USBC Masters

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The USBC Masters is a championship ten-pin bowling event conducted by the United States Bowling Congress. The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) began recognizing it as a title event in 1998, and it was designated one of the four majors in 2000. A PBA rule change in 2008 retroactively awarded a PBA title (and a major) to any Masters winners prior to 1998 who were PBA members at the time of the victory.[1]


The tournament began in 1951 as the ABC Masters, conducted by the American Bowling Congress (ABC).[2] The ABC merged with the WIBC and YABA to become the USBC in 2005, after which the tournament was renamed USBC Masters. The Masters began as an invitational event showcasing national and local bowling stars and has grown to become one of bowling's most prestigious events.

While the event has evolved over the years, its trademark qualifying and double-elimination match play format has remained largely unchanged. All bowlers compete in 15 games of qualifying, with the top 63 qualifiers joining the previous year's champion in the double elimination match play bracket. All head-to-head matches consist of 3 games, highest total pinfall wins.[3]

Hundreds of competitors turn out for the Masters each year (a full field of 360 entered the 2018 event) with their sights set on a prize fund that has recently been as high as $350,000, including a $50,000 top prize.[4] The field, which now includes women, also features representatives from all 50 states and a handful of foreign countries.

The Masters is open to PBA members and any USBC member that meets average requirements, and is a part of the World Bowling Tour.

After the Masters in January 2004, the tournament was moved to the fall, resulting in two Masters events during calendar year 2004. (The first was part of the 2003–04 PBA season, and the second was part of the 2004–05 season.) Then in 2008, the tournament was moved back to the spring, which is why there was no Masters during 2008.

Mike Aulby is the first player to have won the USBC Masters three times, but was eventually passed by Jason Belmonte, the only player to win three in a row (2013, 2014 and 2015). Belmonte won again in 2017 to become the only player to win four Masters titles. Walter Ray Williams Jr. is the oldest person to win the USBC Masters, capturing the 2010 event at age 50. In 2016, Anthony Simonsen, aged 19 years and 39 days, became the tournament's youngest winner, as well as the youngest to win a PBA major of any kind.[5]

Current defending champion[edit]

2018 Event[edit]

The 2018 USBC Masters was held at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse, New York. On April 15, 22-year old Andrew Anderson of Holly, Michigan won from the #1 seed position, defeating amateur Alex Hoskins in his lone match, 213–199. This was Anderson's first-ever PBA title and first major championship.[6]

2018 Results[edit]

A five-player stepladder final round was used.

  Match #1     Match #2     Match #3     Title match
    1 Andrew Anderson 213
      2 Alex Hoskins 213     2 Alex Hoskins 199
      3 Joe Paluszek 188     4 Steve Kloempken 197  
  4 Steve Kloempken 243     4 Steve Kloempken 189  
  5 Rhino Page 211  
  • Prize Pool:
1. Andrew Anderson (Holly, MI) – $30,000
2. Alex Hoskins (a) (Brigham City, UT) – $25,000
3. Steve Kloempken (a) (Pleasant View, UT) – $15,000
4. Joe Paluszek (Bensalem Township, PA) – $10,000
5. Rhino Page (Orlando, FL) – $8,000

(a) Denotes amateur bowler.

Past champions[edit]

Note: In May 2008, the PBA announced it was revising its all-time records to include ABC Masters championships prior to 1998 as PBA titles (and majors), if the champion was a PBA member at the time.[7]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "PBA to grandfather Masters, BPAA All-Star Titles". 13 May 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  2. ^ Cannizzaro, Matt (April 10, 2018). "Jacob Kent Averages 228 to Take USBC Masters First Round Lead". Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  3. ^ Official Masters website
  4. ^ "New formats for new era." Article at, August 4, 2008.
  5. ^ Cannizzaro, Matt (February 14, 2016). "19-Year-Old Simonsen Wins USBC Masters to Become Youngest to Win a Major Title". Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  6. ^ Schneider, Jerry (April 15, 2018). "Michigan's Andrew Anderson Wins USBC Masters for First PBA Tour Title". Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  7. ^ All-time Denny's PBA Tour Titlists at