|Born||Peter David Weber
August 21, 1962
St. Ann, Missouri
Peter David "Pete" Weber, nicknamed "PDW", (born August 21, 1962 in St. Ann, Missouri), is a bowling professional on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour. Weber is one of the sport's most popular active players and is known for his maverick, rebellious personality. Weber is also featured in the ten-pin bowling sports documentary A League of Ordinary Gentlemen. He has won 37 titles on the PBA Tour, including a record-tying ten major championships, and another four titles (two majors) on the PBA50 Tour. He has won Bowling's U.S. Open a record five times, and has also won a PBA Senior U.S. Open. Weber is known for his high backswing and the side rotation he puts on the bowling ball.
Weber grew up in Florissant, Missouri, and, as the son of bowler Dick Weber, was introduced to the sport at the age of two. At the age of 15, Weber was already winning local bowling tournaments against adult players, and, with the help of his father, was able to join the PBA tour at the age of 17 (the former policy required a minimum age of 18). In 1979, Weber started his first year on the professional circuit and participated in 21 tour events, including making one TV appearance. Weber won Rookie of the Year honors in 1980. By 1982, he had won his first PBA title, winning two that season. By the time he was 24 years old, he had already reached the 10-title plateau (becoming the youngest player in PBA history to reach that mark). At age 26, he barely won the PBA National Championship, giving him all three jewels of the PBA's "triple crown" (achieved by winning the U.S. Open, Tournament of Champions and PBA National Championship).
By the early 1980s, Weber had established himself as one of the best bowlers in the world, but his lifestyle saw numerous long binges of alcohol and cocaine use. In a 1985 article in Sports Illustrated, Weber admitted to having spent several weeks on tour in a "complete blackout" -- staying up for days on end with cocaine, and drinking a fifth of Jack Daniel's every night. He entered rehab in March of 1984. Despite Weber's talent, he was not popular with his bowling peers and was even denied Player of the Year honors in 1987 despite winning the Tournament of Champions and leading the tour in earnings; the award was instead given to Marshall Holman. By 1989, Weber had won 13 PBA Tour titles and had reached over $1 million (USD) in earnings, but his personal life was plagued with problems. By the mid-1990s, Weber had been through two divorces. He went through a three-season stretch (1994-96) without winning a title, and he failed to make a championship round appearance during the entire 1995 season. At the same time, the PBA tour itself was in decline.
In 2000, the PBA Tour was sold to three former Microsoft executives; Weber was not on the tour during this transitional phase, as he was still serving a six-month suspension given by the former PBA leadership in 1999 due to behavior related to his drinking problem. The new tour ownership saw Weber's flashiness as a potential tool for marketing the PBA to a new audience. By the 2001-02 season, Weber had his career back on track, winning three titles in all. In an interview during the season, Weber remarked:
The new PBA has told me to be animated, and I was already animated to begin with. The new PBA likes me, likes my antics. They think that's what's going to sell the PBA.
On December 4, 2005, Weber overcame a year of trying times both personally and professionally by clinching what was, perhaps, the most emotional title of his career at the 2005 Bowlersparadise.com Classic at Stardust Bowl in Hammond, Indiana. This marked the first television appearance for Weber in 666 days, and it was his first title after the death of his father on February 13, 2005. Weber honored his father after the victory by looking into the ESPN cameras and pointing at the "DW" patch on his sleeve.
Weber's attitude on television has given him a reputation as a brash "action bowler," which some critics view as unsportsmanlike. After icing the title in a televised match against PBA upstart Michael Haugen Jr. in December, 2001, Weber walked back on the approach toward his opponent and shouted, "He's not getting his first one [title] against me, no way!" During the 2010 Dick Weber Open he became furious over the sound a photographer's camera made while he was bowling. In the finals of the 2012 U.S. Open, he repeatedly confronted an audience member whom he believed was intentionally distracting him on his shots. He eventually won the 2012 event, his unprecedented fifth U.S. Open title, getting a strike on the final ball of the tenth frame to defeat Mike Fagan by one pin. Weber exploded in a burst of rage and excitement: "Yes! God damn it! Yes! That is right, I did it! I'm -- number five -- are you kidding me? That's right! [Turns to audience member] Who do you think you are? I am! Dammit right!" The footage of Weber's reaction to his win became a viral internet video, and made the Top 10 on ESPN's "Sportsnation 101 Celebration Fails" list.
