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Exciting Finish In Store for the PBA In Baltimore

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.

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