Thirty-two players remain in contention for the USBC Masters crown, the third major of the 2024 PBA Tour.

Sixteen players won both of their matches on Wednesday at Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Among them, EJ Tackett and Jason Belmonte — who will meet in the winners bracket on Thursday morning.

“With the form that EJ’s been in the last few years, I know I'm not going to get a low score out of him,” said Belmonte, who owns the Masters record with four titles. “In order for me to not just win the match, but really make him feel pressure the whole way through, I'm going to have to strike a lot, so I'll have to have a nice game plan. I might watch a little bit of the BowlTV footage and see what he was doing and how he likes to play the lanes and see if it's close to what I was doing in the first match or if it's completely different. We’ll see how my strategy changes after watching him.”

Two-time defending Masters champion Anthony Simosen was eliminated on Wednesday. Simonsen lost to DeeRonn Booker in the second round of the winners bracket, then fell to Zach Wilkins in the elimination round.

Booker said he first bowled the Masters in 2017 and made the cut, but hasn’t made the cut since.

It’s been seven years since I've been in this position, so it's really nice to be back,” Booker said. “I've been doing really well at seeing lanes better, changing up my equipment and changing up what I'm doing with my game a little bit. I'm glad that in this tournament, it's paying off and I’m proving that I am a little bit more versatile than people think I am. I'm just going to continue playing my game because it's what's gotten me here and hopefully it’s going to help me get to where I want to go.”

Top qualifier Markus Jansson remains in the elimination bracket and will square off with Nate Purches on Thursday.

Chris Via, who snuck into the match play field in 60th place, is also still competing in the elimination bracket. Though match play began on Thursday, Via has ostensibly been staving off elimination since starting the tournament with 599 for his first three games.

“It's tough man,” Via said the perpetual grind of his past four days. “It's the mental side of the game, and I'll be honest, it hasn't been the greatest, but I’ve got a really good support system behind me to keep my head in check.”

Via said the hardest part about match play at the Masters is the differences between how the lanes play pair to pair and match to match with two players each bowling three games on the same pair of lanes, plus burn squads.

Via also said the the 44-foot pattern allows for players to play multiple angles with different equipment, which compounds the uniqueness between pairs.

“It’s like you’re bowling on a completely different pattern and in a completely different bowling center going pair to pair,” Via said. “I threw a urethane ball for all three games in my second match today, and then I didn't even remotely think about throwing it my third match and I was four arrows further left. The three game matches are long enough to where you can make an incorrect guess and still have life. That helps with having the guts to be able to [make a bolder decision] because if you're wrong, you’ve still got time.”

Via will face Quentin Deroo in the elimination bracket at 10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) on Friday.

All rounds of match play will be livestreamed on BowlTV.

The finals will be held Sunday, March 31 at 10:30 a.m. local (1:30 p.m. ET), airing live on FOX.

Winners Bracket Matches

10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET)
No. 16 Patrick Dombrowski vs. No. 33 Zac Tackett
No. 9 Pete Vergos vs. No. 25 Matt Ogle

No. 5 Carlos Granados vs. No. 53 Richie Teece
No. 20 Sean Lavery-Spahr vs. No. 29 Ryan Barnes

No. 3 Sam Cooley vs. No. 14 Keith Guerrero
No. 6 Cortez Schenck vs. No. 11 Chase Nadeau

No. 2 EJ Tackett vs. No. 18 Jason Belmonte
No. 10 Jake Peters vs. No. 58 DeeRonn Booker

Elimination Bracket Matches

10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET)
No. 22 AJ Johnson vs. No. 64 Justin Bohn
No. 27 François Lavoie vs. No. Zach Weidman

No. 50 Quentin Deroo vs. No. 60 Chris Via
No. 12 Zach Wilkins vs. No. 31 Nickolas Freiberg

No. 30 David Stouffer vs. No. 38 Andrew Anderson
No. 1 Markus Jansson vs. No. 8 Nate Purches

No. 7 Giorgio Clinaz vs. No. 52 Chris Barnes
No. 55 Mark Thomas vs. No. 61 AJ Chapman

The full bracket is available here.

2024 USBC Masters Schedule

Suncoast Hotel and Casino | Las Vegas

All times Eastern

Friday, March 29
1pm — Match play continues
5pm — Match play continues

Saturday, March 30
7pm (FS1) — PBA Elite League Round 10
KingPins vs. Strikers; High Rollers vs. Wonders

Sunday, March 31
1:30pm (FOX) — USBC Masters stepladder finals

More information on the 2024 USBC Masters is available here.