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David Walsh: Weber top seed in PBA Tournament of Champions

Mar. 31, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Bowling fans have the ideal script for Sunday's stepladder finals in the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions.

Pete Weber is top seed on the show scheduled to air at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN. There's no in between when it comes "PDW". Fans either love Weber or detest him and his well-known antics on the lanes. I'm OK with Weber for one big reason -- he can execute under pressure. Witness the final qualifying match Friday night. Weber beat two-handed Australian star Jason Belmonte, 226-183, to secure the No. 1 seed.

Weber, 50, is trying for a record-tying 10th major title and a chance to complete the PBA's Triple Crown for an unprecedented second time. The righthander averaged 236.71 and won 15 of his 24 matches to finish with a 48-game total of 11,812 pins, topping Belmonte by 46 pins for first place. Belmonte is No. 2 seed followed by No. 3 Sean Rash, Tommy Jones at No. 4 and Finland's Osku Palermaa, also a two-hander, the fifth seed. First prize is $50,000.

Weber is No. 4 on the all-time PBA Tour win list with 36. He can tie the late Earl Anthony for most PBA major titles if he wins Sunday's title match. Weber has won the U.S. Open a record five times and the PBA World Championship twice; those events are the other two legs in the PBA Triple Crown.

"When we're done Sunday, I'll talk about those things," Weber told Bill Vint of pba.com. "I thought I was pulling away from everyone, but all of a sudden, here comes Belmo. I would have been content with second, but I'm happy I only have to bowl one game Sunday."

SCRATCH TOURNAMENTS RETURN: The popular Sport Lane Pattern scratch singles tournaments resume Sunday, April 7, at Colonial Lanes. Starting time is noon. Entry fee is now $40. Tournament lanes will start with 33-34 and go back as lanes are needed. There will be a few new patterns used, too. The oil pattern from the 2010 USBC Masters finals will be used for opening week. Schedule and other tournament details available at www.coloniallaneswv.com.

WIN NO. 2: Scott Norton struck out in the 10th frame to post a 219-191 win over Sean Rash in the Earl Anthony PBA Players Championship last Sunday on ESPN. Rash, who had splits in the fifth and sixth frames, rallied late to make it close. He needed a strike on his first ball in the 10th, but failed. Norton stepped up and struck out to secure his second win of the season.

PBA LEAGUE: The New York City WTT KingPins, owned by women's sports legend Billie Jean King, earned the top seed for the stepladder finals in the PBA League Elias Cup finals on April 7. The won two qualifying rounds during the PBA Detroit Winter Swing and compiled 45 points to beat Jerome Bettis' Motown Muscle by seven points. The BROOKLYN STyLES, owned by actor Jesse Williams, captured the No. 3 berth thanks to winning a match in the Earl Anthony Round last Sunday. The STyLES will meet the Dallas Strikers in the Elias Cup opening match. Dallas claimed the final berth thanks to its second-place finish in the Anthony round. Air time on ESPN is 1 p.m.

David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or dwalsh@herald- dispatch.com.

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