Pete Weber charges into second round lead in PBA Tournament of Champions


    2012-13 PBA Tour #12

    Five international bowlers in the top 8 after 16 of 24 games before the cut to the top 24 for round-robin match play

    201213PBAPeteWeber.jpg201213PBASeanRash.jpgPete Weber (pictured left) of St. Ann, Mo., in his bid to tie the late Earl Anthony for the most Professional Bowlers Association major titles won, charged into the second round lead in the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions Wednesday night at Woodland Bowl.

    Weber, at age 50, averaged 242.19 including the only 300 game in the second round to finish with a 16-game total of 3,875 pins. With eight more qualifying games remaining Thursday before the cut to the top 24 for round-robin match play, the PBA Hall of Weber held a 41-pin lead over defending champion and reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash (right) of Montgomery, Ill.

    Weber, a 36-time PBA Tour titlist, ranks fourth on the all-time PBA Tour titles list behind Walter Ray Williams Jr. (47), Earl Anthony (43) and Norm Duke (37). He is trying for his 10th major championship to equal Anthony's record and his 37th overall title to tie Duke for third place on the career titles list. He won two of his major titles – the 1991 U.S. Open and 1992 Touring Players Championship – at Woodland Bowl.

    "I kinda like it here. I have always enjoyed bowling here," Weber said. "Winning this one would let me complete the Triple Crown for the second time."

    Weber has won the other two legs of the Triple Crown multiple times; the U.S. Open a record five times and the PBA World Championship twice. No player has ever won all three PBA Triple Crown events twice.

    "I've bowled well all year, but something was missing," Weber added. "My brother Rich straightened it out. It was just a smidgeon in my timing, but it worked. I just feel a lot more confident, and when you have a good reaction and good carry, it just loosens the swing up that much more."

    2013EBT04OskuPalermaa.jpg2012EBT16StuartWilliams3.jpgHistory is on the line, but Weber isn't concerned about it. "I don't think about the majors. That's the least thing I worry about," he said. "It's not Sunday. I'm thinking about making the top 24 first, and then if I make it to the TV show on Sunday, I'll think about winning. Not now."

    Rash, with 3,834 pins, was followed by two-hander Osku Palermaa (left) of Finland with a 3,825 total and first-round leader Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., in fourth place with 3,812.

    2013EBT04DominicBarrett.jpg201213PBAAmletoMonacelli.jpgStuart Williams (above right) of England averaged 246.38 for the highest second block of 1971 to jump from 29th to fifth place with 3,757 pins.

    His compatriot Dominic Barrett (left) leaped from 23rd to sixth place and is tied with PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli (right) of Venezuela at 3,703.

    USBC Masters champion Jason Belmonte (below left) of Australia was mere two pins behind to round out the top 8 with 3701.

    2013EBT04JasonBelmonte2.jpgThe Tournament of Champions continues Thursday with the final eight-game qualifying round at 10 a.m. The top 24 players based on 24-game pinfall totals will then advance to an eight-game round-robin match play round at 5 p.m.

    The final two eight-game match play rounds will be held Friday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. After 48 games, the top five players will advance to Sunday's live ESPN stepladder finals at 2:30 p.m. ET.

    All qualifying and match play rounds of the Tournament of Champions (and the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Saturday night) will be covered live, exclusively on PBA's online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.


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    Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions - Standings after Round Two

    Players with position, hometown and 16-game total

    300 Games: (4) Mike Scroggins, Scott Norton, Scott Newell (Round One); Pete Weber.