BALTIMORE, Md. – The 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour is heading to Baltimore March 30-April 4 where the Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open, arguably the most demanding tournament on the schedule, will close the Tour’s regular season in dramatic fashion.
At stake, beyond the title and $25,000 first prize, are points which may decide the Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year race and points which may determine which players will receive exemptions to bowl during the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season. With two events left on the schedule, U.S. Open champ Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pa.; USBC Masters winner Walter Ray Williams Jr., and fellow two-time 2009-10 title winner Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, were in a close battle for the Player of the Year points title.
It will also be the last chance for one of the PBA Tour’s biggest stars to win a 2009-10 title. Heading into the GEICO Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship in West Babylon, N.Y., this week, reigning Marathon Open champion and PBA Player of the Year Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas; 2008-09 Player of the Year Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., were among the stars who have yet to win this season. Recent Players of the Year Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.; Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., also were looking for their first title of the season.
The Marathon Open is an extremely difficult event because it will require the field to bowl on seven different lane conditioning patterns during the course of the event. On Tuesday, March 30, and Wednesday, March 31, the full field will bowl nine games each day on the Shark and Cheetah oiling patterns, respectively.
After 18 games, the top one-third of the field will bowl seven-game rounds Thursday on both the Viper and Chameleon lane conditions. After 32 games, the top 32 will bowl seven games on the Scorpion pattern Friday morning, and another eight players will be trimmed from the field. The top 24 will return for a seven-game round on the Earl Anthony lane condition Friday evening.
After 46 games, the 16 survivors will meet for a final seven-game round on the Dick Weber lane condition Saturday morning. Pinfall totals after 53 games will then determine the five players who will advance to the live ESPN stepladder finals at 1 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. The top qualifier will earn the privilege of deciding which of the seven lane conditions will be used for the TV finals.
Malott won the 2009 Marathon Open in Indianapolis, defeating hometown favorite Ronnie Russell, 248-194, for the title. That victory provided Malott with the points he ultimately needed to win 2008-09 PBA Player of the Year honors.
Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla., will return to Baltimore with fond memories of his 2008 PBA Shark Championship title. Page defeated Malott for that victory.
Baltimore area bowling fans are not only invited to watch the competition, but participate in the pre-tournament pro-am Sunday and Monday as well. Amateur men, women, senior and youth bowlers can bowl with the stars of the PBA Tour on Saturday. For pro-am and ticket information, contact AMF Country Club Lanes.
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS PBA TOUR
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS MARATHON OPEN SCHEDULE
AMF Country Club Lanes, 9020 Pulaski Hwy, Baltimore, MD 21220 (Phone: 410-686-2556)
All times are Eastern Daylight
SUNDAY, MARCH 28
Noon and 3 p.m. - Pro-Am squads
MONDAY, MARCH 29
9 a.m. – Squad A practice
1 p.m. – Squad B practice
4 and 7 p.m. - Pro-Am squads
TUESDAY, MARCH 30
10 a.m. – Squad A, 9 qualifying games (Cheetah pattern)
5 p.m. – Squad B, 9 qualifying games (Cheetah pattern)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31
10 a.m. – Squad B, 9 qualifying games (Shark pattern)
5 p.m. – Squad A, 9 qualifying games (Shark pattern)
Cut to top 1/3 of field (53 based on 160 entries)
THURSDAY, APRIL 1
10 a.m. – Cashers, 7 qualifying games (Viper pattern)
5 p.m. – Cashers, 7 qualifying games (Chameleon pattern)
Cut to top 32
FRIDAY, APRIL 2
10 a.m. – Top 32, 7 qualifying games (Scorpion pattern)
Cut to top 24
5 p.m. – Top 24, 7 qualifying games (Earl Anthony pattern)
Cut to top 16
SATURDAY, APRIL 3
10 a.m. – Top 16, 7 qualifying games (Dick Weber pattern)
Cut to top five
SUNDAY, APRIL 4
1 p.m. – Top five, live stepladder finals on ESPN