With the 2014 PBA50 Tour season heading into the home stretch, PBA Hall of Famer and PBA50 Tour rookie Norm Duke finds himself with a commanding lead in both the PBA50 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year points races — at least for now.
As the lone two-time winner this season, Duke, with 48 points, holds a healthy 13-point lead over two-time defending PBA50 Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the POY race and a 22-point lead over Parker Bohn III in the ROY race with four tournaments remaining on the 2014 schedule. Williams has 35 points and Bohn 26 at this stage of the season.
Both the PBA50 Player and Rookie of the Year competitions are based on points earned for top four (or top five) finishes in match play elimination tournaments or top five finishes in stepladder events. Standard tournaments award 16 points for first place, 8 for second, 4 for third, 2 for fourth and 1 for fifth (stepladder format) while major tournaments award 24, 12, 8, 4 and 2 points, respectively.
In addition to POY/ROY races, PBA50 players are vying for six spots in the new PBA Champion’s Challenge that will makes its debut at PBA World Series of Bowling VI Oct. 24-Nov. 2 at South Point in Las Vegas. The top six in PBA50 competition points (not POY points) will bowl a six-game match play round at the World Series to determine the top two players who will compete in a PBA50 Tour Finals match that will be part of a new two-hour four-match Champion’s Challenge telecast on ESPN.
The race for PBA50 Tour Player of the Year honors resumes when the 50-and-older players’ tour makes its first visit to Fort Wayne, Ind. July 20-23 for the PBA50 Pro Bowl West Fort Wayne Classic presented by Ebonite. Preceding the standard PBA50 Tour event, Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne also will host the inaugural PBA50 Dick Weber Super Senior Classic presented by Storm July 18-20 for players 60 years of age and older.
All of the remaining 2014 PBA50 Tour tournaments will be streamed live via PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame. Subscription and schedule information is available by visiting www.xtraframetv.com.
In addition to his wins in the UnitedHealthcare Sun Bowl in The Villages and the PBA Senior U.S. Open, Duke has a second-place finish in the season-opening Pasco County (Fla.) Open and an 11th in the PBA50 Miller High Life Classic bowling in his four tournaments appearances this season.
Williams, the winner of the USBC Senior Masters for his first PBA50 major title, has finished no worse than ninth and has finished third twice and fifth twice, including a fifth-place finish in the PBA Senior U.S. Open.
Trailing Duke and Williams in POY points are Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Tom Baker, tied for third with 28 points each, and Bohn and Amleto Monacelli, tied for fifth with 26 points each. Both have one win this season.
Should Duke win the Player of the Year points race, Rookie of the Year would be a foregone conclusion, and he would join Baker as only the second player to win PBA50 Player and Rookie of the Year in the same season. Baker recorded the feat in 2005, beginning an unprecedented streak of four consecutive PBA50 Player of the Year crowns.
Leading the PBA50 Super Senior POY points race based on competition points for players 60 and over is Johnny Petraglia who holds an approximate 3,000 point lead over Dale Eagle.