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.


Prior to 2005 the tournament was known as the ABC Masters, conducted by the American Bowling Congress (which merged with the WIBC and YABA, becoming the USBC in 2005). 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.[1]

Hundreds of competitors turn out for the Masters each year with their sights set on a prize fund that has recently been as high as $350,000, including a $50,000 top prize.[2] The field, which now includes women, also features representatives from all 50 states and a handful of foreign countries.

The Masters is open to 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 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) and win four Masters titles (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017).

Current defending champion[edit]

2017 Event[edit]

On February 26, Jason Belmonte of Australia made PBA and USBC history by becoming the only player to ever win the USBC Masters four times. Qualifying as the #1 seed, he defeated Michael Tang in his lone match, 279–212. The second match of the stepladder featured brothers Michael and Darren Tang squaring off against each other. This marked the first time that siblings appeared in a PBA final round since David and Dale Traber met in the final match of the 1994 PBA World Championship[3]

2017 Results[edit]

A five-player stepladder final round was used.

  Match #1     Match #2     Match #3     Title match
    1 Jason Belmonte 279
      2 Alex Hoskins 217     4 Michael Tang 212
      3 Darren Tang 212     4 Michael Tang 227  
  4 Michael Tang 264     4 Michael Tang 248  
  5 Martin Larsen 229  
  • Prize Pool:
1. Jason Belmonte (Orange, New South Wales, Australia) – $30,000
2. Michael Tang (a) (San Francisco, CA) – $22,500
3. Alex Hoskins (a) (Brigham City, UT) – $15,000
4. Darren Tang (San Francisco, CA) – $11,500
5. Martin Larsen (Gothenburg, Sweden) – $9,000

(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.[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Official Masters website
  2. ^ "New formats for new era." Article at, August 4, 2008.
  3. ^ Schneider, Jerry (February 26, 2017). "Australia's Jason Belmonte Dominates USBC Masters, Wins Record Fourth Title, Eighth Career PBA Major". Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  4. ^ All-time Denny's PBA Tour Titlists at