Pete Weber makes history with strike on last shot at U.S. Open By Mark Miller

    02/28/12

    Column

    Republished courtesy of Examiner.com (Feb. 27, 2012)

    201112PBA12PeteWeber4.jpgNo matter who won Sunday's title match in the 69th U.S. Open, history was going to be made. Fortunately for Pete Weber, it was him.

    Weber's strike on the day's final shot at Brunswick Zone-Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J., gave him a 215-214 victory over Mike Fagan of Grapevine, Texas. The match aired live on ESPN.

    It marked the Professional Bowlers Association and United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer's fifth U.S. Open title surpassing his legendary father Dick and the recently-deceased Don Carter for the most in the history of the U.S.Open and its predecessor, the All-Star.

    In addition, the 49-year-old St. Ann, Mo., resident became the oldest bowler to win the U.S. Open topping Norm Duke who won last year at age 46. Weber also moved into second place for most all-time major titles with nine, behind only the 10 won by Earl Anthony.

    "Dad, I know you were watching," Weber said as he looked up toward heaven after the win. "I know you're proud, and I'm sorry I broke your record."

    Weber needed at least a nine count, spare and strike in the 10th frame to beat Fagan, who was seeking to be the first bowler in more than four years to win consecutive major tournaments. Weber left a solid 10-pin on his first shot and converted the spare, then buried his final shot for his one-pin victory.

    "This is my greatest title ever," Weber said. "To win five U.S. Opens and pass Dick Weber and Don Carter says a lot, but I'll never say I'm better than them. They paved the way for us to be here. It was an honor and a privilege to join them when I won my fourth U.S. Open, and it's even more of an honor to be the first one to win five.

    "This is the tournament I look forward to every year," he added. "I live for the U.S. Open because I know, no matter what, I have a chance to win."

    As the No. 4 qualifier for the stepladder, Weber had to win two other matches to face Fagan, the No. 1 qualifier after 50 games. Weber beat Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., 223-191, and Australia's Jason Belmonte 225-213 to achieve that feat and give him the chance at the $60,000 first prize.

    "That's probably the calmest I've ever been needing to throw a shot to win," Weber added. "Not to toot my own horn, but I think I'm prouder of myself than anyone else. I've always wanted to be the one to throw a strike to win."

    Fagan earned $30,500. Belmonte collected $15,000 and Shafer $10,000.

     


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