SEATTLE – After a one-year absence due in great part to the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, the Japan Cup has been resurrected for the fall of 2012 and will provide additional incentive for Professional Bowlers Association players to perform at a high level during the 2011-12 season.
Sixteen PBA Tour players, based upon competition points at the close of the current season, will earn automatic berths in a field that will include top Japan and Korean PBA competitors, and international amateurs. An additional four PBA players will receive special invitations from the host organization.
“We could not be more pleased with this renewed partnership with the Japan PBA and look forward to bringing fresh energy to one of bowling's pinnacle events worldwide,” said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. “Our players will be excited for the opportunity to compete, participating sponsors will gain great value from their association and the resulting action on the lanes will undoubtedly thrill fans once again.”
"We are very happy with the return of the Japan Cup, in a new way,” said Japan PBA President Ritsuko Nakayama.
The 2012 Japan Cup will be held Nov. 29-Dec. 2 in Tokyo, with preliminary qualifying at Minami-Suna Bowling Center followed by additional qualifying, match play and television finals at Shinagawa Princess Hotel Bowling Center.
The tournament will offer a total of just over $285,000 in prize money, including a $78,000 first prize and a PBA Tour title. Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., is defending champion.
The Japan Cup originated as the Japan Gold Cup in 1968. The late PBA Hall of Famer Don Johnson won the inaugural event. In the 25 years that PBA players have been invited to the event, it has been won 23 times by PBA pros and twice by Japan PBA players. Walter Ray Williams Jr. is the only player who has competed in all 25 Japan Cup tournaments.