Pete Weber captured the PBA Tournament of Champions on Sunday when he defeated Australian two-handed star Jason Belmonte, 224-179.
The victory made Weber the first player to complete the PBA Triple Crown for a second time and tied bowling legend Earl Anthony for most major PBA titles with 10.
Weber, who was considered one of the professional tour’s power players when he won his first PBA Tournament of Champions with his unique high backswing in 1978, is now 50 — the oldest player ever to win the Tournament of Champions — and affectionately called “Gramps” by his younger opponents.
He won his second TOC title to go along with five U.S. Open titles and two PBA World Championships to complete the PBA’s Triple Crown a second time, a feat no other bowler has accomplished. He also owns a PBA Touring Players Championship for his other major. His win Sunday was his 37th, tying him for third place on the PBA all-time titles list with Norm Duke, behind Walter Ray Williams Jr. (47) and Anthony (43).
“I don’t know what it is,” Weber said. “I get up for the majors, but there’s one eluding me and the Weber family — the USBC Masters. I really want that one, and I’m not done yet. I’m not slowing down. I have no plans to retire.”
Weber, at age 50, is eligible to bowl in the PBA50 Tour and has indicated he plans to bowl the senior events, which should make a few of the current seniors shake in their Dexters.
Weber has never won PBA Player of the Year, but he sure gets my vote for it this year.
The United States Bowling Congress is offering incentives for 2014 Reno Events. Teams entering the 2014 USBC Open and Women’s Championships will be eligible for some selected rewards just for signing up early.
Each member of teams paid in full by this July 1 will receive $20 in “Championships Cash” upon check-in at their respective tournaments in Reno, Nev., next year. The vouchers can be used toward Bowling Ball Express, year-long brackets products, merchandise at the USBC SportStore or at any of the USBC-run side tournaments.
As an added bonus, Open Championships bowlers who meet the July 1 deadline and register for a 10:30 p.m. doubles and singles squad will earn a $55 rebate as part of their prize checks, essentially bowling the singles event for free.
“We have so many dedicated bowlers and team captains,” said Brian Lewis, USBC Managing Director of Tournaments. “This rewards program is a way for us to show our appreciation for their continued support of our tournaments.”
The 2014 Open Championships will be held at Reno’s National Bowling Stadium. The cost for each bowler is $55 per event plus $15 for all-events for a total of $180. Registration already is under way.
The 2014 Women’s Championships will be held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, and registration will begin May 1. The event will feature four-player teams for the first time, a new divisional structure and a return to the traditional all-scratch format.
The total cost for a four-player team at the Women’s Championships will be $560. Entering by mail, fax or phone will require an additional $10 processing fee per team and $10 for each doubles/singles set.
Group coordinators for 2014 also will enjoy a few additional incentives. Open Championships coordinators with eight teams, and Women’s Championships coordinators with six teams, will receive a complimentary VIP package. Also, doubles and singles times for their groups are guaranteed, so there is no need to worry about the group being split up.
For more information about the Open or Women’s Championships, visit Bowl.com.
Doug Kent of Newark, N.Y., the winner of 10 Professional Bowlers Association Tour titles, including four major championships, and Danny Wiseman of Baltimore, a 12-time Tour winner with one major title, were inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame for superior performance during ceremonies at the Indianapolis Marriott North on Saturday night.
Wiseman, 45, joined the PBA in 1987 and has earned just over $1.55 million. Kent, also 45, joined the PBA in 1988 and has earned just over $1.51 million during his career. In the voting for the 50 Greatest Players in PBA history during the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2009, Wiseman was ranked 42nd and Kent 43rd.
Among Kent’s major titles are the 1991 USBC Masters, his first title, the 2002 PBA World Championship, and the 2006 USBC Masters and Denny’s PBA World Championship. Winning two majors in 2006 led to the Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year award. He is one of only nine players ever to win two major titles in the same season.
Wiseman, who won the first of his 11 standard titles in the 1990 Fair Lanes Open in his hometown in his first television appearance, won the historic 2004 USBC Miller High Life Masters which was staged on a special lane installation inside Miller Park in Milwaukee — the first time a bowling championship had been conducted inside a major league baseball stadium.
Wiseman also had memorable performances in the 1992 Tournament of Champions and 2009 USBC Masters, finishing second in both tournaments.
Early in his career, Wiseman defined himself by compiling the winningest television record in PBA history at that time (21-5), and by introducing a colorful persona that branded him as something of a maverick
As our leagues wind down, don’t forget upcoming tournaments. The senior mixed tournament will be hosted by Hallmark Lanes and competition will be held April 21 and 27-28.
The association will hold its general membership meeting on April 20 at VFW 9192 in Killeen. Everyone is encouraged to attend. There will be an election of a vice-president and three directors. For more information go to www.bowlkilleenforthood.org.
The tournament committee will be discussing the handicap used during our association tournaments. This is the time to make recommendations and you should submit them in writing to the association manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the lanes.