Pete Weber Withdraws from PBA Players Championship

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

Though the 37-time PBA Tour champion tells BJI he feels good, Pete Weber nonetheless confirmed that he had chosen to withdraw from the PBA Players Championship today, which gets underway Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio.

"Physically and mentally I'm feeling fine," said the 56-year-old.

When pressed to explain why he withdrew from this week's tournament despite feeling fine, he said, "I'd really rather not get into it.

"I'm just ... I don't know how to put it. I'm just at a loss with things right now," he added. "Physically and mentally I feel really good, but there's other things going on in my life that I don't want to get into, and that's all I have to say about that."

Despite this week's withdrawal and any personal matters he is attempting to address off the lanes, Weber told BJI he plans to bowl forthcoming tour stops.

"I am bowling in Indianapolis [the PBA Indianapolis Open], I am bowling Jonesboro [the PBA Jonesboro Open], and I am bowling the World Series," he said. "There's just other things going on in my life right now that I needed to take care of. And they need to be taken care of this week."

Though physical issues are not the reason he is citing for his withdrawal this week, physical ailments have sidelined Weber in recent months.

When he withdrew from the PBA50 Storm Invitational in early October; he told FloBowling that he had pulled a "butt muscle."

Later that month, he withdrew from the U.S. Open with a hip problem just a game-and-a-half into the first round of qualifying, then expressed displeasure with the restriction on the number of practice balls players could throw on their starting pairs. Weber's chiropractor had flown in the night before, but his efforts were not enough to keep the hall of famer in action the following day.

Then last week, Weber's performance at the Tournament of Champions seemed to be a tale of two bowlers. There was the lumbering Pete Weber who started off each block slowly, and the high-flying, more familiar Weber who would string strikes and feed off the intensity of an adoring crowd behind the lanes later on.

In Qualifying Round 2, for instance, he started off with an opening score of 150 but finished the night with a 265. Though he had started off the previous round with scores of 182 and 194, he finished that same block with a 693 series on scores of 258, 204 and 231. He plateaued the final block, during which he put up an 1198 six-game total to miss match play by 14 spots.

"The first couple games, because we're on the fresh oil, you know, I'm not Jason Belmonte. I'm not Marshall Kent. I am not these guys that can throw the urethane ball," he explained. "My urethane ball doesn't hook like theirs does, but I can't throw a reactive ball either because it just hooks way too much. I have to wait until the oil carries down.

"After the oil carried down, I was okay. That is when I can get the ball down the lane and I have so much side-roll on my bowling ball that the guys that were playing my line, besides Belmo, I can get my ball to finish. A lot of the guys move in and they can't get that side rotation on the ball, and their bowling balls just don't finish."

Weber, who last won a PBA Tour title in 2013 when he bagged the Tournament of Champions trophy, added that he feels like he is close to being back to his old self again.

"I'm really close to doing what I need to do," he said. "I'm feeling really good about myself right now. I'm very close to making a check. I am very close to making the cut. And I'm very close to making a show."

Will Pete Weber win another PBA Tour title?

"I really have a feeling I will," Weber said. "And I really have the feeling that I will be a competitor again. It's just a matter of time."

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