2024 USBC Masters tournament preview

The USBC Masters, the third major and seventh title event of the 2024 PBA Tour, is set to begin this week at Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas.

Given the event’s unique format — over 450 entrants, just 15 games of qualifying and a 64-player, double-elimination match play bracket — every player can envision a path for themselves to hit the jackpot: a major title and the $100,000 top prize.

But in reality, at least in recent memory, the Masters is where the apex predators assert their dominance. Seven of the past 10 Masters have been won by two men: Jason Belmonte and Anthony Simonsen.

As the two-time defending champion, Simonsen is already guaranteed a berth into the bracket. That security affords him the ability to use qualifying as his personal laboratory, testing various balls and lane-play strategies to give himself as many answers heading into match play as possible — a terrifying proposition for the rest of the field.


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When match play came around a year ago, Simonsen already knew the answer to every conceivable question. He broke Norm Duke’s match play scoring record by nearly five pins per game

Simonsen struck on 71.8% of his shots during match play, according to Lanetalk, and threw nearly twice as many six-baggers (nine) as open frames (five).

While it was Simonsen’s consistency that powered him to the win in 2022 — all six of his three-game sets were between 643 and 664 — his unrelenting striking prowess created a sense of inevitability that made him unbeatable a year ago.

The then-26-year-old secured his third career Masters title and became the youngest player to win five majors

While Simonsen, now 27, prefers to focus solely on bowling — embodying the “one shot at a time” mentality — the history in front of him is undeniable.

With a win, Simonsen would become the second player to three-peat the Masters. He’d also become the second player to win the Masters four times.

Both feats were achieved by Belmonte, who seeks to win an unprecedented fifth Masters title, clinch a 16th career major title and insert himself into the crowded Player of the Year race.

The reigning PBA Player of the Year, EJ Tackett, has made the finals of every event since the U.S. Open. Tackett looks to make a sixth consecutive championship round appearance this week and bring home his first title of the season.

A Masters win for Tackett, as well as Dom Barrett or Chris Barnes, would complete the career Grand Slam. Only Belmonte, Duke and Mike Aulby have won each of the PBA World Championship, Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open and USBC Masters.

Any 2024 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year conversation starts with Bill O’Neill and Kyle Troup, who each brought home one of the season’s first two majors. O’Neill leads the tour in points and earnings, but Troup ranks second in both stats and is the only player with multiple titles so far this season. 

Simonsen, Marshall Kent and David “Boog” Krol have each won a title and rank third, fifth and sixth, respectively, in points. The titleless-in-2024 Tackett ranks fourth in points and hasn’t missed a show in two months, while the always-looming Belmonte ranks seventh in points.

Qualifying begins on Monday with squads competing at 8 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. local time (11 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Eastern) on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Lane pairings are available here.

After the final squad on Wednesday night, the 64-player bracket will be set. Match play begins on Thursday and continues through Friday evening.

All rounds of qualifying and match play will be livestreamed on BowlTV.

The five players left standing will advance to Sunday’s championship round, airing at 10:30 a.m. local (1:30 p.m. ET) on FOX.

2024 USBC Masters Schedule

Suncoast Hotel and Casino | Las Vegas

All times Eastern

Sunday, March 24
5pm — A-squad practice session
7:30pm — B-squad practice session
10pm — C-squad practice session

Monday, March 25
11am — A-squad Qualifying Round 1 (five games)
3:30pm — B-squad Qualifying Round 1 (five games)
9:30pm — C-squad Qualifying Round 1 (five games)

Tuesday, March 26
11am — B-squad Qualifying Round 2 (five games)
3:30pm — C-squad Qualifying Round 2 (five games)
9:30pm — A-squad Qualifying Round 2 (five games)

Wednesday, March 27
11am — C-squad Qualifying Round 3 (five games)
3:30pm — A-squad Qualifying Round 3 (five games)
9:30pm — B-squad Qualifying Round 3 (five games)

Top 64 players (or top 63 players and defending champion, Anthony Simonsen) advance to double-elimination match play

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.