Dom Barrett has warned Team USA that his European side are heading into America’s back yard next week to reclaim the Weber Cup they lost last summer after an unprecedented five-year winning streak.
The annual transatlantic tenpin tussle will be staged on American soil for the first time this year, as Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center plays host to the USA vs Europe clash this June 18-21, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
Barrett is preparing to lead Europe for a fifth time and will be looking for his fourth victory as captain. The Englishman guided Europe to emphatic wins over the US in 2015, 2016 and 2017 but has been left reeling by America’s 19-10 victory last year.
The reigning US Open champion has recalled the experience of Osku Palermaa to his team this year, with the Finnish bowler joining Jesper Svensson of Sweden and England’s Stuart Williams on Team Europe.
“I am very honoured to be the European captain again,” said Barrett. “There are a few changes happening this year, none more so than the venue change; Las Vegas!
“It will be very exciting for us as a team. It’s a bit of a shame that, for the first time, we won’t have the home crowd but I know everyone watching back home will be cheering as loud as they have in previous Weber Cups.
“Myself and the other guys on the team have spent lots of time competing in Las Vegas, but never in a team environment when we will be the away team. That will be the biggest challenge for us, which we are really looking forward to. They took home the trophy last year, it’s now our turn to go into their back yard and take it back!
“Jesper is a big part of the European side and he would have got my first pick had he not made the automatic spot. Jesper has plenty of Weber Cup experience, plus he has the most powerful strike ball on the PBA Tour. Once Jesper gets locked into the Weber Cup lane, there will be no stopping him.
“Stu has been a big part of our Weber Cup success in the past. He is a big character on the lanes, wears his heart on his sleeve and can really fire up the European side when he bowls well. He has been bowling great, winning on the PBA Tour just recently.
“The next decision was a lot tougher, between Martin Larsen and Osku Palermaa. Both guys bring a lot to the team. Martin and Osku have had a lot of success on the Weber Cup lane, they both have bags of experience and they know how to win.
“We had just concluded a very busy three-month swing on the PBA Tour in April when the teams had to be named. I actually copied what the Weber Cup organisers did and used the PBA Points List; I feel like I can’t go wrong with either Martin or Osku, they are both good for the team and fantastic bowlers in their own right.
“I spoke to Martin and Osku back in January and told them that unless something extraordinary happens, whoever is higher in points between the two of them after the USBC Masters would get the spot. Osku finished ahead of Martin by just 360 points so he got my fourth pick.”
Weber Cup XX takes place at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas this June 18-21 and is sponsored by Storm, the Official Bowling Partner of the Weber Cup.
Tickets are on sale now at www.webercup.com. The Weber Cup will be broadcast live globally, including on Sky Sports in the UK, DAZN in America, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Japan and Viasat in Scandanavia.