA Lefeld Implement Central Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, Sunday.
The win was Via’s first in PBA Regional competition. He earned $4,000 but does not receive credit for a PBA title because he is a non-member. Via qualified fourth for the stepladder final and defeated PBA Tour rookie E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 218-213, and veteran Brian LeClair of Athens, N.Y., 192-180, to advance to the title match.
● Amateur John Chovanec from Sugar Land, Texas, defeated fellow non-member David Scardaville of Houston, Texas, 264-151, to win the PBA Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge Sunday in Houston. PBA Challenge events are open only to bowlers who have not won a PBA event.
Chovanec took an early lead in the final match and dominated the last game as he did most of the tournament. He earned $2,000, but doesn’t receive credit for a PBA title because he is a non-member.
● PBA Regional competition scheduled for the Aug. 23-25 weekend includes the PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open in Des Moines, Iowa; the PBA Mil-Ray Foods Eastern Open presented by Ebonite at Brunswick Zone-Deptford, N.J.; the PBA Greenville (Texas) Southwest Open at Shenanaganz; the PBA Fayetteville (N.C.) South Open presented by Storm at LaFayette Lanes, and a pair of one-day “reduced entry fee” PBA50 Midwest/Central Regionals at Pro Bowl West in Ft. Wayne, Ind. – the PBA50 Shark Open presented by bowlinggift.com on Saturday and the PBA50 Chameleon Open on Sunday.
The highlight of the Labor Day holiday weekend will be the Midwest Regional Players Invitational, the second of six PBA RPIs, at Illinois Valley Super Bowl in Peru, Ill. Also on the holiday weekend calendar are the West Region’s Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by Brunswick at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif.; the PBA50 Strike Zone Hammer Eastern Open in Pottsville, Pa., and the PBA and PBA50 Budweiser Victory Lanes South Opens in Mooresville, N.C.
For complete PBA regional schedule and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tours” under the Schedules tab.
● Fellow PBA member Bill Stempke is helping the late Barry Gurney’s wife Joan move ahead with her life, helping her organize the “first and only Barry Gurney Bowling Garage Sale” at her home (23840 Mobile St., West Hills, Calif.) on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Gurney, a four-time PBA50 Tour title winner, lost his battle to cancer on July 2. The garage sale will include an estimated 80 high-performance bowling balls and other equipment from his bowling career. For additional information, call Stemke at 818-531-8785.
● The PBA has learned that PBA charter member Pat Tarsio of Newburgh, N.Y., died on July 28 at the age of 96. Tarsio was a partner in Campi-Tarsio Lanes with the late Lou Campi, who won the first PBA tournament ever held in 1959 in Albany, N.Y.
● A newly-formed group called “Grand Strand Bowling for Vets” is hosting a two-day fundraiser for the Folds of Honor Foundation, an organization that works to help rehab returning veterans wounded while on duty. The Grand Strand Bowling events will be held on Friday, Aug. 30, at Little River Lanes in Little River, S.C., and on Saturday, Aug. 31, at Waccamaw Lanes in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Each event will run from 1-4 p.m. The public is invited for $15 per person, which includes three hours of opening bowling, silent auctions and more. For more information, send an email note to: firstname.lastname@example.org.