Fifteen games of qualifying are complete at the USBC Masters, the third major of the 2024 PBA Tour, which means it's time for the lauded 64-player, double-elimination match play bracket to begin.

Sweden’s Markus Jansson averaged over 233 to lead the three-squad, 465-player field with a total score of 3,508 (+508) on the 44-foot pattern at Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas. 

Jansson finished in his lone previous appearance at the Masters, missing the cut by nine pins in 2017. After leading the first round of qualifying this week, his status for match play was never in doubt again.

“I’ve always said I wanted to come back and bowl the PBA Tour sometime again," Jansson said. "Now was the time."

When asked about his expectations for match play, Jansson was at a loss.

“I don’t know,” Jansson said with a laugh. “I wanted to make match play, that was my goal. I didn’t think it would go this well. I’m just going to try and bowl my best and hopefully it works out.”

In his opening round match — all matches are three-game total pinfall — Jansson will face Justin Bohn, the son of PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III. Bohn earned the No. 64 seed at +222.

Bohn was second overall after the first round of qualifying, but struggled to replicate that success during his next 10 games. However, in the 10th frame of his final game, Bohn struck to shoot 189 and ultimately stave off Ryan Ciminelli for the final match play berth.

EJ Tackett, Sam Cooley, Justin Veitch and Carlos Granados round out the top five qualifiers.

"This is one of those events where it doesn't matter how good or bad you bowl, as long as you're in the top 64 you've got chance to win," Tackett said.

Tackett will aim to make his sixth consecutive championship round this season. Since earning the No. 1 seed at the 2014 Masters, when he was just 21, Tackett has yet to 

"I've bowled well in this tournament, but I've only made the show once," he said. "I've finished 9th-12th I think like three or four times. I've just got to find a way to win some matches."

With a win, Tackett would earn his fifth career major title and complete the Grand Slam.

Only Jason Belmonte (who qualified T-18th with Kyle Troup), Norm Duke and Mike Aulby have previously won each of the PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA World Championship and U.S. Open in their careers.

Chris Barnes is also hoping to complete the Grand Slam and check off the final item on his bucket list. The 54-year-old holds the most career runner-up finishes in Masters history, finishing second in 2004, 2010 and 2012.

Barnes, sitting at +193 entering his final game and predicting the cut would wind up around +230, said he felt he needed to shoot at least 237 to make the cut. Barnes has become familiar with this position, though it would've been a foreign concept to him in his prime. 

“For a long time, I didn’t miss this cut. I knew I was going to bowl well and I was going to be fine,” Barnes said. “It’s been more of a struggle the last three or four years. I still make this cut most of the time, but it's like today where I'm grinding the last day to get in.”

After washing out in the sixth frame, Barnes needed at least five of the final six strikes to reach that number. The Hall of Famer struck out to shoot 254.

“At this point, that's what I have left: Moments like that,” Barnes said. “To have an opportunity to make the finals and bowl these matches, that’s the fun part of this tour. And that’s what I have left. My heart rate gets up. I get the chills. At one point, it was more pressure; now it’s just fun to have that chance. They’re not always going to go great, but at this point I like my chances.”

Barnes, who qualified T-51st with Steve Kloempken, will face No. 13 Oscar Rodriguez in the first round. A potential matchup with his son, Ryan, who qualified 29th, lies on the horizon in the third round of the winner’s bracket.

Two-time defending Masters champion Anthony Simonsen qualified in 26th place. Simonsen will face Austin Boulds in the first round to begin his quest for a record-tying fourth career Masters title.

Jason Belmonte, who owns that record with four career Masters titles and is the only player to win three consecutive Masters titles, qualified in 18th place and will face Israel Hernandez in the first round.

Belmonte, Simonsen and EJ Tackett are all in the same quadrant of the bracket.

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.

Round 3 Leaders

  1. Markus Jansson, 3,508 (+508)
  2. EJ Tackett, 3,496 (+496)
  3. Sam Cooley, 3,473 (+473)
  4. Justin Veitch, 3,462 (+462)
  5. Carlos Granados, 3,449 (+449)
  6. Cortez Schenck, 3,443 (+443)
  7. Giorgio Clinaz, 3,421 (+421)
  8. Nate Purches, 3,416 (+416)
  9. Pete Vergos, 3,401 (+401)
  10. Jake Peters, 3,400 (+400)
  11. Chase Nadeau, 3,400 (+400)

Full standings are available here.

Notable First-Round Matches

10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET)
No. 5 Carlos Granados vs. No. 60 Chris Via
No. 12 Zach Wilkins vs. No. 53 Richie Teece
No. 16 Patrick Dombrowski vs. No. 49 Frank Snodgrass
No. 17 Tommy Jones vs. No. 48 Tom Daugherty
No. 28 Brad Miller vs. No. 37 Mitch Hupé

12:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. ET)
No. 2 EJ Tackett vs. No. 63 Karl Wahlgren
No. 18 Jason Belmonte vs. No. 47 Israel Hernandez
No. 19 Kyle Troup vs. No. 46 Frank Testa
No. 26 Anthony Simonsen vs. No. 39 Austin Boulds
No. 27 François Lavoie vs. No. 38 Andrew Anderson

The full bracket is available here.

2024 USBC Masters Schedule

Suncoast Hotel and Casino | Las Vegas

All times Eastern

Thursday, March 28
1pm — Match Play Round 1 (left side of bracket)
3:30pm — Match Play Round 1 (right side of bracket)
5:30pm — Match Play Round 2 (all Round 1 winners)
8pm — Match play continues

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.