Nine Lives

by PBA Editor September 22, 2006 19:00
All it took was a little pep talk from his wife, and Pete Weber is back in familiar territory.

Weber posted a 13-3 record in round robin match play Saturday to earn the top seed for Sunday’s stepladder finals in the Dydo Japan Cup 2006.

The 32-time Denny’s PBA Tour titlist and two-time Japan Cup winner started match play slow Friday morning, but he kicked into another gear after a talk with his wife, Tracy.

“I really bowled well all four rounds of match play, but after the first round I was kind of upset with myself,” said Weber (St. Ann, Mo.), who went just 4-4 in his first eight games. “Tracy said ‘pull your head out and bowl like you know how to bowl.’ I told her I’d have a better attitude and I did the last three squads, and I bowled better. I’m really happy with the way I bowled.”

After the pep talk, the PBA Hall of Famer posted a 19-5 record, moving into the top spot for the first time after the 30th game. He held his lead through the final two games to earn an automatic berth in the title match, finishing with a 23-9 record and a 7,994 32-game pinfall.

If Weber is to win his first Japan Cup since 1993, he might have to get past long-time nemesis Walter Ray Williams Jr. The 41-time Denny’s PBA Tour titlist earned the second seed with a 20-11-1 record and 7,945 total pinfall.

Williams (Ocala, Fla.) will be looking to break Earl Anthony’s all-time Tour titles record Sunday. He defeated Weber in the title match of the Denny’s World Championship last March for his 41st title.

Ryan Shafer (Horseheads, N.Y.) finished third while 2002 Japan Cup champion Robert Smith (Captain Cook, Hawaii) finished fourth. Patrick Healey Jr. (Flower Mound, Texas) finished fifth and will face the winner of a four-bowler shootout Sunday in the first stepladder match.

Chris Barnes (Flower Mound, Texas), Wes Malott (Dallas Texas), Steve Jaros (Yorkville, Ill.) and Mike Machuga (Erie, Pa.) finished sixth through ninth, respectively, and will participate in the shootout. Machuga struck out in the 10th frame to defeat Norm Duke, 237-236, in the final match of the evening to knock Duke out of the championship round.

The final round will take place in the Tokyo Metro Gymnasium Sunday and will air tape-delayed on ESPN Sunday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. ET.


Steady as a Rock

After opening match play Friday with a 6-2 record in the first eight-game block, Williams sat in second place. He was perhaps the most consistent bowler in match play, never falling below third over the final 24 games.

Roller Coaster Round Robin
On the other end of the spectrum was Brad Angelo, who was hurt by inconsistency in the middle rounds. Angelo started strong the first block Friday, posting a 5-3 record to put himself third overall. Angelo then slumped to a 1-7 record in Friday’s night session, falling to 19th. He rebounded by turning in a 7-1 record Saturday morning, and he teetered on the cut line for the final round all afternoon.

Angelo may have been hurt most, however, by two ties in the final eight games. He finished 11th, 60 pins behind ninth-place Mike Machuga, but had he won the matches he tied, Angelo would have had an extra 30 pins and would have had a good chance to surpass Machuga.

Eight is Great
The only two bowlers to post perfect 8-0 blocks were Robert Smith and Japan’s Isao Yamamoto. Both went 8-0 in the evening session Friday.

Smith’s perfect block carried him to the fourth seed for Sunday’s final round. Yamamoto, however, wasn’t so lucky.

The 24-year-old, who is the “Young Gun” of the Japanese Professional Bowlers Association, looked poised to make the championship round after his 8-0 performance Friday. He was eighth after the first day and had high hopes of becoming the first Japanese player to win the Japan Cup since 1988.

Yamamoto’s hopes came to a halt on Saturday, however, as he nearly had a zero in the win column. After going 4-4 in the morning session, the youngster went 1-7 in the second session to fall out of contention.

Still, the left-hander impressed many throughout the week and should be one to watch in future Japan Cup events.

Denny’s PBA Tour
Dydo Japan Cup 2006
Shinagawa Prince Hotel Bowling Center
Tokyo, Japan
Saturday, Sept. 23


(Pos., name/hometown, match play record and 32-game pinfall. 30 bonus pins for each win, 15 bonus pins for each tie included in total pinfall. Positions 1-9 advance to finals. Positions 10-32 cash.)

1, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 23-9-0, 7,994.
2, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 20-11-1, 7,945.
3, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 22-9-1, 7,932.
4, Robert Smith, Captain Cook, Hawaii, 22-10-0, 7,870.
5, Patrick Healey Jr., Flower Mound, Texas, 20-11-1, 7,839.
6, Chris Barnes, Flower Mound, Texas, 19-12-1, 7,710.
7, Wes Malott, Dallas, Texas, 22-10-0, 7,692.
8, Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 16-16-0, 7,673.
9, Mike Machuga, Erie, Pa., 20-12-0, 7,586.
10, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 15-17-0, 7,534, $3,450.
11, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 16-14-2, 7,524, $3,200.
12, Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 16-14-2, 7,484, $3,000.
13, Michael Fagan, Greenlawn, N.Y., 16-15-1, 7,477, $2,900.
14, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 16-16-0, 7,424, $2,800.
15, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 15-16-1, 7,378, $2,700.
16, Toshifumi Kojima, Okayama, Japan, 17-14-1, 7,292, $2,600.
17, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 12-19-1, 7,239, $2,500.
18, Isao Yamamoto, Kanagawa, 16-16-0, 7,232, $2,460.
19, Jeong Tae Hwa, Korea, 13-18-1, 7,219, $2,420.
20, Takashi Ohyauchi, Hyogo, Japan, 13-18-1, 7,183, $2,380.
21, Minoru Sendan, Osaka, Japan, 15-16-1, 7,160, $2,340.
22, Syuichi Heki, Kumamoto, Japan, 15-17-0, 7,130, $2,300.
23, Masahiro Suto, Yamagata, Japan, 15-17-0, 7,076, $2,270.
24, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 12-19-1, 7,060, $2,240.
25, Patrick Allen, Tarrytown, N.Y., 12-19-1, 7,014, $2,210.
26, Shigeyuki Mizuno, Chiba, Japan, 16-16-0, 6,988, $2,180.
27, Takeo Sakai, Osaka, Japan, 14-17-1, 6,939, $2,150.
28, Katsuya Kamida, Okinawa, Japan 12-18-2, 6,874, $2,120.
29, Takashi Masuda, Kanagawa, Japan, 10-22-0, 6,852, $2,090.
30, Subaru Nagano, Saitama, Japan, 11-21-0, 6,810, $2,060.
31, No Dong Hyun, Korea, 8-22-2, 6,690, $2,030.
32, Byun Yong Hwan, Korea, 12-20-0, 6,641, $2,000.

300 games – None.
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