MONTICELLO, Minn. (July 12, 2019) – Wearing a brace to shore up his ailing left knee, Brian LeClair of Albany, New York recovered from a slow start to beat PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber 225-200 in the title match to win the PBA50 River City Extreme Open presented by Hammer Friday for his first win of the season and fourth of his career.
Leading by five pins in the ninth frame and finishing the title match first, LeClair threw two strikes and eight in the 10th frame which was enough to eliminate any chance for Weber to come back for the win. It was LeClair’s first PBA50 Tour win since winning the PBA50 Johnny Petraglia Open in May of 2017 and it was later that season that he began wearing the brace.
“I never thought I’d be in this position again,” said the 2017 PBA50 Player of the Year. “It’s been a long road and a constant work in progress for the last year and a half to get to a point where I can trust my leg and be confident that I can be competitive again.”
LeClair, who only needs to wear his brace when he bowls, started the title match with an open and a spare before striking on the next five of seven frames heading into the 10th frame.
“I was too amped up and just threw it too hard in the first frame and didn’t get settled down until the third frame,” the 54-year-old LeClair said. “I told myself to just slow down and throw it better like I had been doing the last two days.”
LeClair earned the top qualifier position for the stepladder finals thanks to a 11-1 match play record earlier in the day at River City Extreme.
“I was fortunate in match play,” said an emotional LeClair who dedicated the win to Eric Race, an employee at his pro shop who has cancer. “I won a few matches with 180s and 190s but then in the second match play round I was able to put the hammer down and I don’t think I bowled anything less than 230.”
Despite finishing second, it was also somewhat of a comeback result for Weber who hadn’t made a PBA50 championship round appearance for more than a year. His best finish this season was 10th in the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open and his last PBA50 Tour win came in the DeHayes Insurance Group Classic in August of 2017.
Weber, who qualified second for the finals, was able to survive the semifinal match against newcomer No. 3 qualifier James Campbell of Clearwater, Florida, winning 215-214. After striking on the first ball in the 10th frame Campbell could have won the match with a double – or tie with a spare – but threw the ball slightly wide leaving the 2-10 split which he failed to convert.
Campbell, a seven-time PBA regional winner bowling in his sixth PBA50 Tour event, defeated No. 5 qualifier Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli 247-199 in the second match to advance to the semifinal.
In the opening match, Monacelli beat No. 4 qualifier fellow Hall of Famer Ron Mohr 233-200 to open the finals. Monacelli, who won the 2019 USBC Senior Masters for his fifth PBA50 major title, was trying for his second win of the season and Mohr was trying for his first.
The PBA50 Tour heads to Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Indiana for the PBA50 South Shore Open presented by Ebonite July 15-18. Fans can catch all the action from start to finish via PBA’s online streaming partner FloBowling. For subscription and schedule information visit www.flobowling.com.
PBA50 RIVER CITY EXTREME OPEN
Presented by Hammer
River City Extreme, Monticello, Minn., Friday
1, Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., $8,000.
2, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., $4,300.
3, James Campbell, Clearwater, Fla., $2,800.
4, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, $2,200.
5, Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, $1,750.
Match One – Monacelli def. Mohr, 233-200.
Match Two – Campbell def. Monacelli, 247-199.
Semifinal Match – Weber def. Campbell, 215-214.
Championship Match – LeClair def. Weber, 225-200.
Match Play Round 2 (28-game pinfall totals including match play bonus pins. Top five advance to stepladder finals)
1, Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., 11-1, 6,522.
2, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 9-3, 6,461.
3, James Campbell, Clearwater, Fla., 6-6, 6,451.
4, Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 6-6, 6,360.
5, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 8-4, 6,332.
6, Steve Hoskins, New Port Richey, Fla., 8-4, 6,306, $1,500.
7, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 7-5, 6,250, $1,400.
8, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 6-6, 6,183, $1,350.
9, Warren Eales, Chandler, Ariz., 5-7, 6,077, $1,300.
10, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 6-6, 6,044, $1,275.
11, Paul Fleming, Ft. Worth, Texas, 5-7, 6,043, $1,250.
12, Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 5-7, 6,004, $1,225.
13, Jeff Johnson, Freeport, Ill., 6-6, 5,998, $1,200.
14, John Marsala, St. Louis, Mo., 7-5, 5,967, $1,190.
15, Ricky Schissler, Brighton, Colo., 6-6, 5,960, $1,180.
16, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 4-8, 5,922, $1,170.
17, John Burkett, Southlake, Texas, 6-6, 5,910, $1,160.
18, Christopher Keane, Cape Coral, Fla., 7-5, 5,891, $1,150.
19, Don Breeden, Clive, Iowa, 3-8-1, 5,867, $1,140.
20, Don Herrington, Ballston Lake, N.Y., 4-8, 5,837, $1,130.
21, n-Lyle Kuhlmann, Woodruff, Wis., 4-7-1, 5,836, $1,120.
22, Henry Dawson, Elma, Wash., 6-6, 5,818, $1,110.
23, Keith Lesko, Prosper, Texas, 5-7, 5,658, $1,105.
24, Brian Menini, Brookfield, Mo., 3-9, 5,587, $1,100.
Match Play Round 1 (22-game pinfall totals including match play bonus pins. All players advance to second match play round)
1, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 6-0 5,196.
2, James Campbell, Clearwater, Fla., 4-2, 5,156.
3, Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 5-1, 5,003.
4, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 4-2, 4,979.
5, Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., 6-0, 4,971.
6, Steve Hoskins, New Port Richey, Fla., 5-1, 4,956.
7, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 4-2, 4,850.
8, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 4-2, 4,837.
9, Paul Fleming, Fort Worth, Texas, 2-4, 4,794.
10, Warren Eales, Chandler, Ariz., 2-4, 4,765.
11, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 3-3, 4,758.
12, Jeff Johnson, Freeport, Ill., 2-4, 4,663.
13, Mike Dias, Lafayette, Colo., 2-4, 4,656.
14, Christopher Keane, Cape Coral, Fla., 4-2, 4,655.
14, Don Breeden, Clive, Iowa, 2-4, 4,655.
16, John Burkett, Southlake, Texas, 2-4, 4,638.
17, Don Herrington, Ballston Lake, N.Y., 1-5, 4,623.
18, n-Lyle Kuhlmann, Woodruff, Wis., 3-3, 4,610.
19, John Marsala, St. Louis, Mo., 3-3, 4,598.
20, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 1-5, 4,576.
21, Ricky Schissler, Brighton, Colo., 2-4, 4,568.
22, Henry Dawson, Elma, Wash., 2-4, 4,542.
23, Brian Menini, Brookfield, Mo., 2-4, 4,521.
24, Keith Lesko, Prosper, Texas, 1-5, 4,399.