FORT WAYNE – It was standing-room only at Pro Bowl West to watch the finals of the inaugural PBA50 Pro Bowl West Fort Wayne Classic on Wednesday.
The semifinal round featured four competitors that are members of the Professional Bowling Association Hall of Fame: Pete Weber, Randy Pedersen, Johnny Petraglia and Wayne Webb.
It was Weber who capitalized on a Pedersen split and miss in the seventh frame of the final to win $7,500 and the crystal trophy.
“I did what I had to do to win today,” said Weber, 52. “It can't get any better than this.
“You can't take Hall of Famers lightly,” he said of the semifinal group. “You got to stay out there and stay focused on what you need to do.
“Throughout the tournament, my goal was just to keep ahead of my opponent and if I had the opportunity, to bury them. In every squad, there was always one game where I had to bowl a strike in the 10th frame to win, and I did and that makes you feel a lot better.”
The tournament was the first tournament for Pedersen since the USBC Senior Masters in Las Vegas in June. The 52-year-old worked with a gold-level coach after taking a month off and changed his grip.
“The tournament started, I shot like 300 the fourth game,” he said, “I bowled really good the first block and qualified second behind (Weber).
“I made six really good shots (in the final), the seventh shot was horrible: split and missed it. I knew it was over. You can't miss against a guy like that when the lanes are like this. He's going to hit the pocket.”
Petraglia, 67, who finished third, was coming off a second-place finish at the Dick Weber Super Senior Classic. He bowled about 80 games between the two tournaments.
“I finished third against a much stronger field,” he said. “In the semifinal match against Randy, I bowled really well but a pair just didn't carry well.”
Petraglia bowled a 300 on Wednesday in the round of 24.
Fort Wayne native Ron Mohr lost to Sam Lantto in the best-of-five round of 16, 3-2 (226-201, 245-257, 253-216, 218-259, 247-243).
Bill McCorkle, the Dick Weber Classic winner, was eliminated by Pedersen in the best-of-three quarterfinal round.
Pro Bowl West proprietor Dave Small confirmed that both events were returning to Fort Wayne next year.