TOKYO, Japan (April 28, 2019) – Australia’s two-handed star, Jason Belmonte, defeated top qualifier Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Arizona, 224-213, to win the DHC PBA Japan Invitational at Tokyo Port Bowl on Sunday for his fourth title of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season and the 22nd of his career.
With the win, the 35-year-old Belmonte moved into a tie for 10th place on the PBA all-time titles list with PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman.
After qualifying third for the stepladder finals, Belmonte eliminated Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, 245-220, and Japan’s Takuya Miyazawa, 227-189, to advance to the title match. Barnes defeated defending DHC champion Dom Barrett of England, 253-222, in the first match.
“I’ve traveled to Japan to bowl for fifteen years and I’ve never won,” Belmonte said. “Winning in front of the Japanese crowd means a lot; I’m very honored.
“Jakob bowled incredible all week. I feel for the leaders,” he continued. “It’s unfortunate to dominate a tournament and then lose it all in one game. It took me fifteen years but I feel quite certain Jakob will do it much sooner than that.”
The difference in the tightly-contested championship match was Butturff’s failure to convert the 3-5-6-9 “bucket” in the second frame. The loss prevented Butturff from claiming his third title of the year, which would have put him in a title-tie with Belmonte. Instead, Belmonte further enhanced his bid for 2019 PBA Player of the Year honors.
“At 2:30 this morning, Tim Mack (his bowling ball rep) called me and said he had an idea to drill me a different ball and I bowled amazing with it today,” Belmonte said.
PBA’s live streaming partner, FloBowling, provided live coverage of the DHC PBA Japan Invitational. Full coverage of the finals, along with match play and qualifying rounds, is available for on-demand viewing on flobowling.com for FloBowling subscribers.
Coverage of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season continues Monday with Round of 16 coverage of the PBA Playoffs at 9 p.m. EDT from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, on FS1. Monday’s “Race to 2 Points” matches will feature Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas against Rhino Page of Orlando, and EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Indiana, vs. Colombia’s Andres Gomez.
DHC PBA JAPAN INVITATIONAL
Tokyo Port Bowl, Tokyo, Japan, Sunday
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $44,650.
2, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., $22,330.
3, Takuya Miyazawa, Japan, $11,150.
4, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, $8,900.
5, Dom Barrett, England, $7,100.
Match One – Barnes def. Barrett, 253-222.
Match Two – Belmonte def. Barnes, 245-220.
Semifinal Match – Belmonte def. Miyazawa, 227-189.
Championship – Belmonte def. Butturff, 224-213.
Final Match Play Standings (after 28 games, including match play bonus pins)
1, Butturff, 13-3, 6,917.
2, Miyazawa, 11-5, 6,619.
3, Belmonte, 10-4-2, 6,503.
4, Barrett, 10-5-1, 6,495.
5, Barnes, 8-8, 6,196.
6, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 11-5, 6,194, $3,750.
7, Tomoyuki Sasaki, Japan, 8-8, 6,187, $3,570.
8, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 8-6-2, 6,175, $3,370.
9, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 7-9, 6,109, $3,300.
10, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 8-8, 6,061, $3,200.
11, Shusaku Asato, Japan, 7-9, 6,015, $3,030.
12, Teruyuki Obara, Japan, 5-11, 6,006, $2,940.
13, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 5-11, 6,000, $2,850.
14, Isao Yamamoto, Japan, 6-10, 5,969, $2,760.
15, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 5-11, 5,892, $2,680.
16, Kosuke Shirai, Japan, 3-12-1, 5,758, $2,500.