Even the world’s best bowlers need a little coaching sometimes, and thanks to a recent session on the lanes, Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., is filled with confidence and proving it at the 2009 United States Bowling Congress Masters.
The USBC and Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer cruised through the first two rounds of match play at Cashman Center on Thursday with wins over Ritchie Allen of Columbia, S.C., (735-619) and 2001 USBC Masters champion Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., (706-595).
Weber is one of 16 undefeated players left in the winners bracket and possibly the most determined when it comes to the Masters.
The 46-year-old right-hander owns 34 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour titles and is tied for second all-time with eight major victories, but the Masters is the one has eluded his grasp. In fact, the Masters is the only major the Weber family has never won, despite a combined 60 PBA titles between Weber and his hall-of-fame father, Dick Weber.
While that small tidbit of bowling trivia is what motivates Weber at the Masters, it was the keen eye of his brother, Rich Weber, that helped get him into top shape for this week’s event.
“We recently had a week off, so I went home and was able to see my brother, who has watched me all my life, knows my game and knows what to look for,” Weber said. “Whenever I feel like I’m not throwing the ball well, or I’m not striking a lot, I know something is missing, and within a few minutes, he can see what it is.”
Thanks to his brother’s analysis of his pushaway, Weber’s mindset is better and his physical game is where he wants it to be. He’s more positive and confident and not second guessing his decisions on the lanes. He’s also coming off of a third-place finish at last week’s Denny’s Dick Weber Open in Fountain Valley, Calif.
Weber will return to the lanes Friday morning at 10 a.m. Pacific and take on Team USA member Nathan Bohr of Wichita, Kan., who defeated Jeff Carter of Springfield, Mo., 705-545, and Robert Gotchall of Lincoln, Neb., 628-626, on Thursday.
“Winning the Masters would give me all of the majors, two more years on the Tour and a boost in the player of the year standings,” said Weber, who has never been the PBA Player of the Year. “For now, I’m just hoping the lanes are like they were today, and I want to continue throwing the ball well. I also want to stay comfortable and focused on my own game and not worry about what my opponents are doing.”
After Thursday’s competition, only 32 of the event’s 452 competitors remain in the hunt for the $60,000 top prize and two-year PBA Tour exemption.
Among those left in the winners bracket are top-seeded John Nolen of Waterford, Mich., 2004 Masters champion Danny Wiseman of Baltimore and reigning PBA Player of the Year Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas.
Defending champion Sean Rash of Wichita, Kan., opened the day with a 637-608 win against Keith Odette of Waipahu, Hawaii, but fell to Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., 622-539, in the next round. He finished the day with a 722-645 win over Lonnie Waliczek of Wichita, Kan., and will take on Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, on Friday morning.
Rash is looking to become just the third person to win back-to-back Masters titles, joining USBC Hall of Famers Dick Hoover (1956 and 1957) and Billy Welu (1964 and 1965).
By the end of the day Friday, only four players will remain in contention for the 2009 Masters crown, and they will battle for the title live on ESPN on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
This year marks the first time since 2001 that the Masters is being held on the same lanes that also will be home to the USBC Open Championships. The relationship began with the inception of the Masters in 1951 but ended when the Masters remained at the National Bowling Stadium from 2002 until January of 2004. It was then held in Milwaukee in October of 2004, and again from 2005 until 2007. Because of its return to the Open Championships venue, the Masters was not held in 2008.
