Amleto Monacelli Wins DHC PBA Japan Invitational for 20th Title, Ends 11-Year Title Drought

by Bill Vint January 31, 2016 08:02

TOKYO, Japan – Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli ended an 11-year PBA Tour title drought and became the 14th player to win 20 PBA Tour titles when he defeated top qualifier Dom Barrett of England, 255-233, to win the DHC PBA Japan Invitational at Tokyo Port Bowl.

The finals aired Sunday on ESPN2.

“Japan has always been a great atmosphere for me,” the 54-year-old Monacelli said. “That’s where my career really got started. It felt like it was the late 1980s, when I could do something no one else could do. A lot of things were different, but I believe it was as good a performance as I’ve ever had.”

Monacelli, who began his PBA career in 1982, made 16 television finals and finished second seven times before winning his first title in the 1987 Japan Cup. He went on to win PBA Player of the Year honors in 1989 and 1990, and became the first international player inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1997. He is now dividing time between the PBA Tour and the PBA50 Tour, where he has won five titles including three major championships.

His lengthy title slump in PBA Tour competition, he admits, has nothing to do with his legendary physical fitness routine and everything to do with his “stubbornness” in adapting to the changing competitive environment in professional bowling.

“I’ve been looking for a title for a long time,” he said. “It wasn’t because I was performing bad, but over the last three years I’ve got a lot more knowledge about the equipment and moving on the lanes, and that has given me an advantage along with my physical shape, which I’ve worked on my whole life.

“When I was bowling before all of this new equipment, it was more about how you performed – throw the ball harder, throw it softer, move around, change hand positions. Now it’s more about what ball to throw and when to throw it. You can perform well, but you have to have the right equipment, too. In Japan, I had the right ball at the right time to get a reaction no one else had.”

Monacelli earned his shot at the DHC PBA Japan Invitational title with a 275-221 win over defending champion Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, in the semifinal match. Barnes, returning to PBA competition for the first time since undergoing surgery in early October to repair a damaged disc in his back, started the stepladder finals with a 227-220 win over Japan’s Shota Kawazoe followed by a 232-202 victory over John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda, N.Y.

The PBA Tour’s 2016 season kicks into high gear Tuesday with the first of three consecutive major championships, all of which will be televised live on ESPN on consecutive Sundays. The FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions kicks off the series, Feb. 2-7 at FireLake Bowling Center and FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Okla. The TOC will be followed by the United States Bowling Congress Masters Feb. 9-14 at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, and the Barbasol PBA Players Championship Feb. 16-21 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio. The TOC airs at 2 p.m. ET; the Masters and Players Championship air at 1 p.m. ET.

All qualifying and match play rounds of the three majors will be covered live on PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. For subscription details, visit and click on the Xtra Frame link.


Tokyo Port Bowl, Tokyo, Japan (finals conducted Jan. 17, aired Jan. 31 on ESPN2)

Final Standings

1, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, $40,000. 2, Dom Barrett, England, $20,000. 3, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, $10,400. 4, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., $8,100. 5, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, $7,300.

Stepladder Results

Match One – Barnes def. Kawazoe, 227-220. Match Two – Barnes def. Szczerbinski, 232-202. Semifinal Match – Monacelli def. Barnes, 275-221. Championship – Monacelli def. Barrett, 255-233.

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Youth Vs. Experience Highlights 2015 PBA Regional Awards Winners

by Bill Vint January 19, 2016 05:06

CHICAGO  – The Professional Bowlers Association’s regional program, founded in 1970, has provided young bowlers with a proving ground to develop their skills in high-level competition against some of the sport’s established stars. That mix of PBA Tour stars and emerging young talent was evident when John Weber, Director of PBA Regional and PBA50 Tours, announced the 2015 PBA Regional Awards winners Tuesday.

Recognized in the eight PBA Regional awards programs are Players of the Year, Rookies of the Year, PBA50 Players of the Year and Pat Patterson Award winners, which are presented to an individual or company for significant contributions to the success of the regional program. Award winners are selected by the PBA’s regional managers: Russ Mills, East Region; Sam Zurich, South Region; Bob Jakel, Central Region; Rich Weber, Midwest Region; Pete McCordic, Southwest Region; Gary Mage, West and Northwest Regions, and Junia Yoshida, Japan Region.

