Peter Weber in contention at Dick Weber OpenJan 19, 2008 - 7:05 AM FOUNTAIN VALLEY, California (Ticker) -- It took three years, but Pete Weber finally has a chance to honor his father with a win in the event named after the late PBA Hall of Famer.
Weber went 7-1 in the final eight-game block of round-robin match play on Friday to earn the No. 4 seed for Sunday's stepladder finals in the 2008 Motel 6 Dick Weber Open.
Weber's father, Dick, passed away in February 2004, and the next season, the Dick Weber Open was created in his honor. Pete Weber finished 35th in the event in 2006 and missed the cut to match play by two places last season, finishing 26th.
This time, Pete Weber finished 12th in qualifying, then went 15-9 in match play - including 7-1 in the final block when he needed every win. He went into the position round fifth and beat Parker Bohn III, 245-205, to earn the fourth seed.
"It feels great. I bowled pretty well the first half, and last week was just a warmup week," said Pete Weber, who had four top-eight finishes but no championship rounds in the first half. "All the hard work I put in the first half, maybe the second half it will start paying off. Today, I made the right guess at the right time with the right ball."
The move to which he was referring happened just before the position round, where he took on fellow Hall of Famer Bohn for the second consecutive match.
"I bowled Parker the seventh game on lanes 21 and 22, and I was watching the guys on 23 and 24, where the position round was going to be, and the guys who were playing the deep part of the lane were having problems," Pete Weber said. "Two games before, Wes (Malott) bowled 240 throwing it hard and straight. I took a ball I knew I could throw hard and straight, and I got the reaction I looked for. It could have gone the other way, but fortunately, it didn't."
Weber still will need to win four matches Sunday to capture the title, but he feels just as confident as ever.
"I don't care about being the fourth seed," the 34-time Denny's PBA Tour titlist said. "I'm good from the fourth or fifth position. A lot of my titles came from there, so I'm perfectly fine with it."
Weber's first match will be against No. 5 Mike Scroggins, who went 18-6 in match play, tying for the best record of the 24 bowlers. The winner will face No. 3 Tommy Delutz Jr., who is making his first trip to the championship round this season and seeking his first title since 2001.
Earning the No. 2 seed was Jack Jurek, who went 14-10 and will look to break one of the longest title droughts on Tour. Jurek's lone win came in the 1995 Tums Classic, a span of 132 events.
The man waiting in the title match is eight-time titlist Chris Barnes, who is making his Tour-high fifth championship round appearance of the season but still is searching for his first title in 2007-08. Barnes tied Scroggins with the best record at 18-6 and overcame tough lane conditions to average 220 in match play.
"This week has been U.S. Open-like. In fact, the scores might have been lower than the year I won the U.S. Open," Barnes said of the tournament widely regarded as the most difficult on Tour. "Today was probably the best day I've had, performance-wise, this year. The lanes were just hard, but my swing was in-line and I was just very clear mentally and very focused and had very few giveaway shots."
Barnes has had success as the top seed before, capturing his first career major in the 62nd U.S. Open in 2005 while in that position.
"I'd rather be the top seed than not," Barnes said. "It's all going to be a crapshoot. The lanes will be a lot different because of the guys on the show and the practice time. What guys decide to do in practice determines a lot. I'm feeling good, I just have to make the right moves on Sunday."
Sunday's finals get underway at 1 p.m. EST, with the winner receiving $25,000 and an exemption for the 2008-09 season.
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