2021 USBC Masters Begins Next Week
Reno, Nev.—The USBC Masters, the fourth of five majors on the 2021 Guaranteed Rate PBA Tour season, begins next week from the National Bowling Stadium. Qualifying and match play will be streamed live on BowlTV and simulcast on FloBowling Mar. 30-Apr. 3. The stepladder finals will air live on FOX Sports’ FS1 Sunday, Apr. 4 at 2 p.m. ET.
Here are some of the top storylines heading into the 2021 USBC Masters:
Butturff Enters as Defending Champion
Jakob Butturff won his first career major title in the 2019 USBC Masters, defeating Mykel Holliman in the title match. With the event not being held in 2020, Butturff enjoyed an extra year as reigning champion and will now attempt to defend his title coming off a second-place finish in the Guaranteed Rate PBA World Championship. Butturff would be the first player to win back-to-back USBC Masters titles since Jason Belmonte, who won three in a row from 2013-2015.
Belmonte Goes for Five
The three consecutive USBC Masters titles for Belmonte were on the front end of a stretch in which he won the tournament four times in five years, adding the 2017 title to set the record for most career USBC Masters wins. Belmonte hasn’t won the event since, but would become the first player ever to win it five times with a victory this year. Belmonte, the all-time record holder with 13 major titles, missed the cut to match play in two of the first three majors this year to go with a third-place finish in the PBA Tournament of Champions.
Troup Continues Career Season
In the first three majors of the season, Troup has finished no lower than seventh. He won the PBA Players Championship, finished seventh in the PBA Tournament of Champions and was fifth in the Guaranteed Rate PBA World Championship. He’s already earned $316,500 on the season and he leads all players in PBA Tour competition points.
Barnes Chases the Elusive Grand Slam
Triple Crown (U.S. Open, Tournament of Champions, PBA World Championship) winner Chris Barnes needs a USBC Masters title to become the fourth player in PBA history to complete the Grand Slam, joining Mike Aulby, Norm Duke and Belmonte. He’s been close on several occasions, bowling for the championship as the No. 1 seed three times in his career, but hasn’t yet been able to capture the title.
Simonsen Looks to Get Back to the Finals
Prior to the Guaranteed Rate PBA World Championship, Anthony Simonsen had made it to the stepladder finals in each of the previous four major championships. He’ll seek to get back to his usual place in the top five in the event he won in 2016 to make him the youngest player ever to win a major championship.
Players Vie for Berth in PBA Super Slam
The PBA Super Slam, a special event taking place April 18 live on FOX Broadcast Channel and paying $100,000 to the winner, will feature the champions of all five majors. Troup (Players Championship), François Lavoie (Tournament of Champions) and Tom Daugherty (World Championship) have already secured their spots in the PBA Super Slam. The final two berths will go to the winners of the USBC Masters and U.S. Open.
USBC Masters Winners Since 2011
2011 – Tom Hess
2012 – Mike Fagan
2013 – Jason Belmonte
2014 – Jason Belmonte
2015 – Jason Belmonte
2016 – Anthony Simonsen
2017 – Jason Belmonte
2018 – Andrew Anderson
2019 – Jakob Butturff
2020 – not held
About the PBA
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated to the sport of bowling and its professional competition, with thousands of members and millions of fans throughout the world. The PBA plays host to bowling’s biggest tournaments from the PBA Tour, PBA Regional Tour, and PBA50 Tour. In 2020, the PBA launched PBA Jr., a club for elite youth bowlers under the age of 17 and the PBA Pinsiders, a membership for fans of the sport. For more information, please visit PBA.com.
AJ Johnson Takes lead in 2019 USBC Masters
LAS VEGAS – AJ Johnson of Oswego, Illinois, posted the top block Thursday at the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Masters to take over the top spot through two rounds at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino.
The 26-year-old right-hander fired games of 246, 222, 234, 257 and 256 for a five-game total of 1,215 to bring his overall tally for 10 games to 2,328, a 232.8 average.
Opening-round leader Solomon Salama of Beverly Hills, California, dropped to second with 2,314, while Japan’s Shota Kawazoe moved into third with 2,281. Jake Peters of Henderson, Nevada, is fourth with 2,242, and Michael Machuga of Erie, Pennsylvania, is fifth with 2,217.
Johnson has been avoiding mistakes through his first two rounds, recording a low game of 211.