Here’s a summary of 2015 PBA Regional award winners:

East Region: Patrick Allen of Mount Kisco, N.Y., a four-time winner in the region in 2015, was selected as Player of the Year. Josh Schmehl of Seaford, Del., earned Rookie of the Year honors after cashing in all five events he entered. Brian LeClair of Albany, N.Y., won twice and had top-five finishes in all six events in his PBA50 “rookie” season to win PBA50 Player of the Year honors. Richard Byrd of Parkville, Md., was the East Region’s Pat Patterson Award winner.

South Region: Jason Sterner, who now resides in Cocoa Beach, Fla., had five top-five finishes in the eight tournaments he entered, including three titles, to earn Player of the Year honors. Brandon Curtis of Manson, N.C., had two top-five finishes in his four events, including a fourth-place finish, to capture Rookie of the Year honors. PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker of King, N.C., was named PBA50 Player of the Year for the fourth time after 10 cashes in 10 events, including three titles and four top-five finishes. Ed Tenan of Hayes, Va., was selected as Pat Patterson Award recipient.

Central Region: Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., won once and had five top-five finishes in capturing the Central Region Player of the Year award. Anthony Kennard of Wapakoneta, Ohio, won his first PBA Regional title and cashed five times in nine events to earn the Central Region’s Dan Ottman Rookie of the Year award. Lennie Boresch Jr. of Kenosha, Wis., won PBA50 Player of the Year honors with four top-five finishes including two titles in four events. Jim Bryant of Hubbard, Ohio, was the Pat Patterson Award honoree.

Midwest Region: Mitch Beasley of Clarksville, Tenn., won twice and had six top-five finishes while earning $21,295 to win Midwest Region Player of the Year honors. AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., won his first PBA Regional title and had four top-five finishes in seven events to earn the Rookie of the Year nod. Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Township, Mich., repeated as Midwest PBA50 Player of the Year, winning one title and finishing in the top five eight times in nine PBA50 events. Ted Baer of Omaha received the Midwest Region Pat Patterson Award for the second time.

Southwest Region: Two-hander Shawn Maldonado of Houston racked up four wins in 14 tournaments to earn his second consecutive Southwest Region Player of the Year honor. He also had one runner-up two thirds and two fifth- place finishes. Will Barnes of Austin, Texas, completed his Rookie of the Year campaign with five cashes in 10 events, including his first regional title. David Scardaville of Houston won one of the two events he entered to earn PBA50 Player of the Year honors. Jimbo Evans of Lubbock, Texas, won his second Southwest Pat Patterson Award.

West Region: Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., won four titles in seven PBA West Region events to earn Player of the Year honors. Jakob Butturff of Chandler, Ariz., earned West Region Rookie of the Year with the help of four match play finals in the five tournaments he entered. Two-time PBA50 Player of the Year Ron Mohr of Las Vegas made it a double by earning PBA50 Player of the Year honors in both the West and Northwest Regions. In the West he had two wins, two second-place and one third place finish. Ted Hoffman of Dublin, Calif., who won the West Region’s inaugural Pat Patterson Award 43 years ago, in 1972, won it again in 2015.

Northwest Region: Two-time PBA Tour winner Josh Blanchard won Northwest Player of the Year honors with three top-five finishes that included one win, a third and fourth. Newcomer Cameron Weier of Federal Way, Wash., earned Region Rookie of the Year honors with five top-five finishes in five events including his first title. Ron Mohr of Las Vegas earned PBA50 Player of the Year honors in both the West and Northwest Regions. In the Northwest he had one win and two second-place finishes in the three events he entered. Grants Pass, Ore., proprietor and PBA50 competitor Kevin Croucher was recipient of the Northwest Region’s Pat Patterson Award for the third time.

Japan Region: Pat Nolan earned PBA Japan Region Player of the Year honors as the region’s leading player in competition points. Japan Bowling Promotion, under the leadership of managing director Shinichiro Kinoshita, was the winner of the Pat Patterson Award. Rookie and PBA50 awards were not presented in Japan in 2015.

The PBA conducted approximately 170 regional events during the 2015 season, including standard events, PBA50 and PBA60 events for players 50 and/or 60 years and older, “challenge” events for players who had not previously won PBA titles, and PWBA-PBA Women’s Regional events. The leading players in competition points in standard and PWBA-PBA Women’s events from each region were awarded paid entries into GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII in Reno, Nev., in December, and were invited to compete for berths in the PBA Regional and PWBA-PBA Women’s Regional finals as part of the ESPN-televised PBA Challenge Finals.

During the 2015 season, the PBA Regional program also hosted a series of Xtra Frame PBA Tour events which included live online video streaming, enhanced prize funds and PBA Tour titles for the winners.

