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Bowling News USA - June 28, 2011 Full Speed Ahead for PDW...

CHICAGO — In a career that has spanned more than 30 years, PBA hall of famer Pete Weber has experienced success in a way few professional bowlers have, winning more than $3 million, 35 national titles, a record 44 regional titles and eight major titles.

Yet Weber, at 48, is a physical specimen among his much younger peers and has yet to suffer a major injury. And while his last title came in the 2009-10 season, the son of the late hall of famer Dick Weber carries himself with the same confidence that has made his own name forever linked with the sport.

“As long as I stay in the exempt field, I’ll be bowling out here for another seven or eight years at least,” said Weber, who competed in the recent Geico PBA Team Shootout in Chicago. “I don’t think there are 50 guys in the world who can beat me. I really don’t think there are.

“Some of these young guys out here give me troubles, but they also have problems with their hands, knees, elbows backs and wrists. I don’t have those problems, and I don’t know why. I’ve been blessed with a great career and no injuries.”

Weber said that he hasn’t changed his conditioning process in 30 years.

“My workout is on the golf course when I walk and carry my bag,” Weber said. “That’s a pretty good workout right there for me. A lot of guys work out and are always getting injured. I stretch, and that’s about it.”

But the place where Weber has had the biggest workout over the years is on the lanes — entertaining fans and setting himself apart as one of the legends in the sport. His 35 national titles is good for third all-time. His eight majors put him in the company of the two greatest pros ever: Earl Anthony and Walter Ray Williams Jr.

Yet to hear Weber tell it, the most significant titles he earned are the ones he happily shares with his father.

“Winning the Tournament of Champions was a special one for us because Dad finished second several times and never won it,” Weber said. “And I felt that was the title that eluded the Weber family. So when we got it, we were very happy with it. I really felt Dad and I won it.”

Weber said he deeply cherishes the opportunities to bowl in parts of the world where people have only heard about his “PDW” reputation.

“I love bowling overseas and getting the chance to bowl in places where people have never seen me,” he said. “They always think I have the bad-boy image. And they think that I’m really that way.

“But when they get to see me in a different way they find out that I’m nothing like what I am on TV. They realize that I’m really a nice guy, and I cherish that, too. Sometimes people get the wrong impression of me.”

And that’s the fine line that Weber is learning to gracefully walk — maintaining his image as an entertainer and yet gaining a greater awareness of his role as an ambassador for the sport in his own unique way.

“The new guys in the PBA remind us that bowling comes first, but you’re also an entertainer, too,” he said. “And you have to entertain the people so that they want to come back and watch. The new PBA has been very supportive of me, and they’ve give me a free reign on TV to a certain extent.”

Weber credits his wife, Tracy, as the greatest reason why he’s lasted so long in the sport. He said he’s equally grateful to have two healthy daughters, a new grandchild in the past two years and a healthy extended family. And as Weber gets closer to 50, he said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to expand his bowling career on the Senior Tour.

“I’ll be 49 in August, and I can’t wait for the day I’m eligible,” he said. “My dad was one of the founders of the Senior Tour, and it’s going just as good as the national tour. So that’s good for me. I just love bowling; it’s my life.”

(courtesy: Chicago Sun-Times)

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