Norm Duke never thought he’d say winning a title was easy, but he couldn’t restrain himself from making that concession Sunday.
Duke combined with Liz Johnson to run away with the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championships at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.
The stepladder finals featured the “Baker” format, in which bowlers alternate frames. Johnson struck in each of her five frames while Duke was perfect in his first four. But he missed the headpin on his first ball in the 10th, but their 274 easily topped the 180 of Jennifer Petrick and Steve Harman.
Each of the winners earned $25,000.
“Liz did everything you could ask a partner,” said Duke, who won his 31st PBA title. He and Johnson wound up paired together as respective top qualifiers in the men’s and women’s preliminary rounds.
The title moved Duke into fifth place on the all-time PBA Tour titles list.
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