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England’s Dom Barrett Leads Field into DHC PBA Japan Invitational Finals Jan. 31 on ESPN2

by Bill Vint January 16, 2016 03:18

TOKYO, Japan – England’s Dom Barrett averaged 234.4 while winning 23 of his 32 matches to earn the top berth for the stepladder finals of the DHC PBA Japan Invitational Saturday at Tokyo Port Bowl by 247 pins over PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela.

Rounding out the five-player field for the stepladder finals, which will air on Sunday, Jan. 31, at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2, are John Szczerbinski of N. Tonawanda, N.Y.; defending DHC champion Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Japan’s Shota Kawazoe. Kawazoe won the final berth in the stepladder finals by 32 pins over 38-time PBA Tour titlist Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla.

The DHC PBA Japan Invitational included a field of 15 PBA stars who earned invitations based on qualifying scores bowled during the PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open and Bowlmor AMF U.S. Open last fall along with a representative of the Korea PBA and 16 Japanese players.

Barrett, a four-time PBA Tour title winner, is trying for his first title since winning the 2014 Qatar Open. He finished the 32-game round-robin match play portion of the tournament with a 8,191 pinfall total, including 30 bonus pins for each match win.

Monacelli, 54, is a 19-time PBA Tour champion and a five-time PBA50 Tour winner (including the 2015 USBC Senior Masters), but he hasn’t won a PBA Tour title since 2005.

Szczerbinski, who is trying for his first PBA Tour title, earned the No. 3 berth in the finals by defeating Barnes, 232-227, in a one-game roll-off after they tied for third place.

Barnes, an 18-time PBA Tour title winner, is making his first PBA Tour appearance since undergoing surgery to repair a damaged disc in early October. Barnes bowled a 300 game on his way to winning the 2014 DHC PBA Japan Invitational title, earning a $40,000 bonus in addition to the $40,000 first prize.

Kawazoe, with 7,745 total pins, led the field of 16 Japanese players.

The DHC PBA Japan Invitational, conducted in cooperation with the PBA Japan Regional program, is the first singles event on the 2016 PBA Tour schedule. All match play competition was covered live on PBA’s online video-streaming service, Xtra Frame.


Tokyo Port Bowl, Tokyo, Japan, Friday, Jan. 15

Final Match Play Standings (after 32 games, including 30 bonus pins. Top five advance to ESPN2 stepladder finals Sunday, Jan. 31, at 2 p.m. ET)

1, Dom Barrett, England, 23-9, 8,191.
2, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 24-8, 7,944.
3, x-John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 20-12, 7,827.
4, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 18-13-1, 7,827.
5, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 25-7, 7,745.

Other Cashers:
6, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 19-11-2, 7,713, $4,800.
7, Aaron Lorincz, Belleville, Mich., 20-10-2, 7,668, $4,400.
8, n-Yuta Saito, Japan, 20-12, 7,650, $4,000.
9, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 22-10, 7,628, $3,600.
10, Isao Yamamoto, Japan, 21-11, 7,603, $3,360.
11, Fujii Nobuhito, Japan, 19-13, 7,596, $3,040.
12, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 19-13, 7,577, $2,880.
13, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 15-17, 7,497, $2,720.
14, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 18-14, 7,485, $2,560.
15, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla., 21-11, 7,443, $2,400.
16, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 16-16, 7,357, $2,240.
17, n-Takuya Miyazawa, Japan, 13-19, 7,208, $2,200.
18, f-Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 16-16, 7,192, $2,160.
19, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 15-15-2, 7,086, $2,120.
20, n-Ryo Yamanaka, Japan, 15-17, 7,019, $2,080.
21, f-Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 12-20, 6,940, $2,040.
22, n-Takuma Echigo, Japan, 13-19, 6,920, $2,000.
23, f-Hiroko Shimizu, Japan, 14-18, 6,886, $1,960.
24, f-Mai Takasaka, Japan, 12-18-2, 6,773, $1,920.
25, f-Yuki Akiyoshi, Japan, 13-19, 6,737, $1,880.
26, Pat Nolan, Japan, 12-19-1, 6,675, $1,840.
27, f-Hiromi Matsunaga, Japan, 12-20, 6,648, $1,800.
28, f-Yuka Tsuchiya, Japan, 10-22, 6,602, $1,760.
29, Meen Woo Kim, Korea, 13-19, 6,450, $1,720.
30, Fumihiro Yoshida, Japan, 8-24, 6,210, $1,680.
31, f-Misa Domoto, Japan, 5-27, 5,956, $1,640.
32, f-Yumi Nakajima, Japan, 4-28, 5,378, $1,600.

x-Szczerbinski def. Barnes, 232-227, in a one-game roll-off to decide the No. 3 berth for the stepladder finals.

f-denotes female; n-denotes non-PBA member.