2009 USBC MASTERS
Cashman Center, Las Vegas
February 12, 2009
Double elimination, three-game matches decided by total pinfall
(Name/hometown followed by three-game pinfall total)
OPENING MATCH PLAY ROUND
(Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to losers bracket)
(1) John Nolen, Waterford, Mich., def. (61) Doug Kent, Newark, N.Y., 672-624
(29) Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., def. (33) Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 677-614
(45) Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., def. (17) Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 742-639
(49) Isao Yamamoto, Japan def. (13) John May, Lincolnton, N.C., 650-567
(41) Michael Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., def. (21) Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 678-605
(9) Ryan Shafer, Elmira, N.Y., def (53) Bob Hale, Louisville, Ky., 675-557
(25) Craig Tuholski, Washougal, Wash., def. (37) Daniel Dunleavy, Staten Island, N.Y., 621-523
(5) Tom Smallwood, Flushing, Mich., def. (57) Jason Belmonte, Australia, 617-612
(63) Danny Wiseman, Baltimore def. (3) Daniel Miyamoto, Mililani, Hawaii, 663-622
(35) Charlie Bruno, Deptford, N.J., def. (31) Mitchell Vernon, Olympia, Wash., 656-530
(47) Andrew Koff, Miami def. (19) Tyler Jensen, Wheat Ridge, Colo., 632-558
(51) George Lambert IV, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, def. (15) Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 682-679
(43) Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., def. (23) Matt O’Grady, South Amboy, N.J., 692-557
(55) Pete Weber, St. Ann., Mo., def. (11) Ritchie Allen, Columbia, S.C., 735-619
(39) Robert Gotchall, Lincoln, Neb., def. (27) Steve Jaros, Yorkville, Ill., 623-594
(7) Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., def. (59) Jeff Carter, Springfield, Ill., 705-545
(62) Paul Ashby, Madison, Ohio, def. (2) Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 599-546
(30) Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., def. (34) Scott Vanderlick, Sacramento, Calif., 706-590
(18) Thomas Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, def. (46) Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 648-575
(50) Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, def. (14) Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 691-617
(22) Robert Smith, Thousand Oaks, Calif., def. (42) Vernon Peterson, Lake Wales, Fla., 675-649
(10) Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., def. (54) Lennie Boresch, Kenosha, Wis., 634-621
(26) Chad Kloss, Greenfield, Wis., def. (38) Bill O’Neill, Southampton, Pa., 669-643
(6) Mike DeVaney, Temecula, Calif., def. (58) Dominic Barrett, England, 650-630
(4) Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., def. (64) Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, 633-623
(32) Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan., def. (36) Keith Odette, Waipahu, Hawaii, 637-608
(48) Jesse Buss, Wichita, Kan., def. (20) Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 697-696
(16) PJ Haggerty, Clovis, Calif., def. (52) Brian LeClair, Athens, N.Y., 714-680
(24) Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, def. (44) Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 732-693
(12) Steve Harman, Camby, Ind., def. (56) Wu Siu Hong, Hong Kong, 749-699
(28) Mike Scoggins, Amarillo, Texas, def. (40) Wendy Macpherson, Henderson, Nev., 616-502
(8) Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., def. (60) Bob Knipple, Long Beach, Calif., 678-551
ROUND 1 WINNERS BRACKET
Nolen def. Duke, 748-607
Yamamoto def. Williams, 644-633
Shafer def. Fagan, 637-576
Smallwood def. Tuholski, 684-616
Wiseman def. Bruno, 690-601
Lambert def. Koff, 622-521
Weber def. Bohn, 706-595
Bohr def. Gotchall, 628-626
Jones def. Ashby, 721-596
Barnes def. Hess, 639-624
Sterner def. Smith, 719-649
DeVaney def. Kloss, 690-609
McCune def. Rash, 622-539
Buss def. Haggerty, 529-522
Harman def. Kretzer, 657-484
Machuga def. Scroggins, 728-541
ROUND 1 LOSERS BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $1,700)
Kent def. Macpherson, 725-516
Angelo def. Knipple, 664-569
Loschetter def. Warren, 749-716
May def. Wu Siu Hong, 686-683
Koivuniemi def. Quintero, 758-614
Hale def. LeClair, 663-648
Russell def. Dunleavy, 622-579
Belmonte def. Odette, 769-594
O’Neill def. Miyamoto, 712-642
Barrett def. Vernon, 636-588
Peterson def. Jensen, 634-565
Waliczek def. Boresch, 595-589
O’Grady def. Edwards, 694-602
R. Allen def. Ciminelli, 603-527
Jaros def. P. Allen, 676-625
Carter def. Vanderlick, 696-559
ROUND 2 LOSERS BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $2,000)
Gotchall def. Kent, 636-588
Angelo def. Koff, 756-577
Loschetter def. Bohn, 636-565
Bruno def. May 657-595
Fagan def. Koivuniemi, 641-605
Duke def. Hale, 647-531
Tuholski def. Russell, 678-611
Belmonte def. Williams, 687-663
Scroggins def. O’Neill, 713-684
Haggerty def. Barrett, 709-569
Kretzer def. Peterson, 696-677
Rash def. Waliczek, 722-645
O’Grady def. Smith, 738-594
R. Allen def. Ashby, 622-621
Jaros def. Kloss, 636-630
Hess def. Carter, 635-591
300 Games: Round 2- Eugene McCune; Match play- Pete Weber, Wu Siu Hong, Brad Angelo.