“I’m just staying patient,” said Johnson, who was the runner-up at the 2015 USBC Masters. “This pattern is playing pretty tough, so all I’m trying to do is hit the 1-3 (pocket) as much as I can. I’m trying to take everything in stride. Just hit the pocket, make my spares and move on.”
Johnson has made some changes to his game early in 2019, including switching his bowling ball brand and dropping to 15 lb. equipment. It’s been an adjustment, but he’s seeing progress each week.
“It’s been a slow progress, but it’s been progressing in the right direction each week,” said Johnson, a five-time member of Team USA. “I’ve been bowling really well, but I’ve just been missing one or two things here or there. I feel the switch to from 16 to 15 has helped my ball reaction because the (bowling ball) core numbers are so different. I feel like I have more variety and don’t feel like I’m locked into certain balls at certain times throughout the day. Plus, all of the guys on the team have been really helpful.”
Johnson’s second round was contested on the fresh 39-foot oil pattern being used this week, and he’ll return to the fresh Friday to conclude qualifying. He was able to play to his strengths Thursday and hopes to continue to find that reaction for the remainder of his time at Gold Coast.
“I tried to stay behind it and roll it a little more, while staying right,” Johnson said. “Once you get in, the pattern tends to flatten out a bit and get tricky. A lot of guys were throwing urethane today, so I felt I could stay a little closer to it and roll it, which plays to my A game. It worked out very well today, and hopefully my A game still is in play tomorrow.”
All competitors will return Friday for the final round of qualifying, with bowlers on C Squad kicking off the action at 11 a.m. Eastern.
Qualifying consists of three five-game blocks over three days to determine the 63 players joining defending champion Andrew Anderson of Holly, Michigan, in match play. Anderson is guaranteed the No. 64 spot in the bracket but can improve his seeding through qualifying.
After two rounds, Anderson is tied for 99th place with a 2,004 total.
Heading into Friday, Colombia’s Oscar Rodriguez and Minneapolis’ Matt McNiel are tied for 63rd place with a 2,048 total, a 204.8 average.
Competition in the match-play bracket will begin Saturday, with three-game total-pinfall matches determining which players advance. The top five players will advance to Monday’s stepladder finals, which will be broadcast live at 9 p.m. Eastern on FS1.
FloBowling is providing livestream coverage of the 2019 Masters up to the stepladder finals.
For more information on the USBC Masters, visit BOWL.com/Masters.
2019 USBC Masters
At Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
QUALIFYING – ROUND 2
(Top 100; 10 games)
For complete standings, visit BOWL.com/Masters
1, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 2,328. 2, Solomon Salama (a), Beverly Hills, Calif., 2,314. 3, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 2,281. 4, Jake Peters, Henderson, Nev., 2,242. 5, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 2,217. 6, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 2,208.
7, Brad Miller, Raytown, Mo., 2,198. 8, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 2,184. 9, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 2,180. 10, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 2,147. 11, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J., 2,143. 12, Christopher Sloan, Ireland, 2,141.
13, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 2,137. 14, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 2,136. 15(tie), Ryan Burks (a), Hammond, Ind., and Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 2,135. 17, Mykel Holliman, Collierville, Tenn., 2,132. 18, Greg Thompson Jr. (a), Tempe, Ariz., 2,131.
19, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 2,120. 20, Jalen Scott-Jones (a), Keene, N.H., 2,119. 21, Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 2,117. 22, Kenneth Ryan (a), Farmingdale, N.J., 2,116. 23, Dean Richards, Tacoma, Wash., 2,113. 24, Pontus Andersson, Sweden, 2,112.
25, Ryan Zagar, Racine, Wis., 2,110. 26(tie), Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., and Alex Aguiar (a), Dartmouth, Mass., 2,109. 28, Patrick Girard, Canada, 2,108. 29, Leonard Ruiz (a), Los Alamitos, Calif., 2,107. 30, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 2,103.
31(tie), Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., Alexander Hoskins (a), Perry, Utah, Zac Tackett, Huntington, Ind., and David Haynes, Las Vegas, 2,102. 35(tie), David Stouffer (a), Lehigh Acres, Fla., and Alex Scott Martin (a), Kennesaw, Ga., 2,101.