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Japan’s Bowling World Open Begins with Open Qualifying in Tokyo

by Bill Vint July 9, 2015 03:20

TOKYO – Bowlers from 55 countries, including many of the best male and female players in the sport, have begun competition in the inaugural World Bowling Open, an event designed as a showcase for observers considering additional sports for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games program.

The event began Thursday with open qualifying for non-exempt players and concludes with televised finals in Japan on Sunday.

Bowling is one of eight sports in contention for possible inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games.

The World Bowling Open, which is offering the richest prize fund on the World Bowling Tour schedule, will pay shares of its estimated US$390,000 in prize money equally to men and women. First prize in each division will be roughly $81,000. As a part of its support of the event and the Olympic movement, the PBA will award a PBA Tour title to the men’s champion.

The tournament will include 110 men and 110 women in the singles main events, plus an international mixed doubles competition. The main event fields will include 79 invited representatives from 55 countries, 19 international players and 12 local qualifiers from open qualifying events Thursday and Friday at Shinagawa Prince Hotel Bowling Center.

Among the invited players granted automatic berths in men’s singles are PBA champions Jason Belmonte, Australia; Thomas Larsen, Denmark; Dom Barrett and Paul Moor, England; Osku Palermaa, Finland; Jesper Svensson, Sweden, and Mike Fagan and Chris Barnes, representing the PBA and the U.S. A number of additional international PBA members who have not yet won a PBA title also are among the exempt men.

The women’s exempt field will include PBA/PWBA members Clara Guerrero, Colombia; Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic; Diana Zavjalova, Latvia; and American stars Kelly Kulick and Liz Johnson. Kulick is the only woman ever to win a PBA Tour title (2011 PBA Tournament of Champions). Kulick, Johnson and Guerrero all have appeared in PBA Tour television finals and all three are PBA Regional title winners.

The main singles competitions will involve five qualifying games Saturday with the top 33 players in each division advancing to a three-game semifinal round at Round1 Minamisuna Bowling Center. Based on pinfall for eight games, the top four will advance to the televised finals where No. 1 will bowl No. 4, and No. 2 will bowl No. 3, in one-game matches. The winners will then bowl for their respective titles.

Sunday’s men’s and women’s finals, along with international mixed doubles finals, will be contested on a special six-lane installation in an exhibition hall at the Makuhari-Messe convention center on the outskirts of Tokyo.

The open qualifying system allows bowlers from around the world to bowl a three-game series on the same pair of lanes. The top 19 players will earn berths in the 110-player fields. Bowlers can re-enter every-other squad in attempts to qualify among the top 19. After six squads, PBA titlists Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, along with U.S. stars Bill O’Neill, Tommy Jones and Sean Rash were among the players in position to advance. Four additional qualifying squads are scheduled for Friday.

Shinagawa Prince Hotel Bowling Center, Tokyo, Thursday

Men’s Open Qualifying Leaders (after three games; top 19 after four additional squads on Friday advance to Saturday’s men’s singles main event)
1, Youngjun Lee, Korea, 746.
2, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 741.
3, Sangpil Park, Korea, 737.
4, Bill O'Neill, U.S., 733.
5, Taehwa Jeong, Korea, 729.
6, Tommy Jones, U.S., 724.
7, Sean Rash, U.S., 721.
8, Kang Seongyu, Korea, 719.
9, Timmy Tan, Malaysia, 718.
10, Kyungmin Kim, Korea, 712.
11, Gu Yongjin, Korea, 711.
12, Youngkwan Kim, Korea, 707.
13, Seoungjoo Joung, Korea, 704.
14 (tie), Zhi Yong Wang, China, and Jaejung Lee, Korean, 701.
16, Jun Hyun Kim, Korea, 698.
17, Ahmad Muaz, Malaysia, 694.
18, Robert Townsend, Australia, 690.
19, Ju Hun Oh, Korea, 689.

