Newly-crowned Professional Bowlers Association World Champion Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas, and his fellow PBA World Championship finalists have arrived in Tokyo to compete in the new DHC PBA Japan Invitational, the second tournament on the PBA’s 2015 Tour schedule.
The DHC PBA Japan Invitational, a PBA Tour title event, will feature an elite field of players who qualified during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, along with an elite field of 16 Japanese players. The DHC Invitational will be the first PBA International event to be covered live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame.
Live action begins Thursday and concludes Sunday at Tokyo Port Bowl in Tokyo, but the 14-hour time difference between Tokyo and the Eastern time zone in the U.S. means Xtra Frame webcasts will air at unusual times (see schedule below). The Sunday finals in Tokyo, for example, will air live in the U.S. starting at 6:45 and 9:55 p.m. ET on Saturday.
PBA Tour players who earned berths based on PBA World Championship qualifying were Fagan, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas; Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind.; Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio; Stuart Williams, England; Dom Barrett, England; Patrick Girard, Canada; Shawn Maldonado, Houston; Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif.; Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., and Eddie VanDaniker Jr., Chatsworth, Calif. Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas; Jason Belmonte, Australia, and Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., received special invitations from DHC. Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., was the top woman qualifier in the field. The 16th international player will be Korean Professional Bowlers Association representative Cho Young Seon of Seoul.
The 16-player Japanese field will include Yoshida Daisuke, Aichi; Takahashi Koichi, Hokkaido; Kameshima Manae, Wakayama; Urano Miku, Chiba; Yumi Nakajima, Chiba; Ishimine Naoshi, Nagano; Yamazaki Takashi, Aichi; 2014 PBA Japan Region Player and Rookie of the Year Yuka Tsuchiya, Kanagawa; Ryogo Tsurumi, Kanagawa; Akiyoshi Yuki, Chiba, and six players who will be determined in a Thursday qualifying event.
The DHC tournament is an extension of the PBA’s work with Japan Bowling Promotions that led to the creation of the PBA Japan Regional program in 2014. The new regional program was part of the qualifying process for Japanese players for the DHC Invitational.
The DHC field will include a field of 16 international players and 16 Japanese players competing for shares of a $215,000 prize fund, which includes a $41,460 first prize, and a PBA Tour title. The international field will include 12 qualifiers from WSOB VI based upon a combined 28 qualifying games in the PBA Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships, plus 24 games of match play (11 men plus the highest woman qualifier if she is not among the 12 leading qualifiers). The four additional international players include three PBA members plus one Korean PBA player invited by DHC.
The DHC tournament program will involve 32 games of round-robin match play leading into a five-player stepladder final for the DHC Japan Invitational title. In addition, all 32 players will participate in special Baker team and Scotch doubles matches plus a “last man standing” special event for an additional $40,000 in prize money.
The PBA will provide live international online coverage of the event for the first time by sending its Xtra Frame crew to Tokyo. Xtra Frame is available on a subscription basis to bowling fans around the world. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, click on the Xtra Frame link on pba.com. A full-year XF Season Ticket costs $64.99; one-month subscriptions are available for $7.99.
For a complete schedule of Xtra Frame broadcasts during the 2015 season, check the Xtra Frame link under the Schedules tab on pba.com.
DHC PBA JAPAN INVITATIONAL XTRA FRAME SCHEDULE
Tokyo Port Bowl, Tokyo, Japan (all times are ET)
THURSDAY, JAN. 15
5:40 p.m. – Scotch Doubles (8 international, 8 Japanese teams, match play)
Top team from each quad advances to TV finals (4 teams total)
DHC PBA Japan Invitational Match Play
8:25 p.m. – 32 players, 8 games round-robin match play
FRIDAY, JAN. 16
DHC PBA Japan Invitational Match Play
12:10 a.m. - 32 players, 8 games round-robin match play
5:40 p.m. - 32 players, 8 games round-robin match play
10:40 p.m. - 32 players, 8 games round-robin match play
Top five advanced to TV stepladder finals
SATURDAY, JAN. 17
3:40 a.m. – Baker team exhibition: 8 four-player teams, 8 games Baker format round-robin match play
Top two four-player teams advance to TV finals
6:45 p.m. – Scotch Doubles and Baker Team finals
9:55 p.m. – Singles Stepladder finals (DHC PBA Japan Invitational) and Last Man Standing finals