Tommy Jones started with three straight open frames in the stepladder finals, but recovered to win the Dydo Drinco Japan Cup at Yokohama on Monday. It was his first PBA title, worth $50,000.
"It hasn't set in yet, but it will when I get home," said Jones, who finished second in last year's Japan Cup.
Jones of Greenville, S.C., was seeded second in the finals and almost missed his shot at the title match. He began with a split, a five-pin washout and a missed single-pin conversion against No. 3 seed Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela.
Monacelli failed to strike after the fourth frame and Jones struck on his final seven shots for the 211-172 victory.
Jones started the title match against Japan's No. 1 seed, Minoru Sendan, with an open then ran off five straight strikes. Sendan, who earned $25,000, failed to convert splits in the fifth and 10th frames.
Monacelli settled for third and $12,000. Steve Jaros, the No. 8 seed from Bolingbrook, Ill., fell to Monacelli in the third match 246-277 and finished fourth, good for $7,000. Mika Koivuniemi of Ann Arbor, Mich., was fifth for $6,000 after losing to Jaros in the second match 229-192.
Clermont's Jason Couch, who fell to Jaros in the first match, won $5,000 for sixth place.
A format change forced PBA Tour players to start with the rest of the field, bowling 27 qualifying games before advancing to the round of 32. In past years, the tour pros automatically were seeded into the round of 32.
There were 48 Japan Professional Bowlers Association members, 20 PBA Tour pros, 78 pros from a pretournament qualifier and 46 amateurs.
The 2004-05 PBA Tour, which opens with the Miller High Life Masters Oct. 24-31 at Milwaukee, features an exclusive 64-man field comprised of 2003-04 tour winners, qualifiers and selections by the PBA commissioner, Fred Schreyer. Open spots in the field will be filled with weekly qualifiers, a return to the old "rabbit squads" format familiar to long-time PBA players.
ABC EXTENDED: With entries continuing to pour in, the 102nd American Bowling Congress Championships Tournament at Baton Rouge, La., has been extended. It begins Feb. 12 and could end as late as July 9. Bowlers can enter at (877) 539-7930 toll-free or abctournament.com. A calendar of available dates also is available on the Web site.
CLINIC SLATED: The East Coast Regional Coaches Summit on Oct. 25-27 at Bally's Park Place Casino Resort in Atlantic City offers a learning and networking opportunity for coaches of youth, high school and collegiate bowlers and bowling pro shop operators.