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Bowling

Weber cruises past Voss in Hall of Fame battle

By PHIL GULICK
Published February 19, 2004

Pete Weber defeated Brian Voss 231-178 in a shootout of PBA Hall of Famers to win the 61st U.S. Open on Feb. 8 at Anaheim, Calif.

Weber picked up his third Open, seventh major and 31st career titles and earned $100,000. He took advantage of Voss' open seventh frame. Weber needed seven pins in the 10th to clinch the victory and fired a strike on his first ball. Voss earned $50,000.

"I found a pretty good shot and just went with it," Weber said. "I stayed calm all week and when it was time to let my emotions go, I let them go."

Voss defeated Chris Barnes 214-193 in the semifinals, gaining the Open final game for the first time in his 21-year career. In the quarterfinals, Voss struck 11 times to defeat defending champion Walter Ray Williams of Ocala. Williams stopped amateur Osku Palermaa in the first match.

Williams and Palermaa earned $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Titusville's Jason Hurd missed the 24-man cut by five pins. Jimmy Keeth of Boynton Beach, Jason Couch of Clermont, Randy Pedersen of Fort Lauderdale and Ricky Ward of North Fort Myers also missed this cut.

After 12 games, the 360-man field was cut to 90. Orlando's Chris Hayden missed this cut by one pin. Other Florida players missing the cut were Steve Wilson of Lake Worth Steve Hoskins of Palm Harbor, Don Yoshihara and Tom Daugherty of Tampa, Christopher Loschetter of West Melbourne, Roger Bowker of Ocala, Shawn Evans of Satellite Beach and T.C. Hilderbrand of St. Petersburg.

SMITH WINS: Robert Smith rolled two pressure strikes to defeat Williams 227-218 and win the PBA Odor-Eaters Open Sunday at Tucson, Ariz.

Williams rolled a strike on his final ball to force Smith to strike twice. Smith nailed the two strikes and knocked down eight pins with his last ball to earn his second title of the season and career sixth.

"Needing two strikes in the 10th, especially against Walter Ray, it's almost storybook," said Smith, who earned $40,000.

In the first semifinal, Smith defeated Rick Steelsmith 235-211. Williams defeated Bryon Smith 224-191 in the second semifinal. The wild-card match also came down to the 10th frame, as Bryon Smith defeated Joe Ciccone 268-255. Williams won $20,000, Bryon Smith and Steelsmith $10,000 each and Ciccone $9,000.

Missing the second-round cut to 32 were Hayden, Bowker, Hurd and Wilson. Couch lost to Mike Edwards in the round of eight.

The tour is at Dallas this week for the Days Inn Classic. Finals will be aired live by ESPN from 12:30-2 p.m. Sunday.

TRIALS SET: The first of the new PBA tour trials is set for June 1-6 at Merrillville, Ind. The new trials will determine the final eight spots for seasonlong exemption onto the 2004-05 tour.

The five-day competition is a daily tournament with two squads each bowling nine games. Each day's competition will feature entrants bowling on different lane conditions. After the final day, the top eight bowlers with the highest cumulative pinfall will receive a seasonlong exemption and guaranteed earnings of at least $32,000 on the tour.

The 2004 trials are open to any PBA member who has participated in at least five PBA events (PBA tour, PBA Senior tour, PBA regionals) between Aug.11, 2003, and May 31. The trials' criteria in 2005 will become invitation only. Eligible will be 2004-05 members who did not retain exempt status; the top point leaders in each region; the top point leaders from the PBA Senior tour; a limited number of international bowlers; and commissioner's exemptions. In 2005, the number of exemptions available will increase from eight to 11.

Bowlers who miss gaining exemption at the trials still will have an opportunity to compete on tour. Each week a pretournament qualifier will be open to PBA members to determine four spots into that week's bracket.

The 2004-05 season will feature an all-exempt, 64-man field. Fifty seasonlong exemptions will come from bowlers on the tour this season, through tournament champions and point leaders. Six spots will be filled weekly.

[Last modified February 19, 2004, 02:00:25]


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