INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 14, 2019) – The name of the tournament is a little different, but the Professional Bowlers Association’s Go Bowling! PBA Indianapolis Open, set for Feb. 19-24 at Woodland Bowl, will again be a pivotal event on the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.
Leading an expected capacity field of 120 of the world’s premier bowlers into the seventh event of the 2019 PBA Tour season will be unorthodox left-hander Jakob Butturff, the winner of last year’s Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic at Woodland, and one of the hottest players on Tour in 2019.
Butturff won the 2018 Indianapolis title with a 244-154 romp past Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash.
After the season’s first five events, the 24-year-old from Tempe, Ariz., ranked third in the new PBA Playoffs points standings after a runner-up finish in the season-opening PBA Hall of Fame Classic, a title in the Oklahoma Open and a record-tying three consecutive events as the qualifying leader. He trailed only Jason Belmonte, the two-hander from Australia who won a PBA record-tying 10th major championship in the PBA Tournament of Champions on Sunday in Fairlawn, Ohio, and carried his hot streak into this week’s PBA Players Championship in Columbus, Ohio, where he’s trying for sole possession of the all-time major titles record.
Trailing Belmonte is Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., who won the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship with Matt Ogle of Louisville, Ky.; finished second in the Lubbock Sports Open and placed ninth in last week’s TOC.
The name of Woodland’s 2019 tournament is slightly different, but there are some other big changes in store for fans and players. Among the most notable differences this year are:
● The finals on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. EST will be televised live on FOX Sport’s FS1 channel as part of the PBA’s historic television package that began in 2019;
● The Go Bowling! Indianapolis Open will be part of a new $1 million bonus program. If either player in the title match rolls a 300 game, he’ll win the bonus;
● In addition, if any player in the nationally-televised stepladder finals rolls a 300 game, title-sponsor Go Bowling.com (the online destination for bowling fans and enthusiasts seeking news and information about one of America's favorite pastimes and the nation's number one participatory sport) will award a free game of bowling coupon to every fan who pre-registers (to pre-register to receive the coupon by email, visit: www.gobowling.com/BowlFreeAmerica).
● The seventh of 14 events leading up to the new PBA Playoffs will be classified as a Tier 2 event in a new points program that will qualify 24 players for the inaugural playoffs that begin in Portland, Maine, in April. The winner of the PBA Playoffs will earn a $100,000 first prize. Fans can follow the points race on pba.com (https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=1).
● The Indianapolis Open will be contested entirely on a “mixed lane condition” scoring environment in which every round of qualifying, match play and even the stepladder finals will be contested with the Dick Weber 45 oiling pattern applied to the left lane and the Mike Aulby 38 oiling pattern applied to the right lane (the number indicates the length in feet oil is applied to the lanes).
● All qualifying and match play rounds of the tournament will be live streamed by PBA’s new online streaming partner, FloBowling (subscriptions are available at FloBowling.com).
As usual, Woodland Bowl will welcome a world-class field of PBA Hall of Famers (Chris Barnes, Norm Duke, Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr.); past PBA Players and Rookies of the Year; PBA Tour title winners and international champions, and an exciting group of talented young players who are fighting for PBA Rookie of the Year honors. For a roster of players entered, click here:
https://www.pba.com/Rosters/Details/2763. The field of 120 will be filled during a six-game “Pre-Tournament Qualifier” that will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 8 a.m. The PTQ also will use the mixed Weber-Aulby lane oiling system.
Continuing a PBA tournament tradition at Woodland Bowl, grassroots league bowlers are invited to bowl with PBA partners in a pro-am tournament. Pro-am squads are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23, at noon and 2:30 p.m. To enter, call Woodland Bowl: (317) 844-4099.
GO BOWLING! PBA INDIANAPOLIS OPEN SCHEDULE
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 19-24
(All rounds will be contested on mixed lane oiling patterns: the 45-foot Dick Weber 45 oiling pattern will be applied to the left lane, the 38-foot Mike Aulby 38 pattern will be applied to the right lane)
Tuesday, Feb. 19
8 a.m. – Pre-Tournament Qualifier, six games
2 p.m. – Official practice session
Wednesday, Feb. 20
10 a.m. – Qualifying Round One, 6 games
5 p.m. - Qualifying Round Two, 6 games
Thursday, Feb. 21
10 a.m. – Qualifying Round Three, 6 games
Top 24 after 18 games advance to round robin match play
6 p.m. – Match Play Round One, 8 games
Friday, Feb. 22
10 a.m. – Match Play Round Two, 8 games
6 p.m. – Match Play Round Three, 8 games
Top five after 42 games advance to stepladder finals
Saturday, Feb. 23
Noon, 2:30 p.m. – Pro-Am squads.
Sunday, Feb. 24
3 p.m. – Top five stepladder finals, live on FS1 (mixed patterns: Weber on left lane, Aulby on right lane)