Japan Gold Cup
JAPAN GOLD CUP
Starlanes, Tokyo, Japan, Oct 1-17, 1968
Johnson Japanese King
Don Johnson, Jim Stefanich and Billy Hardwick stole the show as the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) staged its first tournament in Tokyo, the Japan Gold Cup Invitational.
Johnson picked up the marbles in the form of a huge 'Gold Cup and $2,000. But Stefanich rolled a pair of 300s and Hardwick knocked off three perfectos as the pro boys shot the eyes out of pins in the 80-game tournament.
Stefanich started strong with a 300 on opening night and another on the third evening. Hardwick saved two of his for the last day of qualifying when he hit on back-to-back perfectos while popping a world record eight-game series of 2,165.
Dave Soutar defeated Dave Davis in the opener, 226-204. Hardwick then roped Soutar, 257-247, Carmen Salvino, 290-259, and Johnny Guenther, 300-246. Johnson handled Hardwick, 248-238, and then humbled Stefanich, 248-181, to wrap it up.
Probably the most thrilled fan at Hardwick's heroics was Prince Mikasa, who, with his family, attended the next-to-last night's show.
PLAYOFF RESULTS: Soutar defeated Tountas, 258-213; Soutar defeated Davis, 226-204; Hardwick defeated Soutar, 257-247; Hardwick defeated Salvino, 290-259; Hardwick defeated Guenther, 300-246; Johnson defeated Hardwick, 248-238; Johnson defeated Stefanich in championship game, 248-181. 72-GAME TOTALS