Rash, Ogle Sweep Stepladder Finals to Win PBA Mark Roth-Marshall Holman Doubles Championship

by Jerry Schneider, Professional Bowlers Association 0

SHAWNEE, Okla. (Jan. 20, 2019) – Doubles partners Sean Rash and Matt Ogle won all four Baker format stepladder matches to win the 2019 PBA Mark Roth-Marshall Holman Doubles Championship aired Sunday on FS1 from the FireLake Bowling Center.

Rash, who won his 13th career Go Bowling! PBA Tour title, and Ogle, who won his first title in his first TV appearance, beat Missourians Brad Miller and Kyle Sherman, 213-200, in the title match.

The Baker format requires each player to alternate frames in a game to combine for one score.

After Rash opened with a 4-7-9 split in the first frame, he and Ogle got back on track by striking in the next four frames to take a 13-pin lead into the sixth frame. Miller and Sherman, also making their first telecast appearances, tried to make a challenge by striking in the fifth, sixth and seventh but when Miller opened in the eighth by missing a four pin, it enabled Rash and Ogle to stay in front for the rest of the match.

It was an emotional win for both Rash and Ogle who qualified fifth for the stepladder finals. It was Rash’s first win since 2017 and after what he described as his worst season of his year career in 2018.

I was almost in a depression,” said the 36-year-old Rash, whose last tour win came in the 2017 Xtra Frame Gene Carter Pro Shop Classic. “It got to the point where I wondered if I wanted to do it (bowl) anymore, but then I just had to force myself to do the things I needed to do to get better by getting in shape, eat right and make the changes with my game like going from a 16-pound ball to a 15.

In 2018 Rash finished in a tie for fifth in the PBA Tour Finals for his best finish of the season.

“You hear a lot of chat in the background like, ‘is he ever going to win again,’ or people just generally writing you off,” Rash added. “I finally saw some improvement at the end of last year but I was just hoping for the best when the new season started. You never know when you’re going to get it back again.”

For the 34-year-old Ogle, who is in his third season as a PBA member and bowls on tour mainly part-time, winning a PBA title fulfilled a lifelong goal in the sport.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Ogle, who has used a two-handed delivery since suffering from a carpal tunnel injury in his right wrist in 2006.  “When someone like Sean believes in you and wants you to be his doubles partner that’s an opportunity that’s not going to come around too often.

“It was a situation where we have good communication and have a good understanding of each other’s game so it was a natural fit from the start,” Ogle added. “We had our ups and downs during the tournament but it’s a sign of a good team when you can come back from adversity to make the adjustments to recover.”

Rash and Ogle started the finals with a 256-172 win over No. 4 qualifiers defending champions four-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte and Bill O’Neill, who won his 10th career title in the season opening PBA Hall of Fame Classic, to advance to the second stepladder match.

Rash and Ogle then defeated No. 3 qualifiers Canadians Patrick Girard and Zach Wilkins, 216-210, in the second stepladder match to advance to the semifinal match where they beat No. 2 qualifiers Sam Cooley and Anthony Lavery-Spahr, 258-216.

The five doubles teams reached the finals through their combined individual qualifying scores from the  PBA Oklahoma Open after which the top 12 teams advanced to two Baker format match play rounds to determine the top five teams for the finals.

The next stop for the Go Bowling! PBA Tour will be the PBA Lubbock Sports Open Jan. 22-27 at South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas.  The stepladder finals will be telecast live by FS1 at 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 27.

PBA MARK ROTH-MARSHALL HOLMAN DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP

FireLake Bowling Center, Shawnee, Okla.

(televised Sunday on FS1. Baker format requiring each player to alternate frames in a game to combine for one score)

Final Standings:

1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill./Matt Ogle, Louisville, Ky., $25,000.

2, Brad Miller, Lees Summit, Mo./Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., $13,000.

3, Sam Cooley, Australia/Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, $12,000.

4, Patrick Girard, Canada/Zachary Wilkins, Canada, $11,000.

5, Jason Belmonte, Australia/Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., $10,000.

Playoff Results:

Match One: Rash/Ogle def. Belmonte/O’Neill, 256-172.

Match Two: Rash/Ogle def. Girard/Wilkins, 216-210.

Semifinal: Rash/Ogle def. Cooley/Lavery-Spahr, 258-216.

Championship: Rash/Ogle def. Miller/Sherman, 213-200.

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