LAS VEGAS - United States Bowling Congress and Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Pete Weber said that on a scale of one to 10, the pain he was feeling in his hip Friday at the USBC Masters was closer to a 12, but nothing is going to slow his momentum at the one major that has eluded him.
The 54-year-old right-hander aggravated a nagging hip injury during the second round of match play at The Orleans Bowling Center but was able win that match and one more to remain undefeated. He is one of eight players left in the winners bracket at the 2017 Masters.
The event features a total prize fund of nearly $300,000 and is a major event on the PBA Tour. The finals will be broadcast live on ESPN on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern, with $30,000 and the coveted Masters trophy going to the winner.
On the way to a 3-0 record Friday, Weber topped Greg Ostrander of Freehold, New Jersey, Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio, and Cotie Holbek of Burlington, Wisconsin.
"As of right now, I don't care about the pain," said Weber, who has 37 PBA Tour titles, including a record-tying 10 majors. "I am here to win. Period."
Weber will face off against Alex Hoskins of Brigham City, Utah, when match play resumes Saturday morning at noon Eastern.
Other winners bracket matches scheduled for Saturday are Sweden's Martin Larsen against Craig Nidiffer of Trenton, Michigan, Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, against Darren Tang of San Francisco and England's Dom Barrett taking on three-time Masters winner Jason Belmonte of Australia.
Belmonte is looking for his unprecedented fourth Masters title, having won the event three consecutive times in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The 33-year-old closed Friday with an exciting win against Mike Machuga of Erie, Pennsylvania, who has been publicly outspoken against two-handed bowling.
The match came down to the final frame after a missed 7 pin from Belmonte in the sixth frame helped Machuga close a 51-pin gap. A strike on the first shot of his final frame would've given Machuga the win, but he left a 10 pin on his first offering, eventually falling 729-722.
"I feel like Mike has a gleam in his eye when he has to bowl me, but that makes me step things up, too," said Belmonte, who joins USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Mike Aulby as the only bowlers to win three Masters titles. "He's one of the most versatile players around, so there's really no way to shut him out. Instead, I just tried to bowl my own game and do what I could to help myself score. I did make a careless mistake on that spare, and I have to work on composing myself better in those moments."
Eight bowlers remain in the elimination bracket as well, and they also will return to the lanes at The Orleans on Saturday at noon Eastern.
The list of competitors in the elimination bracket includes Ronnie Sparks of Redford, Michigan, Mike Dole of Loves Park, Illinois, Holbek, Argentina's Lucas Legnani, Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Michigan, EJ Tackett of Huntington, Indiana, 16-year-old Jalen Mosley of Indianapolis, and Michael Tang of San Francisco.
Defending champion Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, fell to Dole in the final set of matches in the elimination bracket Friday to end his reign as Masters champion.
All competitors this week bowled 15 games of qualifying, before a cut was made to the top 63, who joined Simonsen in the double-elimination match-play bracket.
All rounds of the Masters are being covered live on Xtra Frame, the PBA's online bowling channel. For subscription information, visit pba.com.
For more information about the USBC Masters, visit BOWL.com/Masters.
2017 USBC MASTERS
At The Orleans Bowling Center, Las Vegas
Double elimination, three-game matches decided by total pinfall
(Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to elimination bracket).
