WAUWATOSA, Wis. – Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., won his first seven matches in the Lucas Oil PBA Milwaukee Open Wednesday night at AMF Bowlero to storm into a 23–pin lead over Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, heading into Thursday’s final two match play rounds.
Weber, who entered the opening round of Milwaukee Open match play in fifth place, steadily moved up to finish the day with a 43-game total of 9,792 pins, including 210 match play bonus pins. His only loss came in his final match against fellow 37-time PBA Tour titlist Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., 213-201. Barnes, a 14-time PBA Tour winner, held the lead early in the round and finished with 9,769 pins.
Canada’s Dan MacLelland, who is trying for his first PBA Tour title and the first ever by a Canadian, was in third place with 9,615 pins followed by Duke with a 9,603 total and three-time Tour winner Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., with 9,588 pins.
The first round of Milwaukee Open match play was contested on the challenging 40-foot Bear lane conditioning pattern, a scoring environment similar to the U.S Open lane condition which is considered the most difficult in bowling. Weber has won the U.S. Open a record five times, so he embraced the challenge.
“I don’t mind this pattern at all,” he grinned.
“The lanes were a little different today than they were yesterday (for the Bear Open),” he added. “I started the day with a 160 game, so I changed to a ball I figured wouldn’t work, and I shot 240, 230, 230, 230 in the last four games of qualifying.
“Tonight I tried another ball I didn’t think would work, used it for three games on the left lane along with a different ball on the right lane, and I felt good about it.
“I got to move inside to the fourth and fifth arrow, and I like playing in there. My arm swing was loose and when your arm swing is loose, good things happen.”
Thursday, the Milwaukee Open match play finals conclude with an eight-game round on the 32-foot Wolf Open pattern at 11 a.m. and eight games on the 52-foot Badger lane condition at 5:30 p.m. The top five players after 59 games will advance to the Milwaukee Open stepladder finals Sunday at noon.
The Milwaukee Open is the fourth and final event in the GEICO PBA Summer Swing presented by Lucas Oil. Finalists in the Milwaukee Open qualified during the Badger, Wolf and Bear Open tournament, conducted on three different lane conditions over the past eight days at AMF Waukesha, AMF West and AMF Bowlero, respectively.
The Milwaukee Open match play rounds are being covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.
The stepladder finals for the Badger, Wolf, Bear and Milwaukee Opens will be contested Saturday at 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively. The GEICO Summer King of the Swing special event will follow the Milwaukee Open finals Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Summer Swing finals will air on five consecutive Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET beginning June 11.
LUCAS OIL PBA MILWAUKEE OPEN
AMF Bowlero, Milwaukee, Wis., May 29
Match Play Round One (after 43 games, top five after 59 games advance to stepladder finals):
1, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 7-1, 9,792.
2, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 5-3, 9,769.
3, Dan MacLelland, Canada, 6-2, 9,615.
4, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 6-2, 9,603.
5, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 4-4, 9,588.
6, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas, 3-4-1, 9,562.
7, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-4-1, 9,545.
8, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix, 4-4, 9,517.
9, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 2-6, 9,515.
10, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 2-6, 9,427.
11, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 4-4, 9,396.
12, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 5-3, 9,391.
13, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 4-4, 9,387.
14, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 5-3, 9,383.
15 (tie), Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 5-3, and Andres Gomez, Colombia, 3-5, 9,380.
17, Jake Peters, Decatur, Ill., 4-4, 9,352.
18, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 4-4, 9,333.
19, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 5-3, 9,314.
20, Patrick Girard, Canada, 3-5, 9,225.
21, Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., 2-6, 9,204.
22, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2-6, 9,157.
23, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3-5, 9,131.
24, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 4-4, 9,103.