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Bowling News USA - January 2, 2012 Weber Nipped at the Wire...

Storm superstar Pete Weber turned in an impressive performance in the Johnny Petraglia Division finals  of the PBA World Championship that aired Sunday on ESPN. The Hall of Famer struck at will on the Scorpion lane pattern before running out of frames at the finish line.

The World Championship finals were held at South Point Hotel Exhibition Hall in Las Vegas, NV.

Weber fired 279 and 268 in the opening games of the eliminator format before getting nipped at the wire in the final by Sean Rash, 246 - 222.

Weber used a Storm Anarchy™ and Frantic™ on the telecast.

(Click below for the post game report on Storm REwind with PBA Hall of Famer Randy Pedersen.)

Rash, who won his only major title in the 2007 United States Bowling Congress Masters, captured the third of four berths in the World Championship.

The divisional finals consist of three one-game rounds, starting with four players. The lowest-scoring player after each game is eliminated.

Rash will join Storm's Osku Palermaa, winner of the Don Carter Division; Storm staffer Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., winner of the Billy Hardwick Division, and the winner of next Sunday’s Mike Aulby Division finals in the World Championship finals on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 1 p.m. ET. The PBA World Championship offers a $50,000 first prize and the first major title of the 2011-12 PBA Tour season.

Rash, a four-time PBA Tour winner who is trying to end a four-year title slump, survived a high-scoring opening game led by Weber’s 279. Left-hander Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., was second with a 267 and Rash posted a 257. Nathan Bohr of Wichita, Kan., rolled a respectable 236 in his PBA television debut, but was eliminated.

Bohr used a Storm Prodigy™ on the show.

Rash took command in game two, starting with nine strikes before leaving the 6-10 on his first shot in the 10th frame and finishing with a 278 game. Weber was right behind, starting with eight strikes on his way to a 268. Ciminelli was ousted after rolling a 219 game.

In the final game, Weber lost the strike pocket for four frames, allowing Rash to jump into a 34-pin lead after five frames, and he never let the 35-time PBA Tour titlist back into the match.

Rash said beating Weber was a “special thing” because of a bond the two have developed ever since Rash arrived on the scene.

“Pete and I have been friends since I came out on tour,” he said. “A lot of people figure I’m the new bad-(boy), the role Pete played for 25-or-so years. He has given me a lot of great advice, to be who I am, not worry about what people think and not try to change. When I’m on the lanes I’m by myself. The only people I care about are my wife and family. But to beat Pete is a special thing.”

Rash also will head into the PBA World Championship finals with a dark cloud hanging over his head. He has not won a title in his last eight television appearances.

The Petraglia finals were conducted on the PBA’s Scorpion lane condition, selected by Rash as the high qualifier.

The Mike Aulby Division finalists will be the final group to bowl, on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN. Storm's Jason Belmonte is top qualifier for that group which also includes Roto Grip staffer Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio; PBA Tour rookie Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz., and Mike Fagan of Dallas.

Special pre-game shows for each World Series of Bowling telecast will be webcast beginning on the Wednesday preceding the ESPN finals on’s Xtra Frame and a post-game Xtra Frame interview with the winners will immediately follow the Sunday telecasts.



South Point Exhibition Hall, Las Vegas

Round One (lowest score eliminated): Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 279; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 267; Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 257; Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 236 ($4,000).

Round Two (lowest score eliminated): Rash 278, Weber 268, Ciminelli 219 ($4,500).

Championship (winner advances to PBA World Championship finals): Rash def. Weber ($5,000), 246-222.


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January, 2012