(64) Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, def. (1) Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 661-640
(33) Cotie Holbek, Burlington, Wis., def. (32) Daniel Fransson, Sweden, 635-633
(17) Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., def. (48) Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 695-661
(16) Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, def. (49) DeeRonn Booker, Anaheim, Calif., 680-662
(9) Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., def. (56) Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 712-692
(24) Lucas Legnani, Argentina, def. (41) Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 684-663
(25) Alex Hoskins, Brigham City, Utah, def. (40) Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 672-661
(8) EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., def. (57) Jim Pratt, Avondale, Ariz., 721-573
(60) Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas, def. (5) Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 644-606
(28) Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., def. (37) Eryk Jensen, Gresham, Ore., 666-655
(44) Mike Wolfe, Floyd Knobs, Ind., def. (21) Manuel Otalora, Cooper City, Fla., 683-612
(12) Martin Larsen, Sweden, def. (53) Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 717-706
(52) Matt O'Grady, South Amboy, N.J., def. (13) Brennan Haugh, Faribault, Minn., 599-594
(20) Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., def. (45) Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 689-685
(36) Mike Dole, Loves Park, Ill., def. (29) Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 678-585
(4) Michael Tang, San Francisco, def. (61) Arturo Quintero, Mexico, 761-692
(3) Sam Cooley, Australia, def. (62) Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 593-556
(30) Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., def. (35) John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 719-697
(19) BJ Moore, Apex, N.C., def. (46) Shuichi Heki, Japan, 756-624
(51) Matthew Sanders, Evansville, Ind., def. (14) Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 642-585
(54) Jalen Mosley, Indianapolis, def. (11) Nick Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 628-581
(22) Ronnie Sparks, Redford, Mich., def. (43) Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 801-714
(27) Darren Tang, San Francisco, def. (38) Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 591-584
(59) Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, def. (6) Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 706-623
(7) Dom Barrett, United Kingdom, def. (58) Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 720-203 (WD)
(26) Dallas Leong, Las Vegas, def. (39) Sean Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas, 605-563
(42) Connor Pickford, Plano, Texas, def. (23) Steve Pavlinko Jr., Sewell, N.J., 750-556
(10) Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., def. (55) Gary Faulkner Jr., Sanford, Fla., 757-614
(50) Mike Machuga, Erie, Pa., def. (15) Stuart Williams, England, 662-623
(47) Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., def. (18) Dan Bock, Albert Lea, Minn., 629-589
(34) Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., def. (31) Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 640-591
(2) Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. (63) Vernon Peterson, Las Vegas, 648-546
ROUND 2 - WINNERS BRACKET
Holbek def. Novak, 596-561
Weber def. Loschetter, 705-670
Legnani def. Angelo, 670-668
Hoskins def. Tackett, 638-632
Prather def. Bohr, 742-707
Larsen def. Wolfe, 744-670
Nidiffer def. O'Grady, 641-633
Dole def. M. Tang, 719-691
O'Neill def. Cooley, 656-614
Sanders def. Moore, 649-614
Mosley def. Sparks, 676-640
D. Tang def. Simonsen, 759-652
Barrett def. Leong, 743-602
Blanchard def. Pickford, 693-638
Machuga def. Daugherty, 685-578
Belmonte def. Lorincz, 769-670
ROUND 2 - ELIMINATION BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $1,900)
Fransson def. Kruml, 754-685
Barnes def. Pratt, 650-635
Ostrander def. Booker, 635-569
Malott def. Svensson, 705-635
Buss def. Jensen, 737-703
Quintero def. Ruiz, 674-607
Otalora def. Page, 752-696
Lavoie def. Haugh, 700-618
Sherman def. Szczerbinski, 661-597
Smallwood def. Via, 799-583
Allen def. Heki, 722-687
Duke def. Pate, 740-716
Lavery-Spahr def. Edwards, 530-0
Butturff def. Peterson, 708-595
Faulkner def. Pavlinko, 645-632
Williams def. Bock, 605-521
ROUND 3 - WINNERS BRACKET
Weber def. Holbek, 651-637
Hoskins def. Legnani, 646-537
Larsen def. Prather, 672-666
Nidiffer def. Dole, 672-599
O'Neill def. Sanders, 699-601
D. Tang def. Mosley, 729-681
Barrett def. Blanchard, 729-644
Belmonte def. Machuga, 729-722
ROUND 3 - ELIMINATION BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $2,300)
Fransson def. Moore, 662-583
Sparks def. Barnes, 643-588
Cooley def. Ostrander, 714-566
Simonsen def. Malott, 709-573
Buss def. Pickford, 600-494
Daugherty def. Quintero, 693-611
Leong def. Otalora, 672-592
Lavoie def. Lorincz, 754-644
Sherman def. Loschetter, 648-599
Smallwood def. Angelo, 622-565
Novak def. Allen, 705-640
Tackett def. Duke, 699-668
Wolfe def. Lavery-Spahr, 649-619
O'Grady def. Butturff, 653-607
Bohr def. Faulkner, 651-602
M. Tang def. Williams, 691-638
ROUND 4 - ELIMINATION BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $2,700)
Sparks def. Fransson, 738-541
Simonsen def. Cooley, 737-637
Daugherty def. Buss, 683-639
Leong def. Lavoie, 730-717
Smallwood def. Sherman, 770-688
Tackett def. Novak, 637-607
Wolfe def. O'Grady, 633-589
M. Tang def. Bohr, 635-618
ROUND 5 - ELIMINATION BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $3,200)
Sparks def. Prather, 743-633
Dole def. Simonsen, 668-539
Holbek def. Daugherty, 668-605
Legnani def. Leong, 651-615
Smallwood def. Machuga, 657-580
Tackett def. Blanchard, 677-649
Mosley def. Wolfe, 629-609
M. Tang def. Sanders, 703-587