Las Vegas, Nevada – A couple of weeks off to clear his mind and reset, along with having a great friend and trusty ball rep behind him, helped Jon Rakoski bowled his way from the No. 53 seed to the No. 1 seed at the 2024 USBC Senior Masters on Saturday.

Coming into match-play, the Florida native knew he had a good look on the fresh oil at Sam’s Town Bowling Center after leading his squad in qualifying day one. Over the course of 18 games on Saturday, the right-hander averaged 233.83. His winning path included taking down No. 5 seed Brian Dennis 640-562, No. 4 seed Chris Barnes 728-713 then defeating No. 1 John Janawicz 695-679.

“As you go, the matches just get tougher and tougher. There are a lot of really good bowlers out here,” Rakoski said. “The pedal was to the metal all day. I just didn’t want to let it up and took it one match at a time.”

“It’s always exciting bowling against J.J. (Janawicz). He and I are really good friends as we bowl each other a lot in Florida,” Rakoski said. “I knew I had a good shot out there and it was just a matter of who was going to carry the most. I got lined up and he had a couple of hits that didn’t carry; that is bowling.”

In the match to determine the No.1 and No. 2 seeds, Rakoski rolled his highest series of the day against No. 19 Randy Weiss winning, 753-661. After securing the top seed in this major tournament, Rakoski smiled and gave his ball rep Jeff Johnson double high-fives.

“Jeff is absolutely phenomenal. He has done an exceptional job with me this week and I am very grateful to have him behind me this week,” Rakoski said of Johnson. “We fixed up some bowling balls for tomorrow and we will be ready. Hopefully get a win.”

Rakoski missed out on cashing for the first time this season at the 2024 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open in Clearwater, Florida. After that, he decompressed and cleared his mind at home. He got rid of all the bad thoughts and just started over prior to heading west to Las Vegas for this tournament. That break seems to be paying off.

Weiss, of Columbia, South Carolina, also had a strong day on Saturday. He shot 745, 695, 751, 725, 660 and 661 over his 18-games, averaging 235.39.  

In the final match of the day, defending champion Janawicz earned the No. 3 seed, Mike Bailey is the No. 4 seed and Andres Gomez is the No. 5 seed in Sunday’s stepladder finals, which will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern on BowlTV. This year’s 2024 USBC Senior Masters champion will win $20,000.

Full standings - 2024 Senior Masters

For Press Inquiries

[email protected]