Firestone Tournament Of Champions
$150,000 FIRESTONE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Riviera Lanes, Akron, Ohio, Apr 15-19, 1980
Webb Makes Good On Prophecy
Wayne Webb doesn't claim to be a prophet or a psychic but he left many people wondering just how he managed to predict victory for himself in the two highest paying tournaments of the year on the PBA Tour and proceed to make good on both counts.
Before the start of the 1980 season, Webb, a 5'5" dynamo, set his goal to win both the Showboat Invitational in Las Vegas and the Firestone Tournament of Champions, tournaments with a combined purse total of $285,000. Being a confident lad of 22 and already owning three PBA crowns, Webb did not feel such a goal was unreasonable. Lofty maybe. A dream certainly, but a possible dream.
So when Webb came away with the $21,000 first prize in the Showboat event in January, it was one down and one to go. Fifty-one other champions came to Riviera Lanes in Akron, Ohio, with the idea of claiming the prestigious Firestone white jacket but only Webb had a sure feeling that destiny was on his side.
While Mike Durbin and Gary Dickinson battled for the lead throughout qualifying and early in match play, Webb stayed quietly in the background. Then, on the final day before the TV finals the young right-hander made a surprising and soon to be considered brilliant move on the lanes when he adjusted to an inside line from the popular first arrow angle. Next thing you know, Webb had rushed into the finals in third place, sporting a 17-7 match play record.
In Las Vegas, Webb also had pulled a switch in angles, going contrary to the established pattern of play, and charged into the finals in third place enabling him to win with an overpowering 780 three game series on national TV.
"Are you nervous?" Webb was asked prior to the Firestone finals. "I feel great," he said.
And that's the way he bowled-great. After Bill Spigner defeated Durbin, 218-206, in the opening match with a come-from-behind 10th-frame double, Webb lashed out with a 264-210 win over Spigner. Palmer Fallgren offered little resistance to the Webb express, bowing out, 267-186.
When Webb opened the championship game with six strikes against top-seeded Dickinson it was all but over. Even though open frames in two of his last three frames held down his score for the championship match to 219 it was 25 pins higher than Dickinson's 194.
Additionally, Webb's three game series totaled 750. And that spelled a cool $30,000 for the little guy who said he could do some big things - and did.
PLAYOFF RESULTS - Spigner defeated Durbin, 218-206; Webb defeated Spigner, 264-210; Webb defeated Fallgren, 267-186; and in the championship match, Webb defeated Dickinson, 219-194. 48-GAME TOTALS 24-GAME TOTALS * - Denotes alternate. ** --- TV finals alternate. 24-game qualifying leader - Durbin, 5372. 24th place - Hudson, 5023. # Godman rolled a 300 game ($500). PRO-AM CASHERS ($50) --- Burton, Anthony, Jones, Pappas, Nelson and Durbin.
* - Denotes alternate. ** --- TV finals alternate. 24-game qualifying leader - Durbin, 5372. 24th place - Hudson, 5023. # Godman rolled a 300 game ($500). PRO-AM CASHERS ($50) --- Burton, Anthony, Jones, Pappas, Nelson and Durbin.