The stretch of three grueling majors may be over but Big February isn’t quite done yet as the players quickly head to Indianapolis where two PBA Tour titles will be on the line.
The PBA Indianapolis Open will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, while the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship will be contested Thursday and Friday. The stepladder for both will be on Saturday, although the doubles show will be tape delayed.
Here are a few key points to get you ready for both events:
Duke set to defend Indy Open title
It’s no secret that when shot making is at a premium, Norm Duke is usually in the hunt. And with dual patterns back again this year in Indianapolis, Duke will have a chance to defend his title.
Duke took down Jason Belmonte, 237-219, in the championship match last year to win his 39th career title (at the time) at age 54. Now 55 and with 40 titles, Duke will look to do it again this year.
“I always believed I’d win again,” Duke said after winning in Indianapolis last year. “The first game I ever bowled on television was against Earl Anthony, and I won. In my mind, Jason’s the best ever, in spades. I feel for him, because I’ve been there, but for me, I get to say I bowled Earl, and Walter, and Pete, and I beat ‘em all.”
Rash, Ogle are defending doubles champs
The PBA Doubles Championship is always one of the most interesting events of the season and last year it was an emotional victory for Sean Rash and Matt Ogle.
Although Rash had reached the winner’s circle many times, he and Ogle were overcome with emotion when the pair helped Ogle get his first career title. Last year’s event took place in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
“It’s a dream come true for him, just like it was for me,” an emotional Rash said after the victory. “I’m so proud of him. He stepped up.”
This is the only event all season where the PBA bowlers get to pair up with their counterparts for a shot at a national tour title. To see who has paired up with who, check out the roster.
The format and lane conditions
In the past, qualifying for the PBA Doubles Championship happened through its associated singles event but that’s not the case this year. Both tournaments will be standalone events.
The Indianapolis Open gets underway Tuesday with two rounds of qualifying. Each round will be seven games with the top 16 players advancing into match play.
Match play will take place throughout the day Wednesday with 16 additional games to determine the five stepladder finalists.
On Thursday, qualifying for the PBA Doubles Championship will take place with 14 games spread out over two rounds. Players will post individual scores but bowl alongside their doubles partners in qualifying with their scores combined.
After qualifying, the top 16 teams will bowl 16 games of round robin Baker match play with players alternating frames each game. The top five teams will make the stepladder finals.
Both stepladders will take place Saturday with the Indianapolis Open being shown live. The doubles show will be taped but air a week later.
We are also back to dual patterns this week and, appropriately, the players will face the Mark Roth 42-foot pattern on the left lane and the 37-foot Marshall Holman pattern on the right lane. Those two patterns will be used for both events.
How to watch
FloBowling subscribers will be able to watch qualifying and match play live throughout the week for both events. The stepladder finals will air on FS1 (United States) and FloBowling (international).
What the schedule looks like
Here’s the schedule for this event. All times listed are Eastern.
Tuesday, Feb. 25
9 a.m. - Qualifying Round 1 (seven games)
5 p.m. - Qualifying Round 2 (seven games)
Wednesday, Feb. 26
11 a.m.- Match Play Round 1 (eight games)
5 p.m. - Match Play Round 2 (eight games)
Thursday, Feb. 27
9 a.m. – Qualifying Round 1 (seven games)
5 p.m. – Qualifying Round 2 (seven games)
Friday, Feb. 28
Noon – Baker Match Play Round 1(eight games)
6 p.m. – Baker Match Play Round 2 (eight games)
Saturday, Feb 29
8:30 p.m. - Stepladder Finals* (top five)
Sunday, March 8
Noon – Stepladder Finals* (Top five) - Taped Feb. 29 at 4:30 p.m.
* - FloBowling live broadcast only for audiences outside the United States. The archive of the finals will be available for all audiences seven days after it airs live.