Monday, February 27, 2012

Pete Weber Wins 69th PBA U.S. Open

"Dad, I know you were watching. I know you're proud, and I'm sorry I broke your record." ~ Pete Weber

Until Sunday, February 26, 2012, nobody owned more U.S. Open titles than the late, great Don Carter and Dick Weber. Then Dick Weber's Hall of Fame son Pete stepped onstage to defeat Ryan Shafer 223-191, Jason Belmonte 225-213, and Mike Fagan 215-214 in one of the best-bowled and most intense televised stepladder finals in TV bowling history en route to an unprecedented fifth U.S. Open, ninth major, and 36th tour title that had no less than bowling luminary and writer Jeff Richgels opining that PDW may well be the best bowler of all time.

And as much as raw statistics might still award that glittering honor to Walter Ray Williams Jr. or Earl Anthony, there's no avoiding the fact that, as Richgels writes, "Pete has been at the top of bowling through more eras than either Earl or Walter Ray, starting at the end of plastic through urethane to reactive resin...You simply can't deny that Pete has stayed on top through more changes in the game than any bowler in history. And look at how much his game has changed from when he was a teenager who arguably had the most powerful game in bowling to almost a finesse player who is little more than a tweener in the current era of two-handed ultra power players. What hasn't changed is his almost unreal competitiveness and will to win that has enabled him to rise to big occasions as much as any player in history."

Richgels writes that he's still not sure who's the greatest bowler ever but that Pete Weber's phenomenal performance Sunday at the age of 49 has "changed the debate" for him. I guess I'd have to say that the same goes for me. Bad boy that PDW has been over the years and was again on Sunday, there's no denying his stupendous bowling accomplishments that rise to the level that one of his opponents Sunday, the immensely talented Jason Belmonte, characterized as "inhuman." I'd call them superhuman.

I'll have more to say about all of this and about this year's PBA U.S. Open and Sunday telecast over a series of upcoming blogposts, but I want to end this entry with videos of yesterday's wonderful matches for you to savor. It's been a long time since bowling has received the respect it deserves, and, regrettably, Sunday's finals probably won't change that a whole lot.

But it should.

For a concise summary of the entire 2012 PBA U.S. Open, be sure to check out this article on Jef's Bowling Blog, and for a more detailed summary of the televised finals, you can read Bill Vint's wrap up on the PBA website. Finally, you can watch the videos below to behold what words cannot fully convey of all three matches.

1 comment:

  1. Great write up! I'm sure the crowd was charged with energy at this game!