|Winner of the Cheetah Open in back-to-back years, Eugene McCune|
Throwing his traditional rocket to the pocket, Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., successfully defended his Professional Bowlers Asso-ciation Cheetah Open (presented by Ebonite) title at Fountain Bowl. McCune, who was the top qualifier for the stepladder finals, defeated PBA Hall of Famer and 35-time Tour titlist Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., 245-229, in the championship match for his third career win. “Anytime I can play outside on the lane and throw it hard it plays in my favor,” said McCune who estimated he was throwing the ball at a little over 20 miles per hour. “It’s old school and that’s where I feel most comfortable.” McCune won his second career title last season when, as tournament leader, he defeated Norm Duke, 238-237, to win the Cheetah Championship. It was during the match play round of that event that McCune broke the PBA nine-game scoring record with a 2,468 pinfall (274.22 average). In this year’s Cheetah Open, conducted on PBA’s Cheetah lane cond-itioning pattern, he averaged 253 for the tournament. “When I bowl on this condition there’s a little pressure because I know I need to take advantage of it,” he added. “I was a little worried after the first two frames of the tournament when I had open frames but I went to a different ball and made a couple of other adjustments and got back on track.” McCune was the first player to successfully defend a Tour title since Chris Barnes did it in Columbus, Ohio, in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. “It was going to be a good match because he’s one of the best on this pattern and I match up real well in this house,” said Weber, who was trying for his 36th Tour title. “It was a good match for a while until I had a couple bad shots.” In the opening stepladder match, Weber defeated fellow Hall of Famer Duke, 237-226, and then went on to defeat former Wichita State University star, Josh Blanchard, 248-165 in the semi-final.
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