After time to cool down, Weber was humble in his post-tournament interview, stating that although he had just surpassed his father and Don Carter in career U.S. Open titles, "I'll never say I'm better than them. They paved the way for us to be here. It was an honor and a privilege to join them when I won my fourth U.S. Open, and it's even more of an honor to be the first one to win five."
In response to critics, Weber said in a 2002 interview: "I'm just doing my job. When I get on TV, I give people what I think they want to see. I guess there are 5-to-10 percent of people who don't like it. Well, too bad."
Weber and his father, Dick, were the first father-and-son combination to ever both earn a title on the PBA Tour. The feat has since been matched three times, by Don/Jimmy Johnson (1990), Don/Eugene McCune (2002) and Guppy/Kyle Troup (2015).
Overall, Weber has won 37 PBA Tour events, including a record ten major titles. His 37th tour win on March 31, 2013 came at age 50 in the Tournament of Champions. His 37 wins places him fourth on the all-time PBA tour titles list, behind only Walter Ray Williams, Jr. (47), Earl Anthony (43) and Norm Duke (38). Weber's 35th Tour win at the end of the 2009-10 season ensured Walter Ray Williams Jr. of his record 7th Player of the Year award, as well as making Williams (then age 50) the oldest ever to win it. Had Weber lost in the final match against Mike Scroggins, then Scroggins would have been named Player of the Year.
Weber's ten majors place him first all-time along with the legendary Earl Anthony, who also has ten. Weber has rolled 79 perfect 300 games in PBA competition through 26 February 2016. His five U.S. Open titles are the most of any bowler in PBA history. Weber is one of six PBA players to have earned the career PBA Triple Crown. Upon winning the 2013 Tournament of Champions title, he became the first bowler to win all three jewels of the Triple Crown at least twice in a career (five U.S. Open titles, two PBA World Championship titles, and two wins in the Tournament of Champions). He is also the oldest winner of the U.S. Open (49) and Tournament of Champions (50). His other major win was in the now-defunct Touring Players Championship. The only major that has eluded him to this point is the USBC Masters.
Along with Mike Aulby and Norm Duke, Pete is one of only three bowlers to have won at least one standard PBA Tour title in four different decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s).
Weber joined his father in the PBA Hall of Fame in 1998, and he became a member of the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 2002. His career PBA Tour earnings of over $3.7 million (through the 2015 season) place him second all-time, behind only all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams, Jr. Weber, Williams, Norm Duke and Parker Bohn III are the only PBA bowlers to have topped the $3 million mark in career earnings. Through 2012, Weber was also second to Williams in career TV appearances (123) and TV match wins (111). Weber owns 48 PBA Regional titles, the most all-time, in addition to four PBA50 Regional titles.
Weber was ranked 4th on the PBA's 2008 list of "50 Greatest Players of the Last 50 Years," one place behind his father.
Weber joined the PBA50 Tour (formerly PBA Senior Tour) in 2013. His first title on that tour was a major: the 2013 USBC Senior Masters, which he won on June 14. He also won the last PBA50 Tour tournament of the season on his 51st birthday and earned Rookie of the Year honors.
Weber won a second PBA50 major title, his fourth PBA50 title overall, at the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open on June 5, 2015. The win made Pete the second player in history, after Norm Duke, to win the U.S. Open on both the standard PBA Tour and the PBA50 Tour. Weber was named the PBA50 Player of the Year for the 2015 season, after dominating in the earnings, average and competition points categories. It was his first PBA Player of the Year win of any kind.