The stepladder finals are set at the USBC Masters, the third major title event of the 2024 PBA Tour.

DeeRonn Booker went undefeated in the 64-player bracket to earn the top seed. Patrick Dombrowski is the No. 2 seed at Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas followed by Jason Belmonte, Sam Cooley and Richie Teece.

EJ Tackett, who sought to make a sixth consecutive championship round appearance, finished sixth.

The finals will take place Sunday, March 31 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern (10:30 a.m. local time) on FOX.


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Booker’s 6-0 romp through the bracket included four consecutive wins over PBA Tour champions. He defeated Giorgio Clinaz in the opening round, then took down two-time defending Masters champion Anthony Simonsen, Jake Peters, EJ Tackett, Cooley and Dombrowski to earn the top seed.

“I know that every one of these players are phenomenal and sometimes people forget that I can compete too,” Booker said. “I wanted to show everyone that I can play this game a little bit. My thought process was just to keep up with them. I told myself, ‘You’re already there. You don't have to try to be anywhere — you're there.' I'm friends with some of them, so in my eyes it was just a friendly competition on a bigger stage.

“It's hard for me to put this moment in perspective,” Booker added. “I'm just really excited to be in this position. We all dream of being in a position like this. We all dream about what we're going to wear, what we look like how we're going to be what the emotions are going to be like. Right now I'm just letting them come as they are."

Booker seeks to become the third African American to win a PBA Tour title. George Branham III won five career titles, including the 1993 Firestone Tournament of Champions, and Gary Faulkner Jr. won the Rolltech PBA World Championship in 2015.

“I want to be able to write my name in history,” Booker said. “The demographic is tough for us in bowling. My goal is to help try to break that through, and not just for my ethnicity, but for all ethnic backgrounds. And I am prepared to wear that belt. I am prepared to be that guy that's going to help push others of my same ethnicity and other backgrounds to be in this position, 100%. I'm just hoping that what I'm doing is touching other people and it's helping others get to wherever they want to go in this game and in life in general.”


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Dombrowski made the televised contenders round at the 2023 USBC Masters, but fell to Sean Rash to finish tied for fifth.

The Ohio native said he was laid off from his full-time accounting job on March 1st. On Sunday, March 31, he will bowl for a PBA Tour major title and the $100,000 top prize.

“(Winning the title) would be everything,” Dombrowski said. “It’s what I’ve worked for for the last 40 years. Even though I was only competing part-time, I can now start doing this full-time.”

The final three berths on the show were determined by a four-player, three-game match in the final round of the elimination bracket.

Belmonte, who holds the record with four Masters titles, shot 691 to best Cooley, Teece and EJ Tackett to earn the No. 3 seed.

“I feel like this year, I played every single pair very, very differently from each other,” Belmonte said. “Whether it was throwing urethane slow, throwing urethane fast, using reactive up 10 or using reactive playing 17, the pair and the way that the players had my opponent I transitioned the pair made me play them completely different. This was just one of those ones where you just got to play with what's in front of you and hope you guess right on your moves.”

No player owns more career Masters titles than Belmonte, who won the event in 2013-15 and 2017.

“I know what it takes. I know how hard it is,” Belmonte said of the potential of a fifth title. “It can be easy to make the show if your opponents don't bowl very well against you, and it can also be brutally difficult. And each of the four other times that I've won this, I think I've had it all different ways.

“I will not take anything for granted on the show,” Belmonte added. “I lost on TV at the U.S. Open and I had a little trouble making some good shots there. I'm going to come out firing. My mentality walking out there is going to be pure focus.”

Sitting seventh in points through six events — five for Belmonte because missed the PBA Pete Weber Missouri Classic — the 40-year-old said his season has been going okay. He lost in the Round of 8 in Illinois and Delaware, missing the show by one match, and finished 11th in the Just Bare PBA Indiana Classic on top of a third-place U.S. Open finish.

