Norm Duke vs. Dean Richards – 2019 USBC Masters Match Play

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The opening round of match play from the 2019 USBC Masters at Gold Coast in Las Vegas saw #32 seed Norm Duke take on #33 Dean Richards, both averaging 207 for the 15 games of qualifying. Richards had been bowling well, winning a PBA Regional title just the weekend before. How would he fare bowling against one of his idols and one of the greatest of all time?

Video shot by Tim Watanabe

This was my first Masters (and first national pro event) and what a great experience to compete alongside all the top pros and amateurs from around the world. I think it was the lowest average to cash in recent Masters history at -5/199.7 – they played so tough especially on the fresh. I gave it a run by going +64 on the burn squad but couldn't get anything going on the fresh – the righties (at least the ones that had success) were all playing outside 2nd arrow with a lot of surface and/or urethane which made the lanes very ugly quickly, and the topography from lane to lane was challenging at Gold Coast. I think someone said it best when they said this pattern made some really talented bowlers look very bad, but also made the few that figured it out look amazing.

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26 Comments on “Norm Duke vs. Dean Richards – 2019 USBC Masters Match Play”

  1. You have to give Norm Duke a ton of credit. All the top bowlers have a Huge Rev rates, while Norm’s is very low in comparison, but he can still compete with those guys. Good for him! Norm gives us 55 and over bowlers some hope we can still compete!

    1. You dont need a high rev rate to be a great bowler. Just accuracy , muscle memory and the right amount of speed

    2. @machine thesun Sometimes the high rev rate works against you – the adjustment isn’t always uniform and your margin for error is less. The risk/reward with the newer ball cover stocks is huge but there’s something to be said for a straighter style that is easier to adjust as lanes break down.

      All that said, these lanes made Richards look ugly.

  2. Dean got a couple of tough draws for the brackets. Guy with 40 PBA titles in the first match and then in the losers bracket he draws the number one qualifier. Still an impressive showing for him. Second only to Marshall Kent among the WA bowlers. Tim’s finishing in the top half is not to shabby either.

  3. His name should be Norm Nuke. Don’t know if I’ve ever see him miss the pocket. Old Dean would have been better off just throwing his spare ball at the headpin every time.

  4. 2:52 I’m not sure why Dean didn’t go for the right side of the head pin on that spare attempt, or maybe he just missed it altogether. But, I’m not sure I would have had a clear mind going up against one of the greatest bowlers in the world.

  5. I’m sure the literal banner above the right lane reminding you your opponent has won the whole thing before isn’t helping with the nerves of facing a legend.

  6. 0:09 here is proof that I’m bowling like a pro, LMAO!!!! I haven’t had a gutter for awhile. Perhaps Dean might want to use Norm’s ball for awhile πŸ™‚

  7. 1:49 again proof that I am bowling like a pro, I got 5 in a row and then a standing 10-pin. There must be a dry spot on his track now, no? LMAO Go Norm!!! Saw you hanging with Kyle and Brad legendary stuff!!!

  8. Norm beat the pants off of me a well. I got to bowl against him in a single tournament in Clearwater Florida back in the late 90s. Amazing bowler. Very intelligent man.

  9. You can give Dean a hard time, but when you make match play and have to bowl someone like Duke and spray the ball all ove…. wait a minute, you won’t!

  10. What pattern are they playing on? I’ve been to Gold Coast and their lanes seem to have a lot of hold. All my shots pulled left went through the headpin. I couldn’t bye a Brooklyn all day, and this video has some pulled shots that have the same reaction.

  11. What “Pink” ball is that Norm Duke?..#MyIdol #Aloha from Hawaii πŸ€πŸ’£πŸ€™πŸΌπŸ€™πŸΌ

  12. I’m personally hoping that they make the lanes as brutal as Gold Coast was, just because you know as well as I do @thebowlinglion, GSR’s pin carry when they installed the GSX machines became INSANE.

    We were both there Tim, you’d understand where I’m coming from

  13. Norm Duke, aka The Wee Iceman. Among all current pros his ball must be in the bottom 20% in terms of ball speed and rev rate. But if you have this man’s touch, knowledge, perfect understanding of his own game and how to get the ball into the pocket, you can compete, and even win against guys throwing 21 MPH and 540 RPM. One of the true All Time Greats!

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