Twelve PBA champions have been invited by the Japan Bowling Congress to compete in the 2012 DHC International Bowling Championships, the first major international bowling event to take place in Japan since the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2010. The DHC Championships will take place Feb. 7-11 at Hakata Star Lanes in Fukuoka, Japan.
PBA stars who have accepted invitations to compete, based upon performances in the 2010 WTBA World Men’s Championships and/or the 2010-11 PBA Tour season are Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas; Patrick Allen, Baltimore; Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas; Bill O’Neill, Southampton, PA; Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, MI; Jason Belmonte, Australia; Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, SC.; Sean Rash, Montgomery, IL, and Norm Duke, Clermont, FL.
PBA Tour titlist Kelly Kulick, two-time PBA Regional title winner Missy Parkin of Lake Forest, CA, and two-time PBA Women’s Series winner Shannon Pluhowsky of Kettering, Ohio, also have accepted invitations to bowl in the women’s division of the event.
The DHC International Bowling Championship will be part of the WTBA’s 2012 World Bowling Tour and will offer a combined prize fund estimated at US$375,000, including $75,000 each to the men’s and women’s champions.
The “invited” players will automatically qualify for the championship portion of the tournament, but any other bowler can enter through the two-day “trial” portion of the tournament Feb. 7-8 for a $50 entry fee per six-game qualifying round (re-entries are allowed). The “trials” leaders will join the invited players in the championship portion of the event Feb. 9-11.