2022 PBA Tournament of Champions

Two-Time TOC Champion Pete Weber Ready To Compete In 2022 Event

Two-Time TOC Champion Pete Weber Ready To Compete In 2022 Event

Pete Weber retired from full-time competition on the PBA Tour last year, but he's ready to shoe up for the 2022 PBA Tournament of Champions.

Feb 11, 2022 by Jill Winters
Two-Time TOC Champion Pete Weber Ready To Compete In 2022 Event

The greatest bowlers in the world will once again walk through the front doors of the historic AMF Riviera Lanes for the 2022 PBA Tournament of Champions.

With the return to Fairlawn, Ohio, the field restricted to PBA champions will take to the lanes beginning Feb. 22. All qualifying and match play rounds will be live streamed exclusively on FloBowling through Feb. 25.

One of the most notable and entertaining bowlers competing is two-time Tournament of Champions winner Pete Weber, who made history at this event in 1987. When Weber won, he became the youngest player to reach 10 PBA Tour titles at age 24.

Then in 2013, he made even more history when he earned the title of the oldest player to win the prestigious tournament at 51 years old, while also picking up another incredible accolade.

“Winning the first time after my dad had finished second at that tournament so many times made winning it for our family pretty cool,” the now 40-time PBA champion said. “Winning it again to complete the triple crown was pretty awesome as I beat Jason Belmonte for the title. So that made it even better.”

A not-so-great moment in Weber’s career also played out on the championship TV pair, lanes 27 and 28.

It was 1994 at the General Tire 30th Tournament of Champions, and in the first match Weber as the No. 4 seed faced No. 5 seed Steve Jaros. Weber won 159-158 as the players combined for seven open frames. During that entire week, Weber had averaged 232 and Jaros averaged 237 on that TV pair. It is the lowest scoring match in the history of the TOC.

The following match, Weber faced Randy Pedersen. The match was tied through eight frames. In the ninth, Pedersen’s shot went Brooklyn, leaving a 5 pin, and he missed it to the left. Weber needed a strike and spare in the 10th frame to win and advance. He went through the nose leaving the 3-4-6-7-10 and missed them all to lose the match, 224-206.

“I don’t know what happened,” as he recalled his low-scoring match. “The scores were really high during the week, but it was fun. It didn’t get much better the next game either.”

Weber officially retired from competing on the national tour full time last year, but since then, he has “probably bowled more since I retired than I did when I wasn’t retired.”

Weber: 'Have To Know When It's Time To Quit'

He knows what to expect at the 40-lane bowling center. With a limited field of 72 bowlers, he likes his chances to contend. But he also knows how challenging it is to strike enough with the young talent on tour.

“The kids are so powerful today,” the Hall of Famer said. “They eat the oil up quicker than say the seniors do. I can hit the pocket with them. I just need to strike with them.”

He has been bowling almost every weekend, and he was in the field at the U.S. Open earlier this month. He finished in 60th, averaging 198.88 over a grueling 24 games. He was pleased with his final qualifying round which gives him confidence coming into the Tournament of Champions.

He watched Anthony Simonsen, who won the 2022 U.S. Open, closely during the third round of qualifying. Weber was beyond amazed by the talented two-hander. Simonsen’s last four games of that round were 249, 277, 268 and 278 to jump into second place.

“That was just so impressive to watch,” he said about Simonsen. “Then to watch what he did on TV in the crucial part of the game to change balls and strike out to make Belmo throw three strikes on the right lane that everybody was having problems with. That is pretty impressive.”

“You can’t be afraid to change right in the middle of the game,” he said. “That is what makes a winner. Not being afraid to change your line or your bowling ball.”

Weber will look to capitalize on his own experiences at AMF Riviera Lanes. The first two days of qualifying will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET with six games each day, starting Feb. 22. On Feb. 24, the final round of qualifying starts at Noon. They will bowl six more games before cutting to the top 24.

There will be three rounds of match play consisting of eight games each. Those will begin at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 24, and again at noon and 5:30 p.m. Feb. 25. The top five bowlers will advance to the stepladder finals, which will air live at 1 p.m. Feb. 27 on FOX.   

“The fans are really educated at Riviera which makes it a really fun place to go to,” he said. “There is a lot of history there as it’s been part of the PBA for a long time. It is an honor to walk through there and compete in that bowling center.”