Yuya Katoh ends Japan's 24-year title drought with victory in 2013 Round1 Japan Cup


    2012-13 PBA Tour #23

    Katoh defeats compatriot Kazuaki Watanabe in an all-Japan title match to claim the six million Yen top prize (US$ 58,620)

    201213PBA23YuyaKatoh2.jpg201213PBA23KazuakiWatanabe2.jpgYuya Katoh (pictured left) ended a 24-year title drought for Japanese bowlers when he defeated his compatriot Kazuaki Watanabe (right), 243-235, in an all-Japan title match to win the 2013 Round1 Japan Cup Saturday at Minami Suna Round1 Bowling Center in Tokyo, Japan.

    Katoh, who received the 6.000.000 Yen top prize or approximately US$ 58,620, is the first Japanese winner of the prestigious title since Takeo Sakai in 1988.

    Photos courtesy of Japan Professional Bowlers Association.

    Katoh struck in all but the fourth frame on his first seven shots but was trailing by more than ten pins as Watanabe connected for a six-bagger after starting with two spares. When Katoh spared a 4-pin in the eighth and struck in the ninth frame, Watanabe had a chance to shut out his opponent with two more strikes.

    201213PBA23ShinichiHorie2.jpg201213PBA23EJTackett2.jpgTides turned when he left a 10-pin and failed to spare. Though he converted a 3-10 split in the tenth frame, Watanabe was unable to put pressure on Katoh, who sealed the victory with a strike in the 10th frame.

    Watanabe was consoled with 3.200.000 Yen (US$ 31,260) for second place.

    In the semifinal matches of the eight-player TV finals, Katoh defeated fellow JPBA bowler Shinichi Horie (left), 236-195, while Watanabe equally easily eliminated the last remaining PBA bowler, E.J. Tackett (right) of Huntington, Ind., 249-190. Horie and Tackett each got 1.500.000 Yen (US$ 14,655) for third place.

    201213PBA23ChrisBarnes2.jpg201213PBA23OskuPalermaa2.jpgIn the opening round matches Tackett and Watanabe ousted past Japan Cup winners Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., and Chris Barnes (left) of Double Oak, Texas, while Katoh and Horie eliminated Finland's two-handed star Osku Palermaa (right) and reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill.

    Jones, Barnes, Palermaa and Rash received 760.000 Yen (US$ 7,425) for fifth place.

    The Round1 Japan Cup was final tournament of the 2012-13 PBA Tour season, which included 16 PBA players who qualified based upon a season-long competition points race. Four other PBA members were invited by the organizing committee and eight other PBA members advanced into the 176-player tournament field in the Pre-Tournament Qualifier.

    The finals will air on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 12, at 1 p.m. ET.


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    Round1 Japan Cup - Television Finals

    Minami Suna Round1 Bowling Center in Tokyo, Japan (Nov. 27-30, 2013)



    L-R Rash, Horie, Palermaa, Katoh, Tackett, Jones, Watanabe and Barnes.


    Championship Round:
    201213PBA23YuyaKatoh3.jpg1. Yuya Katoh, Japan, 737 (3 games), 6.000.000 Yen (US$ 58,620)
    2. Kazuaki Watanabe, Japan, 762 (3 games), 3.200.000 Yen (US$ 31,260)
    3. Shinichi Horie, Japan, 420 (2 games), 1.500.000 Yen (US$ 14,655)
    (tie) E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 416 (2 games), 1.500.000 Yen (US$ 14,655)
    5. Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 239 (1 game), 760.000 Yen (US$ 7,425)
    (tie) Osku Palermaa, Finland, 226 (1 game), 760.000 Yen (US$ 7,425)
    (tie) Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 224 (1 game), 760.000 Yen (US$ 7,425)
    (tie) Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 224 (1 game), 760.000 Yen (US$ 7,425)

    Playoff Results:
    Quarterfinal Match 1: Tackett def. Jones, 226-224
    Quarterfinal Match 2: Watanabe def. Barnes, 278-239
    Quarterfinal Match 3: Katoh def. Palermaa, 258-226
    Quarterfinal Match 4: Horie def. Rash, 225-224
    Semifinal Match 1: Watanabe def. Tackett, 249-190
    Semifinal Match 2: Katoh def. Horie, 236-195
    Championship: Katoh def. Watanabe, 243-235.


    Past Japan Cup Champions

    1985 – Ken Taniguchi
    1986 – Pete Weber
    1987 – Amleto Monacelli
    1988 – Takeo Sakai
    1989 – Randy Pedersen
    1990 – Chris Warren
    1991 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
    1992 – Parker Bohn III
    1993 – Pete Weber
    1994 – Brian Voss
    1995 – Amleto Monacelli
    1996 – Steve Wilson
    1997 – Doug Kent
    1998 – Parker Bohn III
    1999 – Parker Bohn III
    2000 – Parker Bohn III
    2001-02 – Bob Learn Jr.
    2002-03 – Robert Smith
    2003-04 – Chris Barnes
    2004-05 – Tommy Jones
    2005-06 – Tommy Jones
    2006-07 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
    2007-08 – Mika Koivuniemi
    2008-09 – Patrick Allen
    2009-10 – Tommy Jones
    2010-11 – not held
    2012 – Mika Koivuniemi
    2013 – Yuya Katoh