News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Kegler's Korner

February 27, 2010

Kegler's Korner: U.S. Open returns to Hoosier state

The U.S. Open returned to the Hoosier state this week at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, with the nationally-televised finals (ESPN) scheduled for 12:30 p.m. today.

The U.S. Open has returned to Woodland Bowl after a 14-year absence, and three previous tournaments (1990, 1991, 1996) at this venue have created enduring memories through the years.

Two of the best?

n Nobody is likely to recall Pete Weber defeating Mark Thayer 289-184 in the 1991 U.S. Open. But many non-bowlers recall Weber dropping the winner’s trophy, a faux pass that’s been a regular on various sports blooper reels through the years.

n The men’s and women’s U.S. Open in 1996 were run side-by-side for the first time ever at Woodland Bowl, with the finals contested before a crowd of 1,600 at Market Square Arena.

The U.S. Open features the most entrants in a PBA Tour event (352 this year) and the bowling conditions are also the toughest of the season.

How tough you ask?

At Bethpage Black, a challenging golf course used in the PGA’s U.S. Open, a warning sign is posted at the first tee box, saying, “The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers.”

This week’s U.S. Open in Indy features such a warning, “The U.S. Open Pattern features the toughest lane oil design in all of bowling. The U.S. Open condition is a ‘flat’ oil pattern with equal oil being placed on each board, gutter to gutter. Premium shotmaking and precision accuracy are required to conquer this difficult condition.”

If that’s not enough of a challenge, the four bowlers in today’s televised finals will have already bowled 51 games this week.

The entire field rolled 18 games, six each on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in three different shifts at three different times of the day and night. The top 88 (top one-fourth of the field) survived the cut to the “cashers round”, bowling nine games starting at 9 a.m. on Friday.

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