CAHOKIA — One of the top names on the Professional Bowling Association Tour for nearly three decades, Pete Weber is still throwing strikes at the age of 51.
And this weekend, Weber will be throwing them at Red Bird Lanes in Cahokia.
Weber will be one of 216 of the top professional and amateur bowlers in the nation competing in the Red Bird Lanes Holiday Doubles Bowling Tournament, which begins Friday with the first of three qualifying rounds.
Weber, who captured his 10th major championship when he won the PBA Tournament of Champions in March, will compete with Eddie Byrd in nine games of qualifying beginning at 7 p.m.
Two more qualifying rounds are set for 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.
Red Lanes General Manager and tournament organizer Jerry Anderson said bowling fans should come out to support the event this weekend.
"In my mind and also the minds of many others in the bowling world, Pete (Weber) is the best bowler in the world,'' Anderson said. "He won the Tournament of Champions and also may have had one of the best years of his career.''
Now living in St. Ann, Mo., Weber is one of 24 PBA professionals in the field, which includes St. Clair Bowl professional Mike Mineman.
Tom Hess, Tommy Jones, Mike Flanagan, Mike Wolfe and Jeff Carter are other top players competing.
Liz Johnson, a longtime member of the LPBA Tour, also is competing at Red Bird Lanes.
Following the nine games of qualifying, the field will be cut to the top 28 teams who will bowl four more qualifying games beginning at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
The top 12 teams will then bowl in a match-play final. The winners will split $7,500.
"We think our field is second to none, there is no admission charge and if people want to purchase a drink or something to eat, we'll have plenty for them to choose,'' Anderson said. "We're hoping to have another big crowd as we did a year ago.''
For those unable to attend, the tournament is being streamed at Insidebowling.com.
Also for those doubles teams not making the finals, a second-chance doubles tournament will be held Sunday at Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville. Admission is free.