September 18, 2007 19:00
The 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour begins this week with the 23rd annual Japan Cup which once again takes place in Tokyo, Japan. Qualifying and match play take place at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel while the championship round takes place at the Tokyo Metro Gymnasium for the third consecutive season.
The 2007 Japan Cup marks the sixth consecutive year the Japan Cup kicks off the Denny’s PBA Tour season. For the second consecutive season, fans will get to watch the final rounds tape delayed on ESPN. The finals will air Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. EST.
This year’s event faces a tall task in trying to top the excitement provided last season by Walter Ray Williams Jr., who broke Earl Anthony’s all-time Denny’s PBA Tour titles record with a thrilling victory over longtime rival Pete Weber. Williams struck in his first 10 frames and nearly fired his first career televised 300 game, instead settling for a 289-236 win over Weber, his fifth victory in as many tries against his fellow PBA Hall of Famer.
This year’s event features several past champions – Chris Barnes, Parker Bohn III, Tommy Jones, Doug Kent, Weber and Williams – and a handful of newcomers, including Kelly Kulick who was given a special invitation into the event and becomes the first American woman to compete in the Japan Cup. Also making their first appearances in Japan are Jeff Carter, Bill O’Neill and Sean Rash.
Williams will be appearing in his record 23rd consecutive Japan Cup, making him the only American bowler to compete in all 23 events. Norm Duke ranks second all-time with 17 appearances, Bohn is third with 16 and Weber follows with 15. Ryan Shafer will be making his 10th appearance, making him just the seventh bowler all-time with at least 10 Japan Cup appearances.
A new format will also be used as the event switches from round robin match play to single elimination match play. The field will bowl 12 games of qualifying on Friday with the top 64 bowlers advancing to match play. The Rounds of 64, 32 and 16 feature best-of-three-games match play – all taking place Saturday – with the final eight advancing to Sunday’s final round.
Sunday’s competition begins with four single-game Round of 8 matches, followed by two semifinal matches and the championship match, with the winner taking home $50,000.
Below is the roster of PBA players for the Dydo Japan Cup 2007:
Parker Bohn III
Walter Ray Williams Jr.
Tommy Delutz Jr.
Bill O'Neill (Replacing Mike Devaney)
Mika Koivuniemi (Replacing Wes Malott)
Additional Four Players Invited
Special Japan Cup Committee Invitation
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