“I think the expectation that everyone has for me is so high, kind of like what EJ is starting to face now, that he’s supposed to make TV every week,” Belmonte said. “I’ve had 13 years of that expectation. It motivates me. After I went home from the break, I wanted to come out and make a statement. I see the comments and I hear it in the locker room: I wanted to let everybody know that I'm not going anywhere.”


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In the previous round of the elimination bracket, Belmonte defeated Cortez Schenck. Belmonte had high praise for Schenck, who is the reigning PBA Rookie of the Year and will make his PBA Elite League debut with the New Jersey KingPins on Saturday.

“Not just in our match but in the other matches, he threw a lot of clutch shots and made a lot of really good ball changes,” Belmonte said. “When I was 25, I don't know if I was as clever as he was. I think 25-year-old Cortez would beat 25-year-old Belmo and I told him that. He’s got a great career ahead of him and I’m looking forward to playing him again somewhere down the road.”

Fellow Australian Cooley shot 641 in the four-for-three match to earn the No. 4 seed. Cooley finished 10th in the U.S. Open earlier this season, but that was his lone top-30 finish of the season before this week. He said he spent the three-week break before the Masters in Buffalo working with Brad Angelo and Rick Benoit.

“We worked on a lot of things — particularly playing more closed angles — to help clear out the pictures and I was struggling to see,” Cooley said. “The 10 days that we spent really helped clear that up and I felt like I was able to see those similar shapes almost perfectly. I think considering where I was and where I am now, I think it's only up from here. It’s a really good feeling to have the work pay off almost immediately.”

With his wife, brother and sister-in-law in attendance, England’s Teece held off Tackett to seize the final berth in the stepladder finals. He said having his family supporting him in person creates a much more relaxing environment.

“I always have a running joke with my wife because every time she's turned up to an event, I've missed the cut. I said to her this week that we're going to make that change and it's been a pretty big change, not going to lie,” Teece said. “My brother actually bowled very decent this week; he got a check in his first PBA event in a very long while. He had a great week and he's helped me out this week, too.”

Teece’s lone title — a phrase he’d like to never see written next to his name again — came in the 2017 PBA Shark Championship.

“I just want to get this monkey off my back,” Teece said. “I feel like people judge people by saying, ‘You got lucky one week, whatever.’ I'm taking that off the table and I'm making sure I win again. I'm going through the process. I don't care how long it takes. I'm going to stay out here until I do it again because that feeling was incredible. I'm going to get to the winner’s circle again for sure. If I can get there and I can do it here, for a major title, even better.”

Teece, who entered this event sitting 36th in competition points this season, said he is relieved to have essentially secured a top-43 finish for the season, which would earn him an exempt berth on the 2025 PBA Tour.

“All I've been focusing on this year is to stay above 43rd every time I bowl,” Teece said. “Bowling to keep my job has been an added stress. Making the top five in a major has secured it. I can now relax for the next few events so I feel like you'll start seeing me bowl real, real well.”

Seeking to make a sixth consecutive championship round appearance, Tackett finished the final round 25 pins shy of Teece’s 630. Tackett's 156 in the opening game proved to be a deficit he could not overcome.

The USBC Masters stepladder finals will take place Sunday, March 31 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern (10:30 a.m. local time) on FOX.

Top-24 Finishers

6th: EJ Tackett
T-7th: Cortez Schenck, Chase Nadeau
T-9th: Pete Vergos, Sean Lavery-Spahr, Matt Ogle, Zach Weidman
T-13th: Markus Jansson, Carlos Granados, Keith Geurrero, Quentin Deroo
T-17th: Jake Peters, Zach Wilkins, Ryan Barnes, Zac Tackett, Andrew Anderson, Chris Barnes, AJ Chapman, Justin Bohn

The full bracket is available here.

2024 USBC Masters Schedule

Suncoast Hotel and Casino | Las Vegas

All times Eastern

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.