Tommy Jones wins back-to-back titles in International Bowling Championships


    2013 World Bowling Tour #4

    Claims his 14th career PBA title, the third in Japan, and takes home six million Yen

    2013IBCMensChampionTommyJones.jpgIn a title match between two PBA Player of the Year, Tommy Jones (pictured left) defeated Sean Rash, 209-204, to defend his title in the International Bowling Championships 2013 supported by DHC, a World Bowling Tour "major", en route to win the six million Yen top prize.

    Due to an agreement between the World Tenpin Bowling Association, organizer of the World Bowling Tour, and the Professional Bowlers Association, the IBC awarded a PBA international title if won by a PBA member.

    It was the 14th career PBA title, the fourth in Japan (Japan Cup 2004, 2005 and 2010), and another big payday for Jones, who earned the PBA Player of the Year Award for 2005-06 after leading the Tour with $301,700, the third-highest single season earnings of all-time.

    Jones would have to win all five tournaments of the PBA Winter Swing later this month to win nearly the same money has he did this week.

    Jones, who was the top seed for the men's finals, and Rash were joined in the TV Eliminator finals by 16-year-old Malaysian shooting star, Rafiq Ismail, former PBA Player of the Year, Chris Barnes, United States and Hiroki Suzuki of Japan.

    All five players bowled one game with the lowest two players eliminated. The remaining three players bowled a second game with the lowest player eliminated. The two survivors then bowled for the title and the six million Yen first prize.

    2013IBCActionChrisBarnes2.jpgIn the opening five-player shoot-out match, the young Malaysian came out of the gates commandingly by connecting for the first seven strikes. His quest for the record 10 million Yen for a 300 game in the TV Eliminator Finals was spoiled by a 10-pin in the eight frame. Ismail doubles in the ninth and tenth frame for 268.

    Jones took the second spot as he struck eight times after a spare in the first frame. He left a 3-4-6-7-10 combination in the tenth, which he converted into a spare to finish with 261.

    Reigning WTBA World Champion and 14-time PBA champion Barnes (right) was surprisingly the first player out. Barnes fell behind early after an open frame in fifth and suffered back-to-back open frames in the eighth and ninth, which seal his fate. Barnes finished fifth with 180 and pocketed 600,000 Yen.

    2013IBCActionHirokiSuzuki.jpgSuzuki (left), who was 10 pins ahead of Rash heading into the six frame, opened twice behind big splits in the eighth (4-7-10) and tenth frame (7-10) to finish with 190. Rash struck in the seventh, eighth and ninth frame en route to shut out Suzuki with 215. The Japanese bowler earned 800,000 for fourth place.

    2013IBCActionRafiqIsmail2.jpgIn the semifinal match, experience beat youth. Rash struck on five of his first six shots to take the early lead. As Jones was unable to strike on the right lane, he alternated strikes and spares in his first six frame, he still led Ismail, who opened in his second frame. The youngster, however, rebounded with three strikes in frames 4-6 to overtake Jones by three pins.

    Jones then got his fourth consecutive strike on the left lane, while the Malaysian got a 7-10 split in his seventh frame which resulted in an open. How are the chances that you open and Jones doesn't throw a strike? Slim to nothing.

    He didn't throw a perfect shot in the eight but got away with it, registered his first strike on the right lane, and added two more strikes to shut out Ismail (right) with 229, who doubled after the split but went out with 200. The lefty will return back home with 1.5 million Yen.

    2013IBCActionTommyJones2.jpg2013IBCActionSeanRash.jpgDeja-vu for Jones (left) in the title match as he alternated spares and strikes for the first six frames. This time he struck on the right lane and converted three spares on the left lane to trail Rash by nine pins. Both players doubled in the sixth and seventh frame and spared in the eighth frame.

    Finishing first and leading by eight pins, Rash (right) had his fate in his own hands. He could shut out Jones or force him to throw a double with two clean frames or a double in the tenth ….. instead he left a 7-10 split in the ninth frame for an open and missed the head pin on the first shot in the last frame.

    After converting the spare and finishing with a strike for 204, Rash had to sit and watch Jones easily converting and single-pin spare (4) and throwing one last strike for a five-pin victory. The reigning PBA Player of the Year, who was looking for his sixth PBA title, was consoled for his runner-up finish with 3 million Yen.

    Action shots courtesy of Hero Noda.

    BowlingdigitalBanner.gif Bowlingdigital covered the International Bowling Championships 2013 supported by DHC live from Inazawa Grand Bowl in Inazawa City, Japan, including stories, results and photos commencing Tuesday, Jan. 15 with the international qualifying all the way through to the TV finals on Saturday, Jan. 19.

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    International Bowling Championships 2013 supported by DHC - Men's Finals

    Inazawa Futsal Stadium in Inazawa City, Japan (Jan. 19, 2013

    2013IBCTop5Men2.jpgChampionship Round:
    1. Tommy Jones, United States, 699 (3 games), JPY 6,000,000
    2. Sean Rash, United States, 666 (3 games), JPY 3,000,000
    3. Rafiq Ismail, Malaysia, 468 (2 games), JPY 1,500,000
    4. Hiroki Suzuki, Japan, 190 (1 game), JPY 800,000
    5. Chris Barnes, United States, 180 (1 game), JPY 600,000

    Eliminator Round 1: #2 Ismail (268), #1 Jones (261), #5 Rash (215), #4 Suzuki (190), #3 Barnes (180) - two lowest scores eliminated
    Eliminator Round 2: Rash (247), Jones (229), Ismail (200) - lowest score eliminated
    Eliminator Round 3 (Championship): Jones def. Rash, 209-204.

    Other Cashers:
    6. Shigeo Saito, Japan, JPY 500,000
    7. Mike Fagan, United States, JPY 400,000
    8. Jang Dong-Chul, Korea, JPY 350,000
    9. Kengo Tagata, Japan, JPY 300,000
    10. Ryan Ciminelli, United States, JPY 250,000
    11. Obara Teruyuki, Japan, JPY 200,000
    12. Isao Yamamoto, Japan, JPY 180,000
    13. Choi Bok-Eum, Korea, JPY 160,000
    14. Zulmazran Zulkifli, Malaysia, JPY 140,000
    15. Kang Hee-Won, Korea, JPY 120,000
    16. Minoru Sendan, Japan, JPY 100,000
    17. Shogo Wada, Japan, JPY 80,000
    18. Park Jong-Woo, Korea, JPY 70,000
    19. Nur Aiman, Malaysia, JPY 60,000
    20. Yuta Saitoh, Japan, JPY 50,000
    21. Jason Belmonte, Australia, JPY 40,000
    22. Jay Leon Guerrero, Guam, JPY 40,000
    23. Tetsuya Kobayashi, Japan, JPY 30,000
    24. Tetsuya Chiba, Japan, JPY 30,000