What has become a showcase of topflight international professional bowling competition, the 2009 Dydo Japan Cup will begin tomorrow in Tokyo.
In September 2007, Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., won the most recent Dydo Japan Cup for his eighth PBA Tour title and a tournament championship in 11 different countries. Koivuniemi, a native of Finland, defeated Mike Wolfe of New Albany, Ind., 200-178, in the title match.
Featuring Professional Bowlers Association Tour, Japan Professional Bowlers Association Tour and amateur stars, qualifying and match play will once again take place at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel while the championship round takes place at the Tokyo Metro Gymnasium.
The field will consist of 144 players that will include 20 PBA professionals (including the top 16 on the PBA Tour points list from 2007-08), 90 Japan Professional Bowlers Association players and 34 amateurs. The JPBA entrants will include 49 seeded players and the rest will be determined through a pre-tournament qualifier. The amateur field will include nine seeded players and the rest determined through a qualifier in Japan on April 4.
QUOTES FROM DYDO JAPAN CUP 2009
Mika Koivuniemi on defending his Japan Cup title:
“It is a great honor to be the defending champion of the Japan Cup. I’m ready to defend my title. With the PBA just finishing a couple weeks ago all of the PBA guys are in great shape and ready to compete. If I make the show, I like my chances to defend.”
Norm Duke on competing in the Japan Cup:
“The opportunity to expose our talents abroad and to attract fans from other countries is an opportunity to relish. I’ve been coming over here for 18 years and I have the longest tenure over here without a Japan Cup title. It’s something that I think about even prior to coming here. I don’t want to end my career without a Japan Cup victory.”
Rhino Page on competing in his first Japan Cup:
“It’s great to be back to Japan. It’s one of my favorite countries to visit. It’s a competition that you really have to perform well to be a part of and to qualify after my first year makes it very special to be here. I’m looking forward to this new experience. I’ve had a couple weeks off and that will to compete is there again and I’m looking forward to going out there and hopefully taking care of business.”
Sean Rash on competing in the Japan Cup:
“I always enjoy coming to Japan because they treat us like top-notch athletes. It’s an opportunity for us to compete against some of the top international players in the world and for us to showcase the talent of the American players.”
Wes Malott on competing in the Japan Cup:
“I’ve had some success in my previous two years in competing in the Japan Cup and hopefully I can continue that success and carry it farther this year. The Japan Cup is a very special event and it would be an honor to win it.”