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Johnson beats Weber for title

March 1, 1997

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Jim Johnson Jr., who

led five out of six rounds, beat Pete Weber 232-197 in the final match Friday night to win the PBA’s Oregon Open.

``When you lead a tournament, you’ve already won it, but you can lose it,″ Johnson said. ``For one week I was the best; that makes me feel so good.″

Johnson, who lost both games during match play to Weber by combined scores of 546-440, closed Weber out with strikes in the eighth, ninth and 10th frames. Johnson’s goal has always been to win a title and his wish came true against one of the PBA’s best.

``Quite a few people have beaten me for their first titles _ Kent Wagner, Mike Edwards and I know there’s more. Now Jim has his first,″ Weber said.

The PBA’s newest titlist probably should have been a nervous wreck going into the match, but he wasn’t. With $18,000 on the line the only nervous one was his fiancee, Sabrina Robison.

``I was more relaxed than I was yesterday,″ Johnson said. ``She was a wreck. The night before the position round I didn’t sleep a wink, but last night I was very relaxed.

``Money wasn’t on my mind, nor was the trip to the Tournament of Champions. All that mattered was the win,″ Johnson said.

Tim Criss defeated Doug Kent 221-205 in the opening match, then lost 215-204 to Rick Steelsmith who, in turn, was beaten 232-195 by Weber in the semifinal.

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