In a match featuring two of the Professional Bowlers Association’s all-time greats, Walter Ray Williams Jr.
beat Pete Weber
Wednesday at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., to advance to the PBA Shark Championship Round of 8.
Williams (pictured right and above), the PBA Tour’s all-time career titles leader with 47 wins, defeated Weber 3-0 (247-204, 247-209, 202-188) in the best-of-five-game single elimination Round of 16 match. Weber continued to battle through his hip injury but it may have proved to have been too much to overcome in the match.
“He’s been bowling great despite his injury so I had to be ready for his best,” Williams said. “I think it’s amazing what he’s been able to do.
“I really wasn’t anticipating sweeping the match but I was bowling well and I only missed the pocket a few times so I was pretty dialed in to what I needed to do,” Williams added. “Tomorrow I have two more chances to make a (World Series) final so I’m hoping for the best.”
Going into the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII both Weber (left), who ranks fourth on the all-time PBA Tour titles list with 37 wins, and Williams were tied with 99 combined titles in PBA Tour, PBA50 Tour (Senior), PBA Regional and PBA50 Regional competition.
With his Round of 8 wins in the Shark and Cheetah Championships, Williams is still alive in his quest for the 100-title mark.
“Every time I see these young guys out here, I sometimes ask myself what I’m still doing out here,” said the 56-year-old Williams. “Then I do something like bowl well here at the World Series and I convince myself I can still be competitive.”
EJ Tackett (right) of Huntington, Ind., who owns the top berth for this Sunday’s PBA World Championship stepladder finals, advanced to his third World Series final eight by beating Dick Allen, of Columbia, S.C., 3-0. The four-time Tour winner had previously qualified for the semifinals in the Chameleon and Scorpion Championships.
“I’m encouraged by being able to make the right adjustments on different conditions but with the Round of 8 to go there’s still a lot of work to do,” said Tackett.
Andrew Cain (left) of Phoenix, Ariz., the Shark Championship qualifying leader, advanced to the Round of 8 by winning his match 3-0 against 2016 USBC Masters champion Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas.
Others advancing to the Shark Championship Round of 8 were Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3-0; Francois Lavoie, Canada, 3-1; Markus Jansson (right), Sweden, 3-1; Sam Cooley, Australia, 3-1, and Matthew O’Grady (below left), South Amboy, N.J., 3-0.
The 24 players competing in today’s match play rounds advanced from Shark Championship qualifying conducted last Friday.
All four “animal” lane conditioning pattern Round of 8 rounds will be conducted on Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. PT with the Shark round scheduled for 6 p.m. The Shark Championship telecast will be taped by ESPN on Saturday at 6 p.m. and will air Dec. 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
All Round of 8 matches will be covered live, exclusively by PBA’s online live-streaming service, Xtra Frame. For more information, click here.
Svensson beats Belmonte to advance to PBA Scorpion Championship Round of 8
EJ Tackett rebounds to advance to PBA Chameleon Championship Round of 8
Sean Rash looks for silver lining after advancing to Cheetah Final 8
EJ Tackett earns second consecutive top qualifier berth at PBA World Championship
EJ Tackett improves his chances to win PBA Player of the Year honors
EJ Tackett leads PBA World Championship field into final Match Play rounds
Andrew Cain passes Pete Weber for PBA Shark Championship qualifying lead
Australia’s Jason Belmonte paces PBA Scorpion Championship qualifying
Mike DeVaney rolls into PBA Chameleon Championship qualifying lead
Perfect game vaults Brandon Novak into PBA Cheetah Championship qualifying lead
PBA’s World Series animal pattern finals to stream live on ESPN3
2016 PBA Tour Schedule & Champions
PBA Shark Championship – Round of 8 Match-ups
Best-of-five single-elimination match play; four players will advance to the ESPN taping of the Shark Championship at 6 p.m. PT on Saturday.
Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., vs. Andrew Cain, Phoenix
Sam Cooley, Australia, vs. Francois Lavoie, Canada
Matthew O’Grady, South Amboy, N.J., vs. Markus Jansson, Sweden
Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla. vs. E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind.
PBA Shark Championship – Round of 16
Best-of-five single-elimination match play; eight players advance to Thursday’s Round of 8; losers earn $1,250.
Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., def. B.J. Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., 3-0
(233-215, 243-223, 202-174)
E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., def. Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 3-0
(258-248, 245-214, 265-235)
Francois Lavoie, Canada, def. Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 3-1
(211-214, 258-203, 209-209, 223-191)
Markus Jansson, Sweden, def. Jason Sterner, Cocoa, Fla., 3-1
(247-226, 288-206, 185-206, 226-203)
Sam Cooley, Australia, def. Derek Handy, Redmond, Wash., 3-1
(193-166, 190-169, 186-189, 200-177)
Matthew O’Grady, South Amboy, N.J., def. Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3-0
(252-238, 221-192, 216-212)
Andrew Cain, Phoenix, def. Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 3-0
(235-192, 279-241, 243-169)
Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., def. Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3-0
(247-204, 247-209, 202-188)
PBA Shark Championship – Round of 24
Best-of-five single-elimination match play; eight players advance to Round of 16; losers earn $700.
Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., def. Chris Warren, Grants Pass, Ore., 3-1
(212-164, 180-246, 194-175, 235-217)
Derek Handy, Redmond, Wash., def. Mitch Beasley, Clarksville, Tenn., 3-0
(214-198, 204-190, 238-202)
Markus Jansson, Sweden, def. Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-2
(183-238, 220-178, 236-213, 181-223, 218-163)
Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., def. Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3-1
(205-182, 205-238, 268-217, 279-235)
Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., def. Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, 3-2
(202-221, 215-181, 246-199, 154-225, 210-194)
Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, def. Dom Barrett, England, 3-2
(232-201, 229-247, 217-199, 189-242, 222-186)
Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., def. Mik Stampe, Denmark, 3-1
(216-212, 187-193, 219-171, 215-199)
Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, def. Ingelimar Beasley, Venezuela, 3-0
(195-190, 212-184, 222-207)