Europe Dominates 2009 Weber Cup
TEAM EUROPE has won the 2009 PartyPoker.com Weber Cup following three days of solid performances at the Barnsley Metrodome. The main damage was done on the Sunday afternoon session when they won five out of six matches to leave themselves one match to win and their opponents a mountain to climb.
The Americans though, gave it a go as they won the first three evening matches, but in the end it was England's Weber Cup veteran Paul Moor who delivered the winning blows as he beat American captain Tim Mack to trigger scenes of celebration among his team mates and the 500 strong crowd in the arena.
"It's just amazing to shoot a strike to win the Weber Cup for Europe," said Moor. "It was tough and I was not 100 per cent concentrating and there were a few little distractions but in a situation like that you have to try and stay focused as much as possible.
"I didn't bowl well here in the Weber Cup last year but I'm starting to get some form back now. Last year I missed three times late on in matches but this time I had the opportunity and it was the most important one."
With Europe just a point away from victory, Chris Barnes kept Team USA's long shot hopes alive with a comfortable 258-190 win over Martin Larsen. With such a mountain to climb, the pressure was off the American and after he spared the first, he bowled a solid strike-filled game that left his opponent behind.
Larsen faltered with only four strikes in the entire match and a dreaded open frame in the sixth frame put paid to any lingering hopes. That took the score to 16-9 in favour of the Europeans.
The score soon moved to 16-10 as Tommy Jones got the better of Euro skipper Osku Palermaa to give his country their third win in succession as the momentum moved in their favour.
Jones got off to the worst possible start as he left an open frame in the first but it gave him plenty of time to recover and when his opponent carelessly left the tenpin standing in the sixth, it was downhill for Palermaa from there on.
"We have five of the best bowlers in the world and we believe we have a chance. We've got our backs to wall and it's frame by frame not game by game anymore and we know what our job is here," said a determined Jones afterwards.
The fight back continued in the next as a gutsy Jason Couch took down Mika Koivuniemi in one of the most exciting matches in Weber Cup history. It ended in a 9th and 10th frame play-off as they tied the match at 195-all as the onus moved from player to player.
Koivuniemi had a chance to win the Weber Cup at the death but 'The Moose' could only knock down eight pins with his final ball. They both started the bowl off with a 9 spare but Couch mopped up with strikes as his opponent faltered to take the match and keep US hopes alive.
That was the Americans last gasp though as Paul Moor was on top against Tim Mack from the start and the US captain could never make up the shortfall as the Englishman held his nerve for a magnificent win.
European captain Osku Palermaa said, "We're happy and we've enjoyed the whole time. We were down but built up the momentum, they took it back before we won. We were a bit worried but there are five good men here in our team.
USA captain Tim Mack added: "Paul was just too good. I would've had to bowl the highest score I had done in the tournament but he was just too good so hats off to him.
"We bowled better than the score suggests and it should've been much closer. But Europe bowled great and we just couldn't keep up, our guys will be back next time."
USA 11 - 17 Europe
Chris Barnes 258 - 190 Martin Larsen
Tommy Jones 226 - 176 Osku Palermaa
Jason Couch 195 - 195 (50-39) Mika Koivuniemi
Tim Mack 193 - 297 Paul Moor