By Keith Hale
Usually, the five Weber Cup sessions commence with a Baker team match, which normally becomes a hurdle very difficult to cross. Historically, the Americans post an early point and leave the Europeans playing catch-up. Maybe the home team was relieved to find just two sessions this year commence with the Baker.
History did not repeat itself Friday evening as the European quartet opened the proceedings with a 194-174 win. To grab the first of the 16 points needed to retain the cup.
More European success came as Martin ‘Lucky’ Larsen outpointed Parker Bohn III, 265-216, in the first singles match of the evening. Both started with the first five strikes, then Bohn hit an eight-spare whilst Larsen carried on striking for his 265, just a couple of spares later in the game.
With the first two points on the board, high hopes for England’s Dom Barrett, taking on the lofty Wes Malott. But Barrett suffered from a bout of split-itis, mainly of the 2-10 variety, which allowed Malott to build a handsome lead, post the first point for the Americans and be happy with a 205-181 win.
DAY ONE SCORES
Baker Team: Europe 194 United States 174
Martin Larsen 265 Parker Bohn III 216
Dom Barrett 181 Wes Malott 205
Stuart Williams 237 Tommy Jones 200
Osku Palermaa 258 Bill O’Neill 170
Pick: Dom Barrett 254 Bill O’Neill 175
Singles and doubles are next on the schedule, with the doubles played as Scotch Doubles, the players alternating shots.
With the Europeans leading a record 5-1 after last night’s matches, the Americans are determined to stay in the strike pocket today, but European captain Dom Barrett is confident. “Luckily, the team bowled so well last night. I was the only one to lose a match but the team rallied round me and brought me up to their level for the final match. This is a very tough lane as it is very easy to get the ball to go up the lane too far. The Americans have chosen the pattern for this afternoon’s matches, so it is going to be very interesting to see how the matches turn out.”
Tommy Jones knows the U.S. has some work to do at this point.
“We got ourselves in a bit of a hole yesterday, so the game plan today is to win the two sessions 4-2 and even up the scores. We have set the lane to a shorter pattern than yesterday, which should lower the scores and give us a better chance.”