Kyle Troup becomes the first multi-time champion of 2024 after defeating top-seeded EJ Tackett to win the Just Bare PBA Indiana Classic at David Small’s Championship Lanes in Anderson, Ind.

With a 228-213 title match victory, Troup earned his 12th career title and second of the season, moving him to the forefront of any early Player of the Year conversation. Dating back to last season, Troup has won three of the past eight PBA Tour title events.

Just like at the U.S. Open earlier this month, Troup picked out his uniform for the show at the begnning of the week. His half-yellow, half-blue quilt print was a nod to the pants Troup's father, Guppy, wore on the 1998 Storm Flagship Open show.

Canada’s Zach Wilkins defeated Mexico’s Benjy Martinez in the opening match. Wilkins struck on his final eight shots to secure the match.

The 37-foot Viper pattern showed its high-scoring nature in the second match of the night between Wilkins and Troup. Troup struck on his first eight shots, then converted a 10-pin in the ninth frame — and he still needed 20 pins in the 10th frame to shut out Wilkins.

An 11-strike 279 catapulted Troup to another march to the title from the No. 3 seed.

Troup took down Marshall Kent in the semifinal, 227-224. Kent, who started the match with a gutter, did not bring his A-game that allowed him to average more than 240 this week. He missed way left three times on the left lane, going Brooklyn twice and missing the head-pin left in the 10th frame.

The title match pitted Troup against top-seeded EJ Tackett, who made his seventh consecutive top-four finish in his home state.

Troup said before the show that he felt confident if he were to win two matches and face Tackett. That confidence came, in part, from Troup’s 3-1 record against Tackett in TV finals entering the night, but also from a renewed mental strength.

Following his U.S. Open title earlier this month, Troup missed the cut in Illinois and Missouri. He regained his mental strength this week thanks to Mind Gym, a book gifted to him by Storm tour rep Jim Callahan.

Troup read the book throughout all 36 games of qualifying and elimination rounds, where he averaged more than 240 to earn the No. 3 seed. With a refined mental game, Troup’s confidence has returned as well.

“We’re back,” Troup said. “I had good ball reaction, but I didn't have anywhere near the ball reaction I did in that U.S. Open title match. To will my way to victory, that gives me any confidence that I was lacking.”

Throughout the week, players threw urethane equipment for a game or two and then jumped left with reactive equipment. On Saturday, Troup was able to throw urethane the entire night on the right lane and until the championship match on the left lane.

With two titles, Troup inserted him into any Player of the Year consideration — if he wasn’t there already.

“I feel like I’ve got to bowl better more consistently if I want to worry about that,” Troup said. “We’ll worry about (Player of the Year) after the Tournament of Champions in April. My goal is to make the PBA Playoffs and the Tour Finals.”

Bill O’Neill won the season-opening PBA Players Championship and has made three championship rounds currently leads the tour in points. Tackett, though titleless, has made four consecutive championship rounds. Kent, who Troup defeated in Saturday’s semifinals, won the PBA Illinois Classic earlier this month.

Not to be forgotten is Anthony Simonsen, who won last week's event in Missouri and almost snuck onto this championship round. Wilkins sits sixth overall in points, just ahead of the ever-lurking Jason Belmonte.


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Tackett exited David Small’s Championship Lanes, where he won a high school state championship, without a title. After winning five titles last season, Tackett has yet to win in 2024.

“I would be lying if I said it wasn't wearing me down,” Tackett said. “This has happened so many times that I feel like I've gotten pretty decent at getting over it. I have to find it within myself, somewhere, to go to Delaware and do the same thing and give myself another opportunity. That's all I can do. And hope that when the opportunity arises again that I perform a little bit better. I’ve just got to keep getting there. You get there enough times, things are going to go your way at some point.”

The PBA Tour heads east for the sixth title event of the season. The PBA Delaware Classic begins in Middletown Mid County Lanes.

Rounds 9-10 of the PBA Elite League presented by Snickers will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. ET.

Qualifying begins on Wednesday morning. All rounds of qualifying and match play will be livestreamed on BowlTV.

Championship Round Scores

Match 1: No. 5 Zach Wilkins def. No. 4 Benjy Martinez, 259-225
Match 2: No. 3 Kyle Troup def. No. 5 Zach Wilkins, 279-254
Match 3: No. 3 Kyle Troup def. No. 2 Marshall Kent, 227-224
Championship: No. 3 Kyle Troup def. No. 1 EJ Tackett, 228-213

Final Standings

  1. Kyle Troup, $25,000
  2. EJ Tackett, $15,000
  3. Marshall Kent, $12,500
  4. Zach Wilkins, $10,000
  5. Benjy Martinez, $8,000

More information on the Just Bare PBA Indiana Classic is available here.


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