Bowling’s greatest players will face one of their toughest challenges on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour when the Etonic Marathon Open is conducted Feb. 23-March 1 at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis. Not only will it be an “open field” tournament – anyone can enter – it will also be the first tournament in PBA history to require players to bowl 54 games on six different lane conditions.
In addition, PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., will return to defend his Woodland Bowl title in Indianapolis earned in last season’s PBA Denny’s World Championship.
A star-studded field will compete for the $35,000 top prize, including several players recently named to the list of the 50 greatest players in PBA history. Among players on that list are all-time PBA Tour titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. (45 wins), Parker Bohn III, Chris Barnes, Pete Weber, Wes Malott and 2009 H&R Block Tournament of Champions winner Patrick Allen. In addition, newly-crowned USBC Masters champion John Nolen of Waterford, Mich. joins the field.
Leading the Indianapolis contingent will be 35-year-old Steve Harman, a second-year “exempt” player who has made two television finals in early 2009 in his quest for his first Lumber Liquidators PBA title. Harman finished third in the USBC Masters after finishing second with partner Jen Petrick in the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship.
As part of the PBA Tour’s Extreme Swing,the Etonic Marathon Open format will consist of 54 games, total pinfall with no match play. That means nine games on six different PBA lane oil patterns, putting the players to a supreme test of stamina and versatility. After 54 games, the top five players will compete in the ESPN-televised stepladder finals on March 1 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, and they will bowl on the lane condition selected by the No. 1 qualifier – also a PBA first.
At stake in Indianapolis is the $35,000 first prize and points which will ultimately mean berths in the season-ending Six Flags Summer Shoot-out for the top eight players in Extreme Swing points.
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR
ETONIC MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIP
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23
2-4 p.m. – Squad A practice
6-8 p.m. – Squad B practice
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24
10 a.m. – Squad A, 9 games qualifying (Cheetah pattern)
5 p.m. – Squad B, 9 games qualifying (Cheetah pattern)
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25
10 a.m. – Squad B, 9 games qualifying (Viper pattern)
5 p.m. – Squad A, 9 games qualifying (Viper pattern)
Top 1/3 of field advances (based on 159 or fewer entries), minimum 53 or top 1/4 advance (160 or more entries)
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26
10 a.m. – Top qualifiers, 9 games (Chameleon pattern)
5 p.m. – Top qualifiers, 9 games (Scorpion pattern)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27
10 a.m. – Top qualifiers, 9 games (Shark pattern)
5 p.m. – Top qualifiers, 9 games (Earl Anthony pattern)
Top five advance to Sunday’s live ESPN finals
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28
PBA Pro-Am Events and Fan Day
Noon, 3 p.m. & 6 p.m. - Pro-Am squads
SUNDAY, MARCH 1
Live ESPN television finals, 12:30 p.m. Eastern