37(tie), Matthew Sanders (a), Evansville, Ind., and Brett Cunningham (a), Clay, N.Y., 2,098. 39, Steve Smith, San Diego, 2,097. 40, Corey Husted (a), Milwaukie, Ore., 2,095. 41, AJ Chapman, South St. Paul, Minn., 2,093. 42, Dominic Barrett, England, 2,092.
43(tie), Mike Calderon (a), Tempe, Ariz., Andres Gomez, Hollywood, Fla., and Michael Martell, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2,091. 46, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Little Elm, Texas, 2,089. 47, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 2,085. 48, Corey Umbrello (a), Westminster, Mass., 2,084.
49, Ryan Ciminelli, Williamsville, N.Y., 2,080. 50, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 2,078. 51, Walter Ray Williams Jr, Oxford, Fla., 2,073. 52, Mitch Hupe, Towanda, Kan., 2,071. 53, JR Raymond, Saginaw, Mich., 2,069. 54, Ian Willard (a), Milwaukie, Ore., 2,067.
55, Adam Barta, Girard, Ohio, 2,066. 56, Wesley Low (a), Palmdale, Calif., 2,063. 57, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 2,062. 58, Ryan Graywacz, Canastota, N.Y., 2,057. 59, Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 2,055. 60, Tiler Levesque (a), Acushnet, Mass., 2,051.
61(tie), Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., and Matt Dzikiewicz (a), Rocky Hill, Conn., 2,050. 63(tie), Oscar Rodriguez (a), Colombia, and Matthew McNiel, Minneapolis, 2,048. 65(tie), Chris Castle (a), Australia, and PJ Haggerty, Roseville, Calif., 2,045.
67, Jonathan Schalow (a), Evansville, Wis., 2,044. 68(tie), Andrew Suscreba, Clifton, N.J., Liz Johnson, Palatine, Ill., and Jason Carrillo (a), Montebello, Calif., 2,039. 71, Dallas Leong (a), Las Vegas, 2,037. 72, Nick Borgaro (a), Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, 2,036.
73, Dakota Solonka (a), Indianapolis, 2,035. 74(tie), Jonathan Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., and Michael Tang, San Francisco, 2,034. 76, Derrick Matson (a), Winfield, Mo., 2,033. 77, Tobias Boerding, Germany, 2,032. 78(tie), Andro Simounet (a), Lake Wales, Fla., and Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 2,031.
80, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 2,027. 81, Mike Wolfe, Floyd Knobs, Ind., 2,025. 82(tie), Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., and Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 2,024. 84(tie), Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., Chad Kloss (a), Muskego, Wis., and Michael Davidson, Versailles, Ohio, 2,021.
87(tie) Shawn Maldonado, Houston, and Alfredo Quintana (a), Colombia, 2,019. 89(tie), Tim Watanabe, Bothell, Wash., and Matt Ogle, Louisville, Ky., 2,016.
91(tie), Warren Crawford, McKinleyville, Calif., and Kyle Bigelow, Troy, Ohio, 2,015. 93, Scotty Wiley (a), Colorado Springs, Colo., 2,014. 94(tie), Maria Jose Rodriguez, Colombia, Zach Wilkins, Canada, and Evan Nash, Kennewick, Wash., 2,012.
97, Cameron Foster (a), Eagle Mountain, Utah, 2,011. 98, Richard Teece, England, 2,010. 99(tie), Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., and Cristian Azcona, Lake Wales, Fla., 2,004.
The USBC Masters is a championship ten-pin bowling event conducted by the United States Bowling Congress. The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) began recognizing it as a title event in 1998, and it was designated one of the four majors in 2000. A PBA rule change in 2008 retroactively awarded a PBA title (and a major) to any Masters winners prior to 1998 who were PBA members at the time of the victory.
The tournament began in 1951 as the ABC Masters, conducted by the American Bowling Congress (ABC). The ABC merged with the WIBC and YABA to become the USBC in 2005, after which the tournament was renamed USBC Masters. The Masters began as an invitational event showcasing national and local bowling stars and has grown to become one of bowling's most prestigious events.
While the event has evolved over the years, its trademark qualifying and double-elimination match play format has remained largely unchanged. All bowlers compete in 15 games of qualifying, with the top 63 qualifiers joining the previous year's champion in the double elimination match play bracket. (If the previous champion makes the top 63 or is unable to participate, the 64th-place qualifier is added.) All head-to-head matches consist of three games, highest total pinfall wins. First-time losers during the match play rounds are not eliminated, but are instead placed into an elimination bracket, where they must survive all subsequent three-game matches to have a chance at making the championship finals.
