BJI Almanac: All-Time Winners at Woodland Bowl

by Bob Johnson 0

ERRATA: In BJI’s April Almanac list of the all-time PBA tournament winners at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, we inadvertently omitted Pete Weber’s victory in the 2013 PBA Tournament of Champions. That made him a three-time “major” winner at Woodland, to go along with his team championship in the inaugural season of the PBA League. With the 2013 TOC win, Weber became the first player to complete the PBA’s Triple Crown twice. We regret the omission, and have posted a corrected version of the list here…

WHEN THE time came to select a host center for a tournament commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Professional Bowlers Association, there really was only one choice: Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis.

After all, Woodland is the only center to have hosted every PBA major tournament: the Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open, World (formerly National) Championship, Touring Players Championship and Masters — 11 in all, representing one-third of all PBA tournaments conducted at Woodland since 1981.

Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr. are the only three-time winners at Woodland.

All of Weber’s singles victories there came in majors, the first two in 1991 and 1992, and the third more than two decades later. He also was part of the winning New York City WTT KingPins team when the inaugural season of the PBA League was conducted at Woodland.

Likewise, Williams’s record at Woodland serves as a microcosm of his career: excellence over an extended period of time. He won his first title there in 1994, and his third 22 years later. Two of the three titles are majors.

Ron Palombi and Norm Duke are the other multi-title champions at Woodland, each winning twice, each including a major.

The center has hosted other “non-standard” events in addition to the five majors, including the Dick Weber Playoffs, which utilized a format based on the NCAA’s “March Madness” basketball playoffs, and the Marathon Open, a 54-game event in which six lane patterns were used.

— Bob Johnson (with thanks to Janay Haggerty and Bill Vint)



1981/Kessler Classic/Steve Cook

1982/Kessler Classic /Steve Fehr

1983/Kessler Classic /George Pappas

1984/Indianapolis Open/Mike Aulby

1985/True Value Open/Darryl Bower

1986/True Value Open/Harry Sullins

1987/True Value Open/Ron Palombi

1988/True Value Open/Joe Berardi

1990/BPAA U.S. Open/Ron Palombi

1991/BPAA U.S. Open/Pete Weber

1992/Touring Players Championship/Pete Weber

1993/Touring Players Championship/Jason Couch

1994/Touring Players Championship/Walter Ray Williams Jr.

1995/Indianapolis Open/Jason Couch

1996/BPAA U.S. Open/Dave Husted

1997/Ebonite Challenge/John Mazza

1998/National Finance Challenge/Walter Ray Williams Jr.

1999/Indianapolis Open/Randy Pedersen

2000/Indianapolis Open/Doug Kent

2001/Miller High Life Open/Dave Arnold

2004/Uniroyal Tire Classic/Steve Jaros

2005/Baby Ruth Real Deal Classic/Mika Koivuniemi

2006/Denny’s World Championship/Walter Ray Williams Jr.

2007/Pepsi Championship/Norm Duke

2008/Denny’s World Championship/Norm Duke

2009/Etonic Marathon Open/Wes Malott

2010/Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open/Bill O’Neill

2011/Dick Weber Playoffs/Dick Allen

2012/Hammer Dick Weber Playoffs/Norm Duke

2013/PBA League Elias Cup FinalsTommy Jones-Jack Jurek-John Szczerbinski-Scott Norton-Pete Weber-Kelly Kulick

2013/PBA Tournament of Champions/Pete Weber

2015/Barbasol Tournament of Champions/Jason Belmonte

2016/USBC Masters/Anthony Simonsen

2018/Go Bowling! 60th Anniversary Classic/Jakob Butturff


Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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