Women’s Open Qualifying Leaders (after three games; top 19 after four additional squads on Friday advance to Saturday’s women’s singles main event)
1, Nahyun Lee, Korea, 760.
2, Yeonju Hwang, Korea, 749.
3, Dawun Jung, Korea, 734.
4, Seungja Baek, Korea, 727.
5, Syaidatul Afifah, Malaysia, 726.
6, Yeong Seung Lee, Korea, 717.
7, Jenny Wegner, Sweden, 713.
8 (tie), Jazreel Tan, Singapore, and Jinsun Kim, Korea, 711.
10, Cherie Tan, Singapore, 708.
11, Byul Han, Korea, 700.
12 (tie), Eunok Kim, Korea, and Danielle McEwan, U.S., 697.
14, New Hui Fen, Singapore, 696.
15, Hyunsook Choi, Korea, 690.
16 (tie), Hyun Lim An, Korea, and Kristin Quah, Singapore, 686.
18, Bernice Lim, Singapore, 680.
19, Subin Kim, Korea, 679.

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World Bowling Submits Bid for Inclusion in 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games; PBA Offers Support

by Bill Vint June 11, 2015 03:36

CHICAGO – World Bowling, assisted by the Japan Bowling Congress and the National Bowling Federation of Japan, has filed an official application with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee to include bowling as a medal sport, and the Professional Bowlers Association will continue to offer its long-standing support to accomplish that goal, Commissioner Tom Clark said Thursday.

World Bowling confirmed Monday that it has completed its formal application to be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Bowling is one of 33 sports the Tokyo committee invited to submit applications.

Along with the application form, the Japanese federations collected nearly one million signatures they collected from Japanese bowlers in support of the bid.

“The great international flavor of top players competing today at the highest levels of professional bowling with the PBA, and the PBA’s success as a televised sport on major networks for decades, are two of the best examples of why bowling should be in the Olympic Games,” Clark said.

In support of the World Bowling/Japan effort, Clark said the PBA will provide data regarding its extensive international television exposure and several of the PBA’s most talented players will physically support the venture by participating in a new Round1 World Open July 9-12 in Tokyo. The Round1 tournament will be a showcase for Olympic observers and will feature men’s and women’s singles along with an international mixed doubles event. PBA players who are already committed to the tournament include a distinct international array of talent:

Chris Barnes, U.S.; Dom Barrett, England; Jason Belmonte, Australia; Tom Daugherty, U.S.; Mike Fagan, U.S.; Liz Johnson, U.S.; Clara Guerrero, Colombia; Tommy Jones, U.S.; Marshall Kent, U.S.; Mika Koivuniemi, Finland; Kelly Kulick, U.S.; Thomas Larsen, Denmark; Chris Loschetter, U.S.; Bill O’Neill, U.S.; Osku Palermaa, Finland; Sean Rash, U.S.; Stuart Williams, England, and Diana Zavjalova, Latvia.

The PBA and Japan bowling community have a cooperative relationship extending back 30 years to the creation of the Japan Cup in 1985, Clark noted. In 2014, the PBA and Japanese bowling leaders created the PBA’s first international regional tournament program and early in 2015, PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel provided its first live international video-streaming coverage of the DHC PBA Japan Invitational.

PBA has provided bowling with a consistent presence on network television since 1962, including packages with ABC, NBC, CBS and CBS Sports Networks, and a continuous relationship with ESPN since 1979. Over the past five years, ESPN has provided 135 hours of PBA programming, including 20 telecasts that reached more than one million viewers. In the past year, ESPN viewership has been up more than 20 percent over the previous year, averaging more than 800,000 viewers per telecast, in part because of growing participation by international players.

In the past two years, the PBA World Series of Bowling has included players from more than 20 different countries. Since the creation of the World Series of Bowling in 2009 and the World Bowling-PBA International Tour in 2012, players from Australia, Colombia, Korea, Finland, Japan, Sweden, England, Venezuela and Denmark have won PBA Tour titles.

ESPN, which is available in 94 million homes in the United States, has expanded bowling’s international exposure throughout the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and South America. PBA events aired by Eurosport’s international network have been accessible by 137 million households in 54 countries in 20 languages. The PBA Network’s extensive multi-media distribution system has further improved the sport’s global reach through video-streaming and an array of social media platforms.

“Our application highlights the different elements that make the sport of bowling a great match for the Olympic Games,” World Bowling President Kevin Dornberger said. “Bowling combines top athletic ability with broad accessibility and high participation, for men and women. It’s a lifetime sport that attracts people of all backgrounds and provides long-lasting health benefits.

“Bowling is truly a global sport. Japan boasts a huge bowling community. We have their full support as we enter this pursuit. This is bowling’s time.”

The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee’s decision is expected in September.

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