Hundreds of competitors turn out for the Masters each year (a full field of 360 entered the 2018 event) with their sights set on a prize fund that has recently been as high as $350,000, including a $50,000 top prize. The field, which now includes women, also features representatives from all 50 states and a handful of foreign countries.
The Masters is open to PBA members and any USBC member that meets average requirements. It is a part of the World Bowling Tour.
After the Masters in January 2004, the tournament was moved to the fall, resulting in two Masters events during calendar year 2004. (The first was part of the 2003–04 PBA season, and the second was part of the 2004–05 season.) Then in 2008, the tournament was moved back to the spring, which is why there was no Masters during 2008.
Mike Aulby is the first player to have won the USBC Masters three times, but was eventually passed by Jason Belmonte. Belmonte is the only player to win three Masters in a row (2013, 2014 and 2015), and he won again in 2017 to become the only player to win four Masters titles. Prior to Belmonte's threepeat, the last player to successfully defend a Masters title was Billy Welu in 1964–65. The 1984 ABC Masters featured the 43rd and final PBA Tour title for Hall of Famer Earl Anthony. Walter Ray Williams Jr. is the oldest person to win the USBC Masters, capturing the 2010 event at age 50. In 2016, Anthony Simonsen, aged 19 years and 39 days, became the tournament's youngest winner, as well as the youngest to win a PBA major of any kind.
Current defending champion
The 2021 USBC Masters was held at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada from March 30 to April 4. The tournament had a starting field of 216 bowlers, and used a five-player stepladder finals format.
On April 4, Thomas Larsen of Denmark won from the #2 seed position, defeating top seed Jesper Svensson in the final match, 197–176. This was Larsen's third PBA Tour title and first major championship.
A five-player stepladder final round was used.
|Match #1||Match #2||Match #3||Title match|
|2||Thomas Larsen||213||2||Thomas Larsen||197|
|3||Jason Sterner||166||5||Spencer Robarge||200|
|4||Chris Via||194||5||Spencer Robarge||224|
- 1. Thomas Larsen (Skanderup, Denmark) – $30,000
- 2. Jesper Svensson (Gothenburg, Sweden) – $25,000
- 3. a–Spencer Robarge (Springfield, MO) – $15,000
- 4. Jason Sterner (Rochester, NY) – $10,000
- 5. Chris Via (Springfield, OH) – $8,000
Note: In May 2008, the PBA announced it was revising its all-time records to include PBA-era ABC Masters championships prior to 1998 as PBA titles (and majors), if the champion was a PBA member at the time.
- ^"PBA to grandfather Masters, BPAA All-Star Titles". bowlingdigital.com. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
- ^Cannizzaro, Matt (April 10, 2018). "Jacob Kent Averages 228 to Take USBC Masters First Round Lead". pba.com. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- ^Official USBC Masters "Information" web page
- ^"New formats for new era." Article at www.pba.com, August 4, 2008.
- ^Cannizzaro, Matt (February 14, 2016). "19-Year-Old Simonsen Wins USBC Masters to Become Youngest to Win a Major Title". pba.com. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
- ^Cannizzaro, Matt (April 4, 2021). "DENMARK'S THOMAS LARSEN WINS 2021 USBC MASTERS". bowl.com. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- ^"USBC Masters - Results". flobowling.com. April 4, 2021. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- ^All-time Denny's PBA Tour Titlists at www.pba.com
Bowling’s digital daily newspaper delivering news, analysis and opinion.
Update: 2019 USBC Masters field expanded with 5-per-pair format March 26-April 1 at Gold Coast in Las Vegas; TV finals live in prime time on FS1
JEFF RICHGELS | Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 5:00 pm
Andrew Anderson won the 2018 USBC Masters in April in Syracuse, N.Y. Photo by United States Bowling Congress.
NOTE: This story originally posted on May 8, 2018. The 2019 United States Bowling Congress Masters will be in the same city as the USBC Open Championships, but in a different center. The Masters will be March 26 through April 1 at the 70-lane Gold Coast in Las Vegas, where the 2019 USBC Open Championships are being held starting March 9 at South Point Bowling Plaza, USBC announced Tuesday in this news release. The TV finals of the Masters again will be part of the PBA’s TV deal,...
Masters 2019 usbc
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