Tomie Kawaguchi, Natsuki Sasaki win "major" titles on 2011 JPBA Ladies Tour


    2011 JPBA Ladies Tour #8 and #9

    2011JPBALT08TomieKawaguchi2.jpg2011JPBALT09NatsukiSasaki2.jpgTomie Kawaguchi (pictured left) and amateur Natsuki Sasaki (right) captured two of the three "major" titles on the 2011 Japan Professional Bowlers Association Ladies Tour.

    Kawaguchi reached the title matches in both events. She defeated Wendy Macpherson, United States, to win the Round 1 Cup, the richest women's tournament on the tour, but fell to Natsuki Sasaki, who became the first amateur bowler ever to win the Ladies Japan Open.

    The Ladies Round 1 Cup 2011 was the first women's "major" of the 2011 season offering total prize fund of 14 million Yen or approx. US$180,450. The tournament which was held from Oct. 19-22 at Round 1 Minami Suna drew 332 women - 110 pro bowlers and 222 amateurs.

    2011JPBALT08WendyMacpherson.jpg2011JPBALT08YukiIchihara.jpgAfter 10 games of qualifying, 6 games semifinals and 12 games round robin match play, the top five bowlers advanced to the TV stepladder finals. Wendy Macpherson (left), United States, who has won two titles this season and ten JPBA title overall, was the top seed.

    Kawaguchi, seeded second, eliminated No. 3 seed, Yuki Ichihara (right), in the semifinal, 214-163, for the right to bowl Macpherson for the title. The former Team USA member, who has won 20 titles on the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour before the PWBA ceased operations in the fall of 2003, had to settle for second place behind a 221-214 defeat.

    37-year-old Kawaguchi, who turned pro in 1999, claimed her fifth JPBA title and the 4 million Yen (approx. 51,100 USD) top prize. Macpherson was consoled with ¥2.1 million.

    Both Kawaguchi and Macpherson also had a shot for the second "major" title of the year in the Ladies Japan Open at Nagoya Grand Bowl, one the biggest bowling centers in the world. The 35th ABS Ladies Japan Open 2011 drew 368 women and was contested from Nov. 3-6.

    2011JPBALT09NatsukiSasaki.jpg2011JPBALT09TomieKawaguchi.jpgAfter 9 games pre-qualifying (team, doubles, singles), 8 games qualifying, 6 games semifinals and 8 games round robin match play, the top determined the champion in double elimination match play.

    Macpherson won her first two matches but was sent to the losers bracket in the final match of the winners bracket, losing to amateur bowler Natsuki Sasaki, 409-361. She then got eliminated by Kawaguchi, 193-154, to finish third.

    Sasaki (left) denied Kawaguchi's (right) bid for back-to-back "major" titles, 192-191, to remain undefeated and to become the first amateur bowler in the 35-year-history of the vent to claim the title. As an amateur, Sasaki did not win the top prize which went to Kawaguchi, who had just another big payday winning 1.1 million Yen or $14,170. Macpherson pocketed ¥560.000.

    The 2011 JPBA Ladies Tour concludes with the JLBC Prince Cup (Dec. 8-11, 2011) and the third "major", the Handa Pro Bowling Championships (Dec. 15-17, 2011).

    Courtesy of Junia Yoshida of Japan Bowling Promotion. Photos and results courtesy of JPBA.


    Ladies Round 1 Cup 2011 (Oct. 19-22, 2011)

    Total Prize Fund: 14 Million Yen (approx. US$180,450)

    Final Standings - Top 8 with earnings (Japanese Yen)
    1. Tomie Kawaguchi, ¥4.000.000
    2. Wendy Macpherson, United States, ¥2.100.000
    3. Yuki Ichihara, ¥1.100.000
    4. Ayumi Kobayashi, ¥650.000
    5. Urara Himeji, ¥500.000
    6. Aya Horiuchi, ¥430.000
    7. Yuka Kishida, ¥390.000
    8. Tsunemi Kubota, ¥340.000
    44. Sayaka Abe (best amateur)

    Playoff Results:
    First Match: No. 4 Kobayashi def. Himeji, 244-201
    Second Match: No. 3 Ichihara def. Kobayashi, 226-187
    Third Match: No. 2 Kawaguchi def. Ichihara, 214-163
    Championship: Kawaguchi def. No. 1 Macpherson, 221-214


    35th ABS Ladies Japan Open 2011 (Nov. 3-6, 2011)

    Final Standings - Top 8 with earnings (Japanese Yen)
    1. Natsuki Sasaki (best Amateur)
    2. Tomie Kawaguchi, ¥1.100.000
    3. Wendy Macpherson, United States, ¥560.000
    4. Ayami Kondo, ¥450.000
    5. Urara Himeji, ¥380.000
    6. Nao Ohishi (amateur)
    7. Hromi Matsunaga, ¥300.000
    8. Ayano Katai, ¥270.000

    Playoff Results:
    Winners Bracket - Last Round: Sasaki def. Macpherson, 409-361
    Losers Bracket - Last Round: Kawaguchi def. Macpherson, 193-154
    Championship: Sasaki def. Kawaguchi, 192-191.


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