"Mega-television weekend" in store for Indianapolis.
The world’s best bowlers will return to Milwaukee in late January to compete in the preliminary rounds of two Professional Bowlers Association championship tournaments – the PBA Players Championship and the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship – leading into a mega-television weekend in Indianapolis as part of the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions.
AMF Bowlero Lanes in suburban Wauwatosa will host the special competitions for PBA members Jan. 26-30, offering $250,000 in prize money before the players head north to Green Bay to compete in the United States Bowling Congress Masters – the first major championship on the 2015 PBA schedule – which is scheduled for Feb. 2-8 at Ashwaubenon Bowl. The Milwaukee stop will be responsible for determining the TV finalists who will head to Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis for an ESPN “tripleheader” Feb. 14-15.
“Thanks to our friends at AMF Bowlero Lanes, we’re providing the great bowling fans in Milwaukee and our Xtra Frame viewers around the world with a pair of great tournaments in the days leading into the USBC Masters and the PBA’s 50th anniversary Tournament of Champions,” said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark.
The Milwaukee stop will involve concurrent qualifying rounds on Tuesday, Jan. 27, and Wednesday, Jan. 28, for the Players Championship and the Roth/Holman Doubles Championship. All players will bowl two qualifying rounds totaling 12 games with the top 24 individuals and the top 12 doubles teams advancing to round-robin match play.
The Players Championship finalists will bowl three eight-game match play rounds Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., and Thursday at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., with the top five after a total of 36 games advancing to the stepladder finals which will be conducted for delayed telecast on ESPN on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis in conjunction with the 50th Tournament of Champions. The PBA Players Championship finals will air on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m.
The PBA returns to an old-school format for the Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship, which is named in honor of two PBA legends who also bowled together as one of the sport’s most successful doubles teams. PBA members will be allowed to form their own doubles teams, and they will use their combined 12-game qualifying totals to determine the 12 teams advancing to the match play finals.
The finalists will then bowl two six-game, Baker format match play rounds at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30. After a composite total of 36 qualifying and Baker games, the top five teams will advance to the PBA Doubles Championship finals which will be conducted on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Woodland Bowl following the live 1 p.m. telecast of the Tournament of Champions finals. The PBA Doubles show will air on ESPN on March 1 at 1 p.m. ET.
Based upon a field of 130 players, the PBA Players Championship will pay a $25,000 first prize and 32 cashing positions while the Roth/Holman Doubles champions will split a $24,000 first prize. All 12 doubles teams advancing to match play will cash.
Defending champion in the PBA Players Championship is Australia’s Jason Belmonte. Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, and Norm Duke of Clermont, Florida, are defending Roth/Holman PBA Doubles champions. Both events were last conducted during the 2011 PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas.
All competition rounds of the Milwaukee events will be covered live by PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel.
2015 PBA MILWAUKEE SCHEDULE
AMF Bowlero Lanes, Wauwatosa, Wis., Jan. 26-30
Monday, Jan. 26
2 p.m. – Official practice session
Tuesday, Jan. 27
8 a.m. – Players Championship/PBA Doubles qualifying, 8 games
Wednesday, Jan. 28
8 a.m. – Players Championship/PBA Doubles qualifying, 4 games
Top 24 individuals advance to Players Championship match play and top 12 teams advance to PBA Doubles match play
1:30 p.m. – Top 24 Players Championship, 8 games round-robin match play
Thursday, Jan. 29
8 a.m. - Top 24 Players Championship, 8 games round-robin match play
1 p.m. - Top 24 Players Championship, 8 games round-robin match play
Top five after 36 games advance to ESPN stepladder finals at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis (finals air Sunday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m. ET)
Friday, Jan. 30
8 a.m. – Top 12 doubles teams, 6 games round-robin match play (Baker format)
1 p.m. - Top 12 doubles teams, 6 games round-robin match play (Baker format)
Top five doubles teams advance to ESPN stepladder finals at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis (finals air Sunday, March 1, at 1 p.m. ET)