Jones Defeats Koivuniemi to Win International Bowling Championship in Japan

by Pba Editor February 11, 2012 03:02

story courtesy Herbert Bickel/

PBA professional and Team USA member Tommy Jones captured the title in the International Bowling Championship 2012 supported by DHC Saturday in Hakata, Japan, earning the 6 million Yen (approx. $77,500) top prize.

In the men's title match, top seeded Jones, who has won three of his 13 PBA titles in Japan, flew past reigning PBA Player of the Year Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 290-204, to wrap up the title. On the women's side, No. 2 seed Cherie Tan defeated women's top seed Dayang Khairuniza, Malaysia, 218-179, for the biggest payday in her career.

The TV Finals started on Friday evening with a shootout match between players ranked fourth to 9th after the semifinals to determine the No. 4 seed for the stepladder finals.

Zulmazran Zulkifli of Malaysia who took the ninth and last place for the men's shoot-out match, almost rolled the first 300 game of the tournament, firing a 298 game to defeat #5 Mike Fagan, United States (267), #4 Dan MacLelland, Canada (248), #6 Chris Barnes, United States (224), #7 Park Kyung-Sin, Korea (214) and #8 Shota Kawazoe, Japan (182).

In the opening match of the stepladder finals, Zulkifli fell to No. 3 seed, Choi Bok-Eum of Korea, 241-198. Zulkifli struck on six of his first eight shots but suffered two open frames. Bok-Eum bowled a clean game including a four-bagger and a three-bagger to put the match away well before the final frame.

In the semifinal match it was current World Bowling Tour point ranking leader Koivuniemi, who bowled a clean game to defeat the Korean lefty, 226-211, to advance to the title match. Heading into the final frame, Bok-Eum held a 17-pin lead behind seven strikes and two open frames. Koivuniemi struck out in the 9th and 10th frame to force Bok-Eum to strike on his first ball in the last frame. When the Korean failed to strike, the match was over.

Koivuniemi pocketed 3 million Yen for second place. Bok-Eum received 1.5 million Yen for third and Zulkifli walked away with 800.000 Yen for fourth place.

The International Bowling Championship 2012 supported by DHC was the fourth stop of the 2012 World Bowling Tour and offered a total prize fund of 30 million Yen or more than 380,000 U.S. Dollars.

Men and women competed in separate divisions. Each division consisted of 84 players - 45 local bowlers (15 each from three pre-qualifying tournament), the top 16 of the international trials (Feb. 7 and 8), as well as 23 seeded and invited players.

All 84 men and 84 women bowled nine games of qualifying divided into three blocks of three games. Based on the nine-game total, the top 24 men and the top 24 women advanced to the semifinals.

Those 24 bowled another two three-game blocks on Friday with the pinfall from the qualifying being carried forward. The top 9 men and the top 9 women with the highest 15-game total qualified for the TV Finals.

The top three in each division advanced straight to the TV stepladder finals on Saturday, while bowlers seeded fourth to ninth determined the No. 4 seed for the stepladder in a single-game shoot-out match.

In the TV stepladder finals, which were broadcasted nationwide by NHK Global Media Services, Inc., were staged on specially constructed lanes in Diamond Hall on the second floor of the building.

The prize money for each division was the same, with the men's and women's winner each taking 6 million Yen or more than $77,000, with $38,500 and $19,250 going to the second and third place finishers, respectively.


Men's Division - TV Finals

Championship Round:
1. Tommy Jones, United States, 6.000.000 JPY
2. Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 3.000.000 JPY
3. Choi Bok-Eum, Korea, 1.500.000 JPY
4. Zulmazran Zulkifli, Malaysia, 800.000 JPY

Playoff Results:
Shoot-out to determine the No. 4 seed for the stepladder finals:
#9 Zulkifli (298) def. #5 Fagan (267), #4 Maclelland (248), #6 Barnes (224), #7 Kyung-Sin (214) and #8 Kawazoe (182)
First Match: No. 3 Choi def. No. 4 Zulkifli, 241-198
Second Match: No. 2 Koivuniemi def. Choi, 226-211
Championship: No. 1 Jones def. Koivuniemi, 290-204.


Women's Division - TV Finals

Championship Round:
1. Cherie Tan, Singapore, 6.000.000 JPY
2. Dayang Khairuniza, Malaysia, 3.000.000 JPY
3. Jeon Eun-Hee, Korea, 1.500.000 JPY
4. Missy Parkin, United States, 800.000 JPY

Playoff Results:

Shoot-out to determine the No. 4 seed for the stepladder finals:
#5 Parkin (267) def. #6 Macpherson (246), #9 Nakano (218), #7 Aziela (212), #8 Kimura (208) and #4 Gianotti (183)
First Match: No. 3 Jeon def. No. 4 Parkin, 224-206
Second Match: No. 2 Chan def Jeon, 235-189
Championship: Tan def. No. 1 Khairuniza, 218-179.

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