Duke makes PBA history

WICHITA, Kan. — Norm Duke became the first player in PBA history to win three consecutive Majors as he captured the PBA World Championship at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., which marks the first event of the 50th Anniversary Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season.

Prior to Sunday's win over 2007-08 PBA Player of the Year Chris Barnes (259-189), Duke had won the 2007-08 Denny's World Championship and the U.S. Open. Sunday marked his first PBA World Championship title in his 27-year career.

"That (making history) hasn't hit me," Duke said. "I was focused on winning the World Championship. When I heard that, it kind of choked me up. It's a dream, and I want to thank my family for standing by me the whole time."

Duke started with the first seven strikes in the championship match, leaving a 10-pin in the eighth frame. Duke shot 259, claiming the title, along with a two-year exemption and $50,000. Meanwhile, Barnes looked shaky as he opened two of the first five frames, never recovering, shooting 189 in the title match.

"The guys are getting real good at being able to all play all parts of the lane. Chris (Barnes) is exceptional playing in and out," Duke said. "He did a good job of being able to leapfrog between the two. I was fortunate. I was the one who got the strikes."

Duke now holds 30 total PBA career titles, with six Major wins lifetime. Sunday marked his 100th singles television appearance. He advanced to Sunday's final by defeating Wichita resident Sean Rash 236-215 in the first semifinal of the day. Duke struck out in the 10th frame forcing Rash to strike out to tie; however, Rash left a 9-pin in the